By Golestan ‘Sally’ Radwan, International Solutions Marketing Manager, Convergys.
From Facebook profiles to banking records, mobile usage to grocery records, details on consumer buying habits are available to and stored by organisations every day.
In turn the use of multi channels to purchase and communicate has led to a huge rise in the volume of data.
With so much data, the question is: how can companies effectively utilise information to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the customer?
Many industry sectors are becoming increasingly competitive with customers seeking the better deal and not demonstrating loyalty.
Rather than concentrating on the costly business of trying to take customers from their competitors, organisations should start using the information on existing customers to encourage loyalty rather than allowing them to churn.
Let’s take the mobile communications market for example. It is increasingly competitive, with subscribers giving minimal loyalty to providers. Despite mobile firms having reams of data on customers’ usage habits and billing preferences, they aren’t making the most of the opportunity.
We commissioned research in February that showed nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of UK consumers would spend more with their mobile service provider if mobile operators gave them the flexibility to choose the options that fit their needs.
Operators have all the basic information to offer tailored services to individual customers’ preferences but, to increase the bottom line, a successful approach must make the most of the subscriber information available, both in the prepaid and postpaid environments.
Technology exists to help organisations filter and analyse the data they have available and take real-time action to create a targeted personalised dialogue with customers via their preferred channel.
Features such as a self-learning system that processes data automatically to segment customer preferences based on their buying habits help deliver the right offers for the right people and the right technology facilitates the analytics required to create predictive attrition and offer rules.
These analytics can reveal customer satisfaction based on their experience and, when used in conjunction with predictive analytics, satisfaction and loyalty analytics measure how well subscribers react to offers made by a provider.
Knowing the customer’s individual preferences and responsiveness to specific offers, providers have better data at their fingertips to boost their revenues by targeted cross- and up-selling.
For example, our research shows that nearly one in two customers (49 per cent) said that they do not receive any promotions or offers on bundles from their providers, even though three quarters (72 per cent) claim they would like to.
Operators also need to be able to determine which offers should be made to which subscriber based on the customer’s value and likelihood to churn.
This is possible by tracking the subscriber’s usage history and segmenting the subscriber base to predict retention rates, sending ‘opt-in’ invitations to potential churners and offering rewards in real time.
These can include voice, SMS and data reductions as well as credit tokens and class of service changes. This way, operators can achieve greater profitability and valuable subscribers enjoy an improved customer experience.
However, it’s important to get it right. One of the most common complaints against businesses is that they often send offers that are not relevant to their customer’s individual needs.
Mortgage offers to students, long tie in mobile contracts with the most recent smartphone for the occasional texter, all examples of a lack of understanding. By identifying those customers with the higher lifetime value and rewarding their loyalty with personalised offers you can execute targeted promotional campaigns and influence their immediate behaviour. This can also increase the company’s profitability.
Intelligent analysis and use of data that is already available to the organisations means that customers who are prepared to invest a little more for a better service can be identified.
Organisations can determine the value of each customer by how long they are likely to stay and their likelihood to purchase products and services of higher value in the long-term.
If organisations implement an intelligent infrastructure for their business information highway, they will be able to offer customer services that are completely relevant to spending and usage patterns, and thereby reduce churn.
Furthermore, consistency across channels is ensured so that customers are offered the same service, offers, and experience at every touch point, eliminating costly duplications in customer enquiries trying to get a better deal through a different channel.
The benefit for the customer is clear. Not only are they offered services that appeal to them and their lifestyle, they receive monetary benefits. Using information intelligently makes it simpler for companies to reward loyal customers by presenting them with offers they can actually use based on previous actions.
By factoring loyalty schemes into the mix customers can accrue points in order to further strengthen their relationship with you. This shows the customer how intelligent usage of this data is put to good use.
Many markets are too saturated to depend solely on new customers. However, there is huge potential to be gained from engaging with existing customers and offering them new services according to their preferences.
Using the information intelligently to create a personalised, tailored and secure experience will demonstrate tangible benefits to the customer and, by putting the customer first, companies can increase their profitability with long-lasting customers who are prepared to invest a little more.
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