Companies in many industries are experiencing unfavorable customer churn rates. We need a way to mitigate churn and keep customers happy.
As marketers, we speak often about the shift in marketing that has taken place. During my more than 20 years in the industry, I’ve had a front row seat to this shift in customer experience strategy. I have watched it move from one that focuses on a lowest common denominator of customer service to one that requires constant contextual engagement, an ultra-personalized approach, a thorough examination of each customer throughout the entire product life cycle, and as well-known research firms have highlighted, “a customer-obsessed” dynamic.
Lowest common denominator service is interacting only when we want a customer to join or leave, leaving the rest of the engagement to be led by the customer when a problem arises. This standard may have been good enough before big data, but the ability to channel information into actionable insights in real time has turned this level of service from an acceptable standard to an unacceptable offering.
What is truly required is a customer experience revolution based on a deep understanding of customer service needs. If you’re a CMO in any industry, in order to eliminate customer churn, you must find a completely new outlook to progress beyond the status quo and the current depressed state of customer experience.
What The Revolution Looks Like
What would the customer experience revolution look like in an ideal world? It would be tailored to each and every individual, constantly delivering on customers' changing service needs in real time.
If a particular customer consistently overspends on a service, costing the person extra money each month, an agile solution would enable companies to automatically tailor personalized and unique engagements based on that customer’s monthly habits and needs, delivering added value and deepening the relationship between brand and consumer.
When a customer’s data slows and quality starts to deteriorate, the operator would have the ability to send an offer to boost the service quality. On the back end, any customer experience solution must be completely streamlined to avoid compromising quality or creating interruptions in the service process. This would have to replace any siloed or fragmented channels in the service process, providing real-time fulfillment capabilities and a full end-to-end solution.
Another example of a marketing strategy that delivers on the customer experience revolution would be “below the line” service offers, eliminating traditional, large market segmentation by giving each customer a unique offer tailored solely to the customer's needs. It means having the capability to continuously reassess customer requirements by having a holistic picture of the customer, engaging with the customer based on needs, and recalibrating constantly throughout the customer life cycle.
The ability to be predictive is also important. Google predicts what we search for using its search engine, and Netflix predicts the movies we’ll enjoy based on ones we’ve previously viewed. Predictive data analytics is the way of the future because marketing must be proactive, not reactive, especially in competitive environments.
Delivering on these kinds of revolutionary experiences would represent a metamorphosis compared with where the state of service currently stands. These approaches would bolster loyalty and trust in the customer-provider relationship, decreasing churn. If any business were to adopt them, the company's service would be unmatched by many competitors globally--a true differentiator for marketers and their firms.
Customers Are More Than Ready
The picture painted of the customer experience revolution is something that customers in many industries have been waiting for. Consumers are aware of the corporate data capabilities, and it has only accelerated their demand for a personalized experience. If a free service like Facebook can personalize its newsfeed, why can't a service provider give them a tailored message? It cannot be about the lowest common denominator of service quality any longer.
As marketers, we have the ability to lead the customer experience revolution by putting systems in place that ensure customers are continuously engaged throughout their entire customer life cycle. This stems from an intimate understanding of each customer’s needs. It can be accomplished by establishing a digital customer profile for each of the hundreds or even millions of a company’s customers, effectively having a dedicated account manager for each individual. An authentic connection between brand and customer will be established based on the ultra-personalized experience the customer has been given.
If you build it, they will come. Customers will be loyal to a brand that has created a seamless and engaging experience for them.