Gone are the days of “spray and pray” marketing techniques successfully reaching the right customer at the right time through the right channel. In this post, we share how your business can utilize internal data to create a successful customer experience strategy to meet and surpass business goals.
Creating a customer experience strategy is a new-ish concept. “Customer Experience” was actually coined in 1994 by Lewis Carbone with the focus on in-store or person-to-person interactions only. Today, however, customer experience has evolved to encompass so much more.
Customer experience now encompasses every single touchpoint we have with our customers, and how it affects their perception of our business. It includes interactions from your various digital channels, the friendly and knowledgeable voice customer support teams provide, all the way to the less-desired collection notice.
It’s important to keep in mind that not every customer shares the same experience as the next. Demographics, income levels, and geographic locations, for instance, are major considerations to keep in mind when building your next campaign.
In the past, a one-size-fits-all approach could easily have been considered a “success.” But, let’s be honest: we never really knew, as there were far fewer data points and benchmarks to compare it to.
Luckily, now, we do have that information. So much so that many companies do not even know how to utilize data properly to garner their highest returns. With customer intelligence, companies can gather the right data and strategically execute campaigns to reach the right customer at the right time with the right message.
Invest in Customer Experience
Investing in the right systems or tools is one of the best ways to boost your customer experience. Consider all of your customer touchpoints: website, phone, email, social media, print media, live chat, and so on. What channels do your customers engage with the most? Are you utilizing the right channels to reach them? Keep in mind, with evolving technology and consumer behavior, there is no one size fits all strategy. However, there is an opportunity to enhance customer experience by investing in new technologies.
Let’s say you are a 100+-year-old business operating in a highly regulated industry. You manage your customer information via a CRM system. It houses information like customer names, contact information, payment information, etc. Your main forms of communication with customers are bills sent via email or snail mail.
What do you do when a customer has a problem, concern, or question? Like many older businesses, you might pay a third-party call center to alleviate the daily demands of common customer calls that tie up internal resources. On average, this can cost a business a minimum of $350,000 per year!
As new technology becomes available, management evaluates if, and how, the business can save money. After collaborating with each department, a decision is made to make common customer service inquiries easier and faster by creating a digital assistant solution to decrease call volume to the call center.
Build Your CX Team
Prior to releasing a new product, service, or technology to your customers, it is important to keep in mind which internal teams it will affect. According to Lucidspark, “once you understand who your stakeholders are, what they need, and how they impact your project, you can make better decisions, communicate effectively, and secure the buy-in you need.”
In this case, a digital assistant can affect customer service, marketing, IT, accounting, finance, and, more. Without getting too elaborate, it’s important to see why at least one member from each department should be on your CX Team:
- Customer Service. As the department that directly engages the most with customers, this department’s input is key in creating a customer experience. They’ll help map customer questions, concerns, or problems as they relate to the digital platform.
- Accounting. From a customer experience perspective, customers expect their transactions to be up to date and correct every time one is made. The accounting platform must speak directly with the digital assistant to be sure every transaction is managed properly.
- Marketing. Does the branding, messaging, and communications match those of the business? Marketing’s goal is to make sure the digital assistant release makes it to the right people at the right time with the right message. While not every customer is expected to utilize the platform right away, it is important that the early adopters are aware the platform exists and how it will assist them in every phase of the customer’s journey.
- IT. The digital assistant must perform with little to no problems, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to ensure a positive customer experience. IT guarantees the digital assistant speaks with each department’s platform to return the correct transaction responses.
- Finance. Finance ensures the entire project is on time and within budget. They’ll perform a financial analysis before, during, and after launch – assessing the ROI of the investment. They’ll also decide when to expand the tool(s) to further impress upon the customer’s experience.
In order for the release to be successful, and create a positive customer experience, each department must understand the ins and outs of the launch, while simultaneously working together. They also need to have easy access to relevant customer data, which is where customer intelligence platforms step in.
Gather the Right Data
Customers are constantly evolving with each new generation. Both psychological and social influences have reshaped how businesses need to perform to gain customer engagement. What might have worked ten years ago, likely will not work for your newest – and hopefully longest-lived – segment of customers.
Therefore, you need to understand who your current customers are at a granular level. The process of operationalizing your data combines internal with external data to plan effective CX strategies and campaigns.
- Take an internal data inventory. Your internal data tells you how your customers engaged with past campaigns, programs, and products.
- Enhance and integrate your data with relevant external data. Third-party or external data tells you who consumers are and how they behave.
- Use AI to enrich the data. Enriching the data utilizing machine learning algorithms can help generate predictive models and propensity scores. This information sets the groundwork for building your CX Strategy.
- Derive Results. Plan effective and efficient targeted outreach CX campaigns. More on this, next.
Customer intelligence platforms like BlastPoint make it easy for business teams to use data-driven insights in everyday operations. We share more on Operationalizing Customer Intelligence for Maximum Impact insights here.
Create Actionable Insights
For many businesses, it is not a problem of having the data; the problem is breaking it down into understandable terms for teams to make decisions against.
Data should provide your CX team with the insight to make decisions with three key goals in mind:
- Know precisely where your best sources of revenue come from – so you can generate more of it.
- How to craft resonant, relevant messaging that meets your customers’ needs – so you sell more of your products or services.
- Where to look next to find more customers just like the ones who bought into your product or service.
Learn about Customer and Commercial Business Personas by downloading our 2022 Report.
If you haven’t guessed yet, our hypothetical CX strategy is based on a real situation. Energy company AEP utilized BlastPoint’s customer intelligence platform to successfully launch a digital assistant to their network of customers spanning seven regions. The platform helped segment customers based on their engagement with payment assistance programs and other relevant third-party behavioral data.
BlastPoint’s industry-leading household-level customer intelligence showed AEP exactly which customers to target and how to reach them effectively. Consequently, AEP was able to:
- Activate customer insights
- Predict early adopters of the new platform
- Optimize media buys with AI
- Engage target segments with relevant messaging
- Continue to optimize the campaign
Read the full AEP Case Study and find out how you too can utilize BlastPoint’s platform to build a customer experience strategy with data.
BlastPoint’s platform democratizes customer intelligence, so that every organization, no matter the size of their staff or the state of their data, can improve their customer experience campaigns almost immediately. With our predictive insights at their fingertips, teams know exactly where customers are on their journey and engage effectively.
Visit our case studies page to see more results we’ve helped companies achieve, and get in touch with our team to talk about how customer intelligence can help your team boost engagement and improve customer experience.