More than three-quarters of companies are still unable to integrate customer insights in real time. In practical terms, this means that their customer experience is likely to be less than ideal – and that is likely to cost these companies money.
The cost of poor customer experience
Figures from Gartner tell a stark tale:
- It costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
- For every customer complaint received, there are likely to be 26 other unhappy customers who have not said anything, but who may still leave.
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one negative one. It is, therefore, perhaps unsurprising that CMOs want to know how they can minimise the risk (read cost) of poor customer interactions – meaning wrong content, wrong channel and not acting at the right time.
For a telco, poor customer experience will mean untapped opportunities, and, perhaps more importantly, customer churn and lost revenue. Happy customers, on the other hand, will probably tell four to six people about their experience, meaning that keeping customers happy may also result in more new customers.
It is, therefore, perhaps unsurprising that CMOs want to know how they can minimise the risk (read cost) of poor customer interactions – meaning wrong content, wrong channel and not acting at the right time.
How can customer experience be improved across all interactions?
To really improve the customer experience, you need to know who your customers are, their service preferences, what they like to do and, even better, what they are doing right now. You can only gain that knowledge by making use of all the customer data you have, which is a lot, considering customers are all using their mobiles for performing many different tasks and services in their daily lives. Applying advanced analytics can extract valuable insights on the most current data to help companies understand customer context, channel and timing, in real time.
Why does this matter? It gives the ability to predict what customers want to do next and tailor offers to individuals – the segment of one. However, there is a balancing act to consider here. The offer cannot be too tailored (because that would be creepy), but more relevant and optimised for the customer, regardless of the channel. The message then will most probably represent value for the customer, received as relevant and, therefore, increase the likelihood of an offer’s acceptance. And you also enhance customers’ perception/loyalty positively when you are not spamming them with insignificant messages.
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Synchronizing engagement across all touchpoints
Having good insights about your customers is only the start of the story. Those insights then need to drive smart customer actions that also follow organizational and business rules. The key is that advanced analytics can be applied to enable marketers to manage customer engagement across all touchpoints and channels by improving both the understanding of customers as a whole and also as individuals. Real-time customer engagement is a genuine game-changer. It enables companies to assess customer mood and current needs, as well as their long-term needs and value to the company. In other words, it allows companies to engage at the right time – whether that is now or later. Real-time analytics and customer engagement mean deeper customer insight used for improved customer experiences and efficient marketing processes giving improved return on investments.
For example, communication can be centralised from a single marketing platform into all channels. Automated communication management will mean that messages are more consistent across channels, and material can also be shared across channels. Marketing activities and results can be tracked into a single data model, providing better and more reliable insights into customers’ behaviours and preferences. This also means that companies can see which areas are more and less profitable, supporting decisions for action. Customers will see the right personalised message at the right time, in the channel of their choice.
Improved marketing ROI & customer engagement can coexist
Summing up, these improvements lead to better marketing performance and happier customers. For example, marketing spending will be more optimised, and next-best offers derived analytically, and therefore more likely to be successful. Activities are driven by profitability, and the personalised service improves customer experience and loyalty. Feedback means that improvement is ongoing, and marketing, sales and loyalty initiatives will all be driven by customer insights, improving their effectiveness.
This all sounds great, but is it actually working? Telecoms companies across the world have seen the benefits of adopting analytics for customer engagement. These benefits include increases in revenue and total sales, reduction in complaints up to 50 percent, increased conversion rates of around 25 percent, and reductions in churn and credit bureau costs. Individual telcos have also seen reductions in campaign process times from three months to 10 days as a result of automation and context-driven marketing. More improvements can be made and other possibilities investigated for further business benefits.
Becoming data-driven is essential for success
The vast majority of marketers, around 90 percent, recognise that they are likely to compete on customer experience, not price, in the future. This can only be done by harnessing the insights from analytics and data, including real-time analysis.
Becoming data-driven is essential for success in marketing. Organisations that use data effectively can operate more efficiently, speeding up decisions during customer interactions. They also, and crucially, only try to engage with customers when they are likely to respond, which reduces waste, and therefore decreases cost. Becoming data-driven therefore improves the bottom line, as well as the customer experience. The journey ahead for the telecommunications ecosystem remains a long one.