Charting the Near-Future in Customer Experience
This article calls retailers to action - to address customer loyalty as an important priority, and to get busy with the emerging (and complex) possibilities for improving customer experience. I feel she spends more time addressing segmentation that might be warranted - since segments will dissolve, in my opinion, as we get to true marketing personalization. But there must be some small steps towards that brighter day of true, individual customer intimacy. I particularly appreciate this note: "A loyal brand customer is far less likely to be driven by price, but more by the emotional value of the purchase – how it makes them feel and the positive impact of their purchase on their lifestyle." Buying is about emotions, let us not forget nor neglect.
Retention is the New Black
I just love it when I see reference to survey and big data that tells us the importance of a retained, loyal purchaser. This article shares data from an Adobe (software company) study indicating that 1 returning purchaser is worth 5 new shoppers. It points out that the cost of a customer retention program could be traded, successfully, for a customer acquisition program. I also appreciated that the article presents an approach to cultivation that is worthy of our gaze, suggesting that businesses "...Have a plan for your customer on days one, seven, thirty, and on." It might actually be that simple. Know who they are. Plan for them. Execute. The article does spend some time on a 10,000 foot view of behavioural email campaigns, which is of value. It also addresses the concept of an onboarding guide, which I had not encountered before, but which seems like an emergent best practice to me.
Mobile Apps and Customer Experience Enhancements
This was a good brief synthesis about how mobile apps could be a great differentiator for businesses seeking to engender deeper loyalty and enhance customer self-service. The article outlines the rationale for introducing an app. It is tricky, of course, to be app-crazy; most of us only rely on about 7 apps on our phones (span of attention) on a regular basis, so getting on that short list can be complex. But I do admit to being enthused about my WestJet app (Canadian airline), which serves as repository of flight information and gives me little extras, like internet service while on a plane (in theory, at least). Do it right - and you just might get somewhere. (To angel investors - I have this idea for a loyalty/word of mouth app ;-) )
Endangered Customers - An Elegant Expression for Inelegant Customer Experiences
Richard Shapiro's newest book, The Endangered Customer: Eight Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, sounds like a tome for our times. This article undertakes a brief interview with Shapiro, and gives us insights into what should be in our crosshairs as we strive towards favourable and retentive customer experiences. I am, of course, particularly enamored of the human touch, the personalization of experience efforts, and endorse wholeheartedly a thought he expressed in the article - namely, "...The strongest loyalty is person-to-person, not person to company or brand. If your company employs people who can build loyalty one customer at a time and is coupled with an organization or brand that stands behind them, then that is a winning combination."
Big Data Your Way to Customer Excellence
I won't confess to having deep insight into the use of big data in evaluating customer experiences. However, it appears that Monica Mullen just might. I've always struggled with the data scatter - there's lots out there, but it's often stored in various databases that just aren't connected. Mullen makes an argument that efforts can bring insight from big data about customer experience, and provides some practical places to start. My conclusion - even if you just talk to your customer service reps and get them recording and sending data to one place, you will make a significant start. Big data is great - but human effort might be greater.
Gaining Traction: Personalization in e-Learning
For a few years, I have been harping about the need for instructional designers to borrow trends and information from other disciplines, to "take a marketer out for lunch - and learn." My early work in the confluences between marketing and learning focused on marketing's "buying process" - and I appreciate the feedback I've received on that work. For a few years, behind the scenes, I've also been working on means that allow learners to personalize - introducing a toolset (Modifulate) that allows rapid reconfiguration of e-learning builds, introducing targeted assessments of knowledge and motivation in courseware, and introducing a website personalization framework (Qromium). I've advocated more work on learner journey mapping, and created a toolset to support that (Journifica). And I've followed drip marketing and marketing personalization. This article makes the case that learning personalization is here to stay - now we just need some of the tools to catch up.