Securing loyalty should start with data insights
As consumers, we are hardwired to remember our best, worst and last experiences. Yet in the age of disloyalty, sometimes even providing the best and most memorable experiences is still not enough to keep customers loyal.
Amid a looming recession, whilst 77% of consumers understand that brands need to increase their costs, they are becoming more focused on value, convenience and cost – tempted away from their go-to brands and instead seeking more affordable options. Our research shows that 77% of senior marketers believe price overrides anything else that would keep consumers loyal to a brand during these unprecedented times.
Brands are faced with difficult decisions – where should they focus their attention and what actions will produce the most meaningful impact. To survive, let alone thrive, in a period of economic downturn requires a clear focus on customers’ needs, and the agility to rapidly turn those needs into business outcomes.
With 32% of consumers saying they would walk away from a brand after just one bad experience, there’s little room for error. Every single purchase decision, experience, and interaction is a moment of truth for a brand - testing customers’ loyalty. Therefore, making the right decisions that impact your customer at every touchpoint has never been so important, determining success or failure.
Implementing effective technology using accurate and up-to-date customer data and advanced analytics means agile businesses who can react quickly to new developments and ever-changing customer needs, and still deliver great customer experiences, will triumph in the midst of economic uncertainty.
To succeed, businesses need to be truly customer focused – thinking deeply about the customer experiences they wish to provide, and then investing in the data, technology and analytical expertise needed to deliver this.
In the ensuing battle for customer loyalty, we believe there are three things that will set the winners apart.
Who has access to the best data?
It’s no surprise that data is a key corporate asset for driving growth and profitability. But success doesn’t come from capturing huge volumes of data. It’s not just about ‘big data’ it’s about having the ‘best data’.
Data needs to be connected, cleaned, accurate and secure. Creating an efficient process to collect relevant and timely data, including customer feedback and conversations, will result in better business decisions and customer interactions in the long term.
Who has the best ability to generate insight and act on that data?
Creating great customer experiences requires a clear understanding of customers’ needs. It’s no longer enough to have the best experience among a competitive set. Instead, it needs to be an integrated experience that rivals all marketing, service and commerce experiences on offer with competitor brands.
Customers expect brands to know what they like, dislike, what products and services they are interested in, when they like to shop, through which mediums, etc. But to unlock this level of customer insight requires not only advanced analytics, but the people with the deep analytical skills to use this data to make effective decisions.
A combination of modern advanced machine learning, AI and data visualisation tools will unlock the segmentation, insights and predictive models needed to ensure every customer experiences a tailored personal journey.
But there also needs to be the investment in people with the deep analytical skills to drive value from the data to make meaningful business decisions. Machine learning can not explain the reasoning behind people’s choices, nor can it apply common sense. What’s needed is a human understanding of what the data shows about what’s happening to customers, and how they respond and why, to unlock true customer value.
Only people have the ability to combine data insights with action to help businesses make better decisions. Putting great tools with great analysts and combining it with action is becoming the core of future brand loyalty functionality.
Who can execute best for customers at the moment of truth?
Brands need to meet their customers’ expectations for seamless experiences. Every interaction, across every touchpoint has an influence on whether a customer chooses to purchase or build a long-lasting relationship with that brand. Therefore the customer journey needs to deliver a personal customer experience, showing an understanding of what customers need and value.
Failure to do so can result in negative experiences which may lead to missed opportunities, or even a lost customer. To create a seamless customer journey requires a single, joined up, curated experience across whichever channel the customer chooses to interact through, at every touchpoint. The content and proposition should be relevant, valuable and timely, building a relationship with the customer that feels both present and personal.
As the role of data and technology becomes clearer, for successful customer experience management (CXM) to shine through, marketing leaders need to ensure their ways of working are set up to take advantage of the stronger technology capabilities available to them.
With a recent report by Gartner stating that marketing leaders are still only using 58% of their martech stack’s full breadth of capabilities, it’s vital that marketers use these new analytical capabilities to inform their strategy and serve every decision made. By adopting a data-led and customer centric approach, marketers will be able to make better decisions therefore creating better business outcomes.
Delivering the best customer experience
All analysis and data science efforts must be geared towards making decisions which are data-led and customer focused.
Thinking about analytics as decision support helps to ensure focus is on how insight can be used to create a great CXM strategy, using data insights to understand what customers want and how they want it delivered, at any given moment.
While it’s impossible to get it right every time, brands need to narrow the gap between delivering the best and worst experiences to ensure they can recover when they do make mistakes, which inevitably they will do.
By using data to segment customers and map out potential customer journeys, brands can be more confident that every customer goes on the right customer journey and gets the right experience tailored to their needs. Not only will this help to increase customer loyalty, but also lifetime value.
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Yes and prevent from trusting everyone even if they are employers or employees.