Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Customer-Centricity: The Logical Decision

With the on going move towards marketing automation there is a risk that we always take the next best action or offer based purely on what we know about the customer from data collected historically. 

Of course to a certain extent that's all we have to play with. So the next best action when the customer calls into the call centre is to try and up grade the phone they have. The next best action for the another customer is to send them an email with an offer for the umbrella that goes with their recently acquired garden table.

But what if the first customer has called in to cancel their contract? Or the second customer has actually already sent an email complaining that they have 3 screws missing from the table and so aren't in a position to assemble it just yet. In these instances what are the chances that your offer will be accepted? Although not zero, I would say pretty minimal.

Being customer centric not only means offering the customer what they might want ( it's ok to do that honestly- I'd rather be sold the HDMI lead before I get home and realise I need to buy one!) but it actually needs to understand the context in which the offer is being made.

Context not only relates to a customer mind set but also takes into account physically where the customer is and how they are receiving the offer. You are a Nespresso drinker and you are wandering past a boutique . A logical message to your mobile Nespresso app would be to send you an invite to try the new blend? Not if it's 7-45am when yes, I am in need of a coffee but  the boutique doesn't open until 9am!

Data and context are important if you think that CRM is everywhere, as I do. And of course being customer centric means putting the customer first based on their needs and not your short term profits.

So, do I offer

 a product with a margin of £10 with an 80% chance of purchase
OR
 a product with a margin of £20 with a 50% chance of purchase?

Today's report to the CEO might dictate the second option? But surely the long term play with the customer in mind is the first option, if only because the customer is more likely to be happy with the product they chose and so will positively review the product. But also they are becoming accustomed to you offering them the right product. Saying 'yes' to your brand becomes an easier thing for them to do going forward.

Remember the wise words of Mr Spock  - Live LONG and PROSPER, and then THINK LONG and PROSPER

( This post kindly inspired by this morning's Idio Content Marketing Breakfast  - definitely an event to put your name down for)

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