Last week I gave a presentation on how Big Data and data from the IoT can help businesses improve customer satisfaction levels throughout each part of the customer life cycle. Today’s customer, no matter the industry, expects to have a positive and personal experience with companies even before there is a formal relationship. After they become a customer or register on a website, they expect a higher level of personalization and engagement and to be rewarded for their loyalty. Throughout the presentation (which can be viewed on our YouTube channel), there were three themes that were repeated multiple times no matter the life cycle stage or industry example.
The first theme was to collect as much information about the customer and her preferences as quickly as possible. This is especially important before you have an official relationship with a customer. Well, you might ask, how can you collect information about a customer if you don’t know their buying preferences or even know who the customer is because they haven’t registered with your company? Each smartphone and computer is equip with a unique machine id. When you implement a Big Data or IoT solution it’s critical to record the machine id with either the potential customer’s pathways around physical store or browsing history on a website. Also, its critical to record as much information as possible. Don’t stop with just what pages a customer visited on your site. Record how much time a customer spent on a specific page (a longer visit probably means they’re reading the description and interested in that product or service), how far did they scroll down the page (you’ll know what they read and where they stopped), and if they scrolled through the product pictures. All of this information can then be used to make personalized recommendations if the customer returns to the website in the future from the same device. Also, if a customer does eventually register from the same device in the future, the information you collected about them in the past can be added to her new account.
The next thing you’ll want to include in a solution is to ensure that all interactions are made in real-time while the customer is in the store or on the website. This serves two purposes – first it makes the customer feel like they are getting personalized service, they’re becoming aware of products that they might not know about and that the company cares about their satisfaction levels. However, it also gives the company a chance to either up-sell or cross sell the customer --- thus in the words of one of my favorite marketing professors, making the pie bigger for everyone. If the interaction happens after the customer leaves the store, the chances of that customer returning to the store for that additional item or to take advantage of the promotion are much lower. Real-time responses are also very important not only while a customer is browsing through a store or website but also if a negative experience happens to the customer. This is especially important with the popularity of social media. It’s too easy for a dissatisfied customer to go to Twitter or Facebook and post a negative message about your company. You want to be immediately aware of the disservice and correct it before a customer has a chance to go to one of these outlets and post about their negative experience. A real-time message or correction from the company can prevent this whereas if the company waits even an hour or two the dissatisfied customer can post online and the damage to the company with that customer and all of the customer’s followers is already done.
Finally, there needs to be a balance of personalization with a respect for an individual’s privacy. Over the past month two of my neighbors have told me of how their Facebook account knew a little too much about them. In one case, a neighbor mentioned to his wife while he had his phone out that they should look into getting a Dyson --- there were no internet searches or visits to Dyson.com, just a mention to his wife about getting a Dyson. The next day there was a Dyson ad on his Facebook account. He was immediately “creeped out” by the fact that somehow his conversation had been processed by his phone and was then reflected in a Facebook ad. He immediately deleted Facebook from his phone. As a company, you need to remember that people want personalized yet not intrusive recommendations. It’s a tough balance at times, but it’s critical to the success of your Big Data or IoT solution.
By keeping these three takeaways in mind your solution will help nurture and maintain customer relationships.
Entrigna provides consulting services to help evaluate your system and its Real-Time Expert System platform is the only solution platform on the market that incorporates all of the major big data related algorithms in one seamless solution. We specialize in healthcare and retail solutions, but our technology let’s clients, no matter the industry, start small and then add-on or change their solution as their business needs grow and change. For more information on Entrigna’s consulting services or RTES platform visit our website at Entrigna.com or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org