How to forge stronger customer relationships through smarter engagement
Consumers demand personalized, relevant experiences. Marketers know they have to deliver or risk losing business to competitors and leaving significant money on the table. And yet, many brands continue to struggle to orchestrate customer interactions across channels or understand the customer journey. In this post, we’ll address those challenges by taking a closer look at how smarter engagement can help brands forge stronger customer relationships.
Identify customer behavior
Most of the marketers we speak with - whether they work for a QSR, global retailer or hotel chain - leverage many channels to engage customers and collect data on their behavior. Identifying customer behavior is not the problem most marketers have. Their problem is that the data is siloed in those various systems. This makes it difficult to organize, analyze and operationalize. The situation is sort of akin to saving a bunch of money in different accounts that you can’t access and also aren’t collecting any interest. It’s there, but it’s stagnant and untouchable and brings little value to the organization if it’s not actionable.
Put it into context
Identifying customer behavior is the first step towards customer engagement. However, in order to deliver smarter engagements marketers need the ability to put that data in context.
Like the foundation of any successful relationship, this requires communication (namely, communication between the systems gathering the customer behavior). Systems that communicate effectively transform data from siloed, disparate profiles to a unified, singular profile for each customer.
This is the difference between reading the first paragraph of an article and not being able to access the rest without paying and having a premium account to read the whole thing. You need the full story to understand the context and respond accordingly.
Apply rules of engagement
For marketers without a real-time actionable customer profile, deploying a campaign is a manual process and constrained by the limitations of list based segmentation and one-to-many communications that are often scheduled based on marketing events. Analysts inform the marketers on who they should target with a specific campaign. Then a database is queried. Lists are generated and sent via batch file to different partners for execution. By the time a campaign is live, the customer list is outdated and the campaign is irrelevant!
In contrast, with a dynamic actionable profile, marketers can then engage individual customers in real time with personalized messages, offers, incentives and content across any channel. Brands can leverage any point of context from a customer’s profile to market to individuals based on lifecycle events and real-time events that may signal a possible upsell, cross-sell or retention opportunity.
Execute the next best action
Finally we’ve reached the pièce de résistance of faster data and smarter interactions. Take the guess work out of deciding what offer might be redeemed. Instead, leave it to machines. Machine learning can predict product preference ratings for each customer individually by tapping into the data you’ve collected on purchase behaviors, customer preferences and correlating products purchased with other items within your product catalog. By leveraging individual customer data such as point of sale transactional data and other information like activity and message engagement, marketers can then execute the next-best offer. The result: no more missed opportunities to upsell, delight and retain your most valuable customers.
We discussed how smarter engagement requires marketers to transform their data from siloed to unified. Data must be faster for companies to have smarter, real-time interactions with their customers. Making singular, actionable customer profiles a reality requires marketers to make an investment in technology. The digital transformation is here--it’s time to act.