Thanks to Swati Sinha of SAP and Kevin Poe of Experian for a thought-provoking presentation on "How Marketing Can Power Engagement: Using Analytics to Deepen Customer Relationships."
With more social media channels and apps, there's that much more opportunity to have a dialogue with customers and prospects.
Social media use has increased by 76% over the past year.
This has resulted in more personalized social interactions, as well as the expectation of instant gratification across channels.
It also generates real-time consumer insights in you listen intensely and interact with customers in-person or online.
We also have a real-time view of the customer which gives us information about:
- Consumer history -- purchases, engagement, channels for both.
- Future behavior -- able to predict lifetime value of the customer.
- Current context -- time, location, activities and emotions of the consumer.
- Identity -- attributes, public data, likes, interests, memberships, ownership, segments.
In order to have this information, you must be prepared to collect data from mobile devices, social media channels, websites, third-party sources and sensors and integrate into your CRM.
Doing so will enable you to create more engaging, richer customer experiences which will give you great opportunity to connect with prospects and customers one-on-one and provide them with instant gratification and "wow" customer experiences.
Creating a more responsive enterprise will enable you to:
- Create and shape demand in real-time.
- Rapidly match supply to a changing market.
- Deliver new products and business models more quickly.
Doing so will:
- Increase loyalty.
- Increase performance.
- Increase speanding.
- Increase customers.
However, a total reliance on data, technology and marketing automation can cause you to have a false sense of knowledge.
It's still about people and regardless of how much data you have about a person, you still need to have a dialogue with that person to really know what the person is thinking and what's driving their actions.
According to Forrester, 80% of companies believe they're delivering a good customer experience; however, only 8% of customers, from the same companies believe they are receiving a good customer experience.
Here are the four disconnects:
- Failure to have a dialogue with the customer to learn what they're really thinking.
- Lack of channel integration. Failure to provide an omnichannel experience.
- An internal view of the customer experience. Companies assume they know what the customer experience is without talking to customers to verify their assumptions.
- Unclear ownership of, or emphasis on, improving the customer experience.
Here are the five steps to take to close the gap between what companies, and their customers think:
- Customer data -- have an omnichannel, 360-degree view of the customer.
- Customer satisfaction surveys -- I prefer Net Promoter Score to ensure you know if the customer is sufficiently pleased with the experience you are providing to recommend your product or service to their family, friends or colleagues.
- Customer experience testing program.
- Predictive modeling with customer experience satisfaction results.
- Measurement of the impact of your customer satisfaction and customer experience initiatives.
Are you using all of the channels available to have a dialogue with your customers?
Great article by Perry Simpson in a recent edition of Direct Marketing News entitled "5 Ways to Evolve Your Marketing to Omnichannel."
I wanted to share the five steps and comment on them as well as share several points made in the article:
- According to the Rightnow Customer Experience Impact Report, 89% of customers say they have stiopped doing business with a company after one poor customer experience.
- Omnichannel marketing, and customer service, is the fundamental practice of providing a seamless marketing experience across multiple channels.
- Marketers need to ask themselves, what can we do to simplify the lives of our customers and make them more loyal.
- Think holistically. Think about the entire customer experience. Map it. Identify the gaps in service that exist between the silos of your organization. It's becoming more common for customers to complete a single transaction acrosss multiple channels. If you don't have a 360-degree view of the customer, you will not be able to provide a seamless, simple, transaction.
- Build collaboration. Silos exist in all organizations. It's important to collaborate across silos to identify what a seamless customer experience is and to make the commitment to everyone in the organization having a single view of the customer.
While silos can still exist within the organization, data silos on customers cannot if you are committed to providing a seamless, omnichannel experience.
You have to ensure all of the segments of the organizations can work together and share information for the good of the customer.
- Map the experience. Know how your customers went about becoming your customers. Sales and marketing need to sit in a room together and map the customer's buying journey and then share their findings with a few customers to ensure they haven't missed any steps or made incorrect assumptions about what the customers actually did and what they were thinking at the time.
Do this by having one-on-one interviews with the customer about their buying process. They're more likely to provide personal insights in a one-on-one conversation versus a focus group.
Ultimately, marketers need to define what experience they want their customers to have and then move them through the marketing and sales process in a way that's makes it easy for the customer to buy the product or service you are selling with confidence and trust.
- Explore low-tech solutions. Marketing automation and analytics have made omnichannel marketing more attainable. However, don't forget to engage your customers in a dialog about what works for them and what they consider to be an acceptable, as well as, an exceptional, customer experience.
Providing an exceptional omnichannel customer experience is the best way to turn satisfied customers into "raving fans" that share their experience with friends, family, colleagues as well as all their social media "followers."
- Embrace transparency. Be real, be realiable, be responsive. Companies that provide an inconsistent customer experience acrosss channels confuse their prospects and customers.
Consistency breeds trust. Inconsistency breeds distrust and causes your to lose leads, prospects and customers as evidenced by the opening statistic from Rightnow.