While most brands tout customer experience as their main priority, outstanding customer service still has a long way to go for many companies. Customer service organizations spend much time and money on reactive customer service but far less on personalized proactive support. Although personalized outreach is fairly common in the retail industry, it is much less used in other industries. For example, a customer may search online for a more attractive mobile phone rate from its current vendor and its competitors’ web sites. By tracking the customer’s online activities, brands can quickly evaluae the customer’s current plan. If the customer is eligible for more savings the customer support team can proactively send a new offer before the customer decides to continue shopping elsewhere. Reaching out to customers quickly on matters of interest creates a sense among customers that brands really do care.
Online retail brands have increased their sales by knowing their customers’ interests and concerns and acting on them. Amazon achieved high growth due to its sales intelligence and marketing automation software. Amazon carefully tracks each customer’s online activities, click through rate and previous purchases to determine the right offer to send proactively. This type of customer analysis can be applied much more broadly to non-retail brands. Brands have a major opportunity to increase revenue and build customer loyalty with personalized outreach via the Web or their mobile app.
There is a wealth of information available on customer activities and purchases both from internal and external sources. Intelligent search and indexing of this content provides information on the customer’s tastes and preferences. However, it is important that the suggestions are relevant and helpful and not intrusive or disturbing. Many brands can improve their customers’ experience by supporting its customer’s interests and notifying them of special savings with personalized proactive outreach.
As with any upgrade, a business case is typically needed to justify the investment in personalized customer outreach. Measurements for deciding the ROI for offering personalized customer outreach include:
· Higher sales conversion rates. Reaching a customer at the time of peak interest will result in a higher sales ratio.
· More effective online advertising. Too much advertising that is not relevant becomes white noise and customers will ignore its message.
· Average customers’ spend. Outside of retail, brands often find that their customers only use one of their products or services. Identifying customers’ priorities enables brands to extend additional offers from their total product portfolio
· Lower customer attrition. Shoppers like to associate with brands that appear to look after their best interests and accommodate their preferences.
· Higher net promoter score. Customers endorse companies they find easy to do business with and recommend the brand to their friends.
· Reduce incoming calls. Reaching out to customers on matters of interest also decreases the number of calls that come into the service center for information.