Jason Rushforth, General Manager and Vice President, Infor CX
In previous posts we have looked at the importance of mapping the customer journey in delivering a compelling experience. In this post, we’ll look at an unlikely source of lessons to deliver the capabilities needed to optimize communications and offers in the marketing outreach phases of the customer journey.
The hotel concierge is a true artist in managing the customer experience. A good concierge can recommend a restaurant, give directions, and suggest other on-site services a hotel guest might enjoy. He or she can tailor recommendations based on what he or she knows about the guest’s preferences and history and their experience with other similar guests.
A concierge specializes in being at right place, the right time, with the right information. Consequently they act as a major force in increasing guest spend.
But how can businesses extend that same treatment to their customer experience? How can they ensure that they propose the right offers and the right information at every point of decision? The following best practices can help.
Keep it personal(ized)
As in any industry, customers are more likely to notice and respond to relevant interactions. They want content and offers tailored to their preferences. This means more than including the customer name on a generic email campaign. It requires a comprehensive data-driven approach that takes into account all the historical, demographic, and contextual information the business has from every channel the guest may use.
Hotel guests don’t always know what they’ll want until they see it, so hotels need predictive capabilities to analyze the nuances in the guest’s data to determine the optimal cross-selling opportunities. The same applies for a customer in any business – the right information means you can propose proactive offers without alienating or overwhelming them.
Stay engaged in every channel
Customer data collected in one channel has to be visible across all the others. Likewise, an offer promoted in one channel has to be available in the others. Consistency in content and messaging are critical to a smooth experience. Customers can easily navigate multiple channels in their own journey, and they expect their suppliers to do the same in a seamless and continuous way.
Never stop learning about the guest
The offer a customer responded to previously may not elicit the same response in the future. Preferences and needs change. Businesses need to keep adjusting their picture of the guest and adjust offers on all subsequent interactions to improve the likelihood of success.
Do it all at scale, profitably...
Achieving this level of personalization and relevancy with a single customer is hard enough. The challenge for a growing business is do it on a scale with all customers, all channels, and all products. Also, the business must meet its own enterprise goals for revenue, profitability, and other KPIs. A great offer for the customer still has to make sense for the businesses bottom line.