Customer Engagement: Making It Personal
March 30, 2016
By: David Marko, Managing Director, Acumen Solutions
This is the 2nd blog post in the series. For the 1st post, please click here.
Over the past ten years, the concept of Customer Experience Management (CEM) has rapidly evolved. CEM has developed into a formal discipline, and many companies have hired executives and teams to focus customer-driven initiatives. Meanwhile, technology companies have introduced new innovations and tools that empower CEM teams to make a significant impact on the bottom line.
Being customer centric and having a formal CEM practice is no longer a differentiator—it’s a necessity. Companies are now being forced to push the envelope on CX, and find ways for CX to deliver more than simply insights, but to also translate these insights into satisfaction and loyalty.
Fully understanding customer needs, wants, and emotions with a Voice of the Customer program is a critical piece in improving the customer experience. Due to the emergence of sophisticated analytics technologies, CEM has become more forward-looking and predictive than in years past. Through being engrained within operational processes and workflows, it can now help feed, or work in tandem with, sensor technology, predictive analytics and forecasting.
Enriched Customer Data Empowers Personalized Engagement
According to a recent survey by Accenture, nearly 60% of U.S consumers agreed that they want a more personalized shopping experience with real-time promotions and offers. How does this relate to Customer Experience Management? Well, it all starts with making sure you are not just listening to your customers, but that you are also learning more about them.
Enriching your customer data is the first step in creating better, more personalized engagements. Regardless of whether you are collecting customer data from traditional sources, like surveys and emails, or using newer technologies like sensors, beacons, and other connected devices, the key is to continually learn and enrich your customer data (and records) with the information you collect. Likes, dislikes, behaviors, patterns, and more can be added to your customer records within your CRM system, and then help drive automated marking campaigns and promotions.
The data that you collect should help you to answer questions such as: How often does Shopper X come to your store? What is their average spend rate when they visit? What do they enjoy buying/what do they never buy? What will lure them back into your store after a period of absence? Why do they choose to abandon a purchase for something they seemed to be interested in?
The Next Generation of Customer Experience Leaders
Leading brands are using the latest in technology to not only create a great customer experience, but to also become more engaged. Below are several examples of how this is being done by a variety of companies:
For example, Amazon.com’s Recommendation Engine tracks individual behavior and purchasing patterns to push recommended products to consumers. The result is that these recommendations drive 35% of the company’s revenue.
Another example is a leading manufacturer for lawn equipment and tractors who uses integrated sensors within certain models to track things like battery voltage, oil temperature and more. They also equipped the tractors with wifi so that the manufacturer is able to measure how stats, such as battery voltage, vary based on cold climate states vs warm climate states in the winter season. Using sensors, they send buyers personalized maintenance tips and monitor individual tractor performance and maintenance levels to the customer via a custom mobile app.
If the manufacturer sees a rise in, say, a certain type of fluid, they can preemptively send the tractor’s owner a message saying, “We are seeing a rise in Fluid X. It’s nothing to be alarmed about at this time, but how does next Friday work for you to schedule a maintenance call to have us check it out for you?” Being able to identify issues before they occur, and proactively create service orders, creates a fantastic customer experience.
Through the use of beacon technology, brick and mortar retail stores can track the behavioral patterns of shoppers through a mobile app. Not only can retailers use this to learn about patterns and behaviors of each shopper, but it also allows for push promotions or discounts based on where they are in the store. If they are standing in front of a 50” TV, a discount might motivate them to complete that purchase. Another example is leveraging predictive analytics to realize the right point in time to proactively send support to a customer, for instance, in the plumbing aisle of a home improvement store. In this example, the retailer can send the customer a message asking if they wanted to have a store assistant dispatched to their location. The possibilities here are endless!
Is This the Right Move for You?
Focusing on the customer experience has become the way forward for almost every business. And pushing the boundaries of CX with technologies such as sensors, predictive analytics, and forecasting tools can elevate your engagement strategies. Is this the right path for you? If you are part of an organization that:
- Is looking to take your Customer Experience to the next level through personalized engagement, you are a perfect candidate.
- Is in a highly competitive industry and want to differentiate your service and experience, this is definitely something to consider.
- Manufactures or deploys sensors in your products, you should make sure you take it the entire way through to the end customer.
Understanding the customer journey and enriching your customer data is the best place to start. Creating tailored customer interactions will help you to stand out from your competition, create loyal and happy customers, and grow your organization’s bottom line.
Learn more about Dave Marko.
For more information, contact Acumen Solutions.
Clarabridge’s blog, Sentiments, helps businesses incorporate customer sentiment and feedback into their business strategy. Published by Clarabridge, Sentiments speaks to customer experience professionals, marketers, customer care leaders and anyone who wants to make informed, strategic decisions that delight customers. Follow Sentiments on Twitter @Clarabridge.