One of the buzzy topics at VentureBeat’s GrowthBeat conference in San Francisco last month was figuring out how to integrate all of a company’s different views of a customer. With mobile marketing, SMS, the online experience, credit card transactions, social interactions, email marketing, in-store experience, and call center interactions (whew!), it can be incredibly difficult for any company to get a single, cohesive view of the customer from this myriad of physical and digital touch points. Companies both large and small are dealing with this issue.
Companies continue to dump truckloads of dollars into marketing efforts to try and attract more and more customers. On the surface, the goal appears to be worthwhile. Every company wants to increase revenue and boost the bottom line. But, tactically, this approach may not deliver the most bang for the buck.
Companies can achieve a higher rate of return by focusing on customer relationship building to keep good customers than by trying to lure new ones.
What if your business could have a never-ending conversation with your customers – where the business continuously gets to know them and can better meet their needs over time? What if your business could replace the halting, segmented communications with the people who keep you in business – those that typically only happen when customers initiate it – with an ongoing dialogue? What if your business’ customer relationships could evolve into a singular, measurable process that can be perpetually improved? Wouldn’t that process be the one your business values above all others?
No business in its right mind would answer “no” to these questions. At the end of the day, that’s why we’re all in business: To meet the needs of our customers to the best of our ability in order to grow and attract new customers.
An Event for Senior Executives in Atlanta, GA – Join Us!
Customers today are more in control of the buying process than ever before. And companies are scrambling to keep up with the technological demands of delivering, managing, and measuring superior customer experience. Come join us for a conversation on how to leverage customer experience technology to best meet the needs of increasingly sophisticated customers! We’ll be taking a deep dive into how to address the structural, organizational, and technological challenges affecting organizations’ ability to meet the needs of customers – and best practices to meet these challenges head on. This day of learning and conversation is tailor-made for senior executives responsible for driving customer experience.
Consumers are becoming, and in many cases already are, too sophisticated for gimmicks and trends. They are empowered; they have an infinite number of choices on where and how to spend their money. For this reason, they not only expect great brand experiences, but they also believe they’re entitled to them. It is crucial for brands to adapt to this evolving expectation, otherwise it can negatively impact customer perceptions of the brand for years to come.
Consumer’s needs for convenience and personalized connection have become top priorities in an increasingly digital, mobile and social purchasing world. Brands are playing a vicious game of catch up in order to meet these consumer expectations and are searching for tools to stay relevant and remain in consumers’ good graces while driving increased profits.
Wearable devices have a unique spectrum of capabilities that can be leveraged by retailers as the technology trend grows in the coming years. Devices such as FitBit, Samsung Gear and, of course, the Apple Watch, prove that while wearables may be niche now, the customer experience technology can offer big opportunities for retailers to consider both from a customer experience and operations perspective. Let’s take a look at how wearable products can be used in a retail environment to augment the customer experience as technology evolves:
Today’s customer is “always on”, they are both empowered and fluid with their touchpoints creating a tremendous new pressure for your business. These growing challenges in customer engagement continue to illuminate the need for a better way to manage customer relationships. Perhaps the quickest decision for changes to the technology stack, a new CRM always seems to be top on the list and the process may sound a bit like this:
According to a report by McKinsey & Company, despite the ecommerce boom, brick-and-mortar stores will still account for approximately 85% of U.S. retail sales in 2025. But there is something more telling behind these stats: in-store shopping is a familiar, often socially-driven experience that transcends pure economic value for many people. The constantly evolving customer experience technology landscape has empowered brick-and-mortar retailers to rethink traditional business models, thus creating new opportunities to capitalize on consumer desire for experience and make in-store visits more human and personalized. Retailers must find ways to bridge the gap between offline and digital channels.
I recently had the opportunity to contribute a guest viewpoint to Chain Store Age on the topic of customer experience and more importantly: building customer relationships in the moment, at the critical time that it matter most.
Most companies just aren’t equipped to make the right offer to the right customer at the right time. They are hampered by distinct, yet unintentional, silos that create barriers between them and the customers they serve — and don’t have the tools to truly manage their customer relationships. Most consumer-facing businesses refer to their marketing databases or their loyalty operations as their CRM and traditional CRM failed to meet their needs. These systems let companies push messages out, but they are not able to recognize a customer online or in a store, creating a massive blind spot for them.