Posts Tagged ‘Customer insights


Customer Experience – Firms fail to deliver

According to CCF online, obtaining customer loyalty through quality experience is high on the corporate agenda, yet companies still fail to understand customer expectations, according to new research.

Although the study indicates that 80 per cent of the executives strongly agree that customer strategies are more important to companies’ success than ever before, firms fail to design and deliver those strategies and, as such, lose customer commitment and loyalty.

According to the study:

• Only 43.9 per cent (up from 40.0% in 2006) believed that their companies deserve their customers’ loyalty.

• 34.8 per cent indicated that their company has a dedicated customer experience management role.

• Just 27.2 per cent of the respondents said that the definition of the customer experience is well-defined and communicated in their companies.


Building brand agility thro’ customer insights and integrated marketing techniques

A slow economy does not always mean death-knell for brand marketers. The ones who mine customer data, identify purchase patterns and discover useful insights will be the ones who will win in this environment. At Cequity, we continue to advice companies to walk this path with 3 specific strategies:

  1. Accelerate your customer database management strategy
  2. Embed analytical thinking within marketing teams where use of data & analysis is made mandatory
  3. Micro-market – Identify smaller & smaller segments and increase campaign velocity with relevant offers

Here’s what the article has to say:

According to Experian, companies that can gain useful customer insights through integrated marketing techniques will benefit from greater agility than their competitors and will be able to more quickly adapt to market changes and provide products, services, and value propositions that are more closely tuned to customer needs and purchasing patterns.

Collect insights, not just data
According to Marie Myles, director of marketing consulting at Experian’s Integrated Marketing division, “Based on our experience with some of the world’s largest consumer brands, the turbulent economy simply means a re-doubling of efforts to derive even more valuable intelligence from every consumer interaction.”

Actions for brand growth

  1. Understand customers and their needs
    Customer insight needs to be continually revisited to ensure that it is up to date, focusing research investment on this area and not solely on the brand. Marketers need to use this intelligence to create engaging and relevant messages based on a solid understanding of each customer’s preferences, needs and behaviours. This will pave the way for true one-to-one communication and enhanced brand loyalty.
  2. Analyse and segment
    Customer profiling, clusters or RFV models are essential to identify which customers are spending the most, how to uplift sales and to detect high value customers that show signs of diminishing value. As new trends emerge, marketers can use this insight to adapt and refine retention marketing techniques on a personalised basis.
  3. Adapt products and services
    It is imperative to assess the environment and for marketers to re-evaluate their propositions. In a changing economic climate brands need to be responsive to evolving buying habits. By taking this approach, marketers will be able to offer a better service to customers, making it harder for competitors to lure them away.
  4. Integrate channels to increase customer engagement
    Customers expect to be contacted through different media. Companies need to understand these media links and weave different online and offline messages to build compelling, engaging and personal experiences. Integrating channels at different stages of the customer buying cycle and customer management programme will drive benefits including a more consistent and persistent message.

Gearing-up for Mobile Number Portability(MNP)

In India, yesterday the Government has announced the deadline & a roadmap for Mobile Number Portability ( MNP). Cequity believes this is going to be an important challenge for telecom operators in India and there is a need for huge customer retention & targeted marketing efforts in gearing-up to this environment, as this is just a few months away.

Here’s is how South African Mobile operators have approached this challenge:

The introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) enabled South African mobile phone service customers to retain their phone number when changing mobile service provider, this was expected to test customer loyalty and trigger far higher levels of churn, as it did in other countries that have already introduced number portability. Analysts believed that more than one-quarter of consumers (a predicted 27%) will change networks within one year of the service becoming available, and such predictions have ensured that customer retention is now firmly at the top of the agenda for the country’s mobile operators.

What drives churn?
Although particularly rife in fiercely competitive industries such as telecoms, customer churn is a significant problem that spares very few companies. The mobile communications industry in particular is largely product driven and price conscious – two traditionally strong reasons for runaway customer churn. But Moodley suggests that the main driver of churn may actually be service delivery, both in terms of customer service and network performance.

“Although it might appear otherwise, with price conscious customers clamouring for the latest and greatest handsets, these reasons tend to cancel themselves out in the age of hyper-consumerism,” said Moodley. “And products and service packages are quickly replicated by the competition anyway, so there is no real, enduring advantage from either.”

“The higher rates of churn will predominantly be from customers with existing complaints or reasons for wanting to move, simply taking advantage of MNP.”

Predictive modelling techniques based on empirical evidence and analytics can help find churn patterns. By combining a variety of mathematical techniques, including artificial neural networks, statistical regression, and decision trees, many SA mobile operators determine the propensity of any individual customer to cease doing business with a company within a given time period.

The results are often surprising: “You might be under the impression that customers want the latest phones or trendier outlets, but – for example – a large number of those leaving the network may have experienced a considerable number of dropped calls in the past six months.”

Analytical customer management strategies can certainly be helpful for mobile phone network operators because they have unusually rich transactional data, which allows very specific patterns and results to be identified.

Cequity View Point: Collaborative & iterative approach is the need of the hour

Continuous, easy & quick analysis will be very useful and to maximize the efforts of marketing, customer service, and other departments, data analysis has to work in a synergistic manner. Analytical insights must be effectively used by marketers to have an interactive “dialog” with their transactional data–and also allow a cross-functional team to review the latest data and create meaningful interactions with customers that are most at risk at any given time.

Better access to and understanding of customer data will help circle heads take informed decisions and help build better customer relationships. Faster cycle times can accelerate deeper understanding and improve time-to-market–both will be key to success in an increasingly competitive marketplace like India.

The key to effectively combating number portability related churn is a flexible and iterative approach.


Customer Engagement – Best Practices

Companies always talk about customer engagement but many a times there is always a gap between planning & execution. What really differentiates the best from the not so good are the ones that identify the key levers and practice this consistently. Allegiance shares some best practices on customer engagement:

It is important to be able to quantify engagement for a number of reasons. Most importantly is by understanding where you stand with your customers—i.e. how many are engaged, disengaged or on the fence (swing)—you will be able to focus your efforts on developing products, services and programs that will help move people off the fence into your engaged customer group or possibly reverse negative perceptions of disengaged customers and help them become loyal customers.

Four primary economic measurements of engaged customers are:

  1. Share of wallet—Engaged people buy more products/services
  2. Positive referral—Engaged customers convert potential customers to switch
  3. Churn—Engaged people stay longer
  4. Feedback Response—Engaged people give more feedback, which in turn gives you the opportunity to address issues and concerns and preserve potentially lost revenue

On-Demand Analytics – Changing the face of retail

Out-of-stock, poorly timed inventory levels and other lost sales opportunities present a problem for retailers.

They frustrate consumers and cost retailers and consumer product companies.

A growing group of companies are targeting this problem. Companies can create a highly sophisticated picture of what’s happening at every step of a product’s journey to the consumer purchase by harnessing the store-level sales data that retailers make available to suppliers and incorporating analysis and other relevant information like weather patterns.

The promise of demand data analytics – the catch-all phrase for such services – is that a better understanding of how, why and when people buy coupled with more knowledge of the supply chain and store-level execution will help stores stay stocked with the right stuff at the right time.

TrueDemand is one of the companies hoping to capitalize on the situation and has established a Bentonville office to better serve its growing Wal-Mart supplier clientele.

The company created software that takes Retail Link data, the sales data that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. provides to its suppliers, and analyzes it on a daily basis. Then, it creates company-specific, daily reports that predict out-of-stocks and prioritize actions at the store level to help prevent them.

Shiloh Software has become a market leader of data mining tools. It takes information from Retail Link and integrates data from a number of other syndicated data providers like NPD Group Inc. and ACNielsen, and other information like weather forecasts, U.S. Census Bureau data and store-level traits like whether it’s by a university or in a largely Hispanic community.

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At Cequity, we believe customer intelligence will be the biggest competitive advantage enterprises will have in the next decade or two. Successful enterprises of tomorrow will be the ones who can organize and leverage this information at speed to optimize their marketing performance, increase accountability, improve profit and deliver growth. Cequity insights will bring to you trends and insights in this area and it’s our way of sharing best practices so as to help you accelerate this culture and thinking in your organization.
August 2019
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