It’s hard enough to make one customer happy, but what about 100 million customers?
Each individual customer these days expects a relationship with each company they buy from. Each sale or marketing piece needs to guide them along a path to nurture that relationship. One false step — offering a potential customer a credit card they already have or asking them if they want to open a savings account instead of offering a loan after they use your mortgage calculator — is enough for them to get frustrated and terminate their relationship with your brand. Get it right however, and the results are increased sales, lower spend on marketing and a happy customer that will spread the word on how great your business is.
The only way to get this right, at scale, is to connect the data points of all 100 million customers and map them back to an individual customer journey. To do this, companies must master the three essentials of the customer journey.
As a customer, I recently experienced first-hand what connected data looks like. I was training for a marathon and logging my runs with a smartwatch. This data was integrated and shared with my running shoe of choice, through a brand partnership. I had sustained some toenail injuries running, common with distance runners, and was logging that information as well.
When my total logged miles reached 300 with my new shoes, I got a message from my shoe company informing me that, not only was it time for a new pair, but they had an updated version I could purchase, just in time for my marathon. And by the way, I should order them in a wider size so I didn’t reinjure my toenails.
Connected data helps a brand impress upon its customers that it understands them, as well as their needs.
For the company, in practice, it may seem that the solution to getting connected data is to move all your data to one location to make analytics easier. But in reality, each data point has a natural storage state that works best for it. The best approach with customer data is to create a logical way to enable analytics while minimizing back and forth data movement.
With a framework that permits insights without data movement, companies can instead focus on analytics. This enables them to know what path or trajectory a customer is on. When is that marathon? When does he have to buy new shoes? Are they the right size? All of those insights happened because of connected analytics.
This helps an enterprise reconstruct the path to purchase or churn. And once that happens, it can begin to manage that journey, which leads us to the next step.
If you don’t know how people are using your service or channels, it’s difficult to choreograph how you want people to use what your company has to offer. Once a business has a handle on its connected analytics, it can create a robust journey map that guides customers toward a desired outcome. It’s one thing to be able to put a metric in a report showing that customers are, for instance, abandoning a shopping cart. It’s another to be able to actually do something about it.
By connecting analytics to triggers based on customer behavior — opened emails, social media rants or raves, and so forth — companies can create better interactions to drive a certain outcome. They can drill down on parts of the process that are causing hiccups — for example, perhaps customers are abandoning a form because it’s not intuitive. Gaining insight at this granular level guides a customer to purchase but also lets a business know what parts of its processes need a closer inspection.
When data, analytics and interactions are seamlessly blended, the result for the company is a dedicated customer. It’s a win for the customer as well, knowing they have a brand that will help them, time and again, get over the finish line.
John Timmerman has spent the last 23 years with Teradata and has seen all sides of the Teradata enterprise and across most industries and geographies through his work in sales, business development, sales support, product management and marketing. For the last 12 years, his focus has been in the areas of CRM, Customer Interaction Management and Inbound Marketing.