The world has changed
Globalization and commoditization of products and price convergence gives customers more choice of ‘me too’ products than they have ever had. Customers’ can search for products, compare prices and specs, check reviews and discuss with others before they speak to you, visit your store or look at your website. In a digital, social and mobile world, media fragmentation makes it harder to deliver relevant and personal experiences. Customers receive more advertising messages than ever but can easily focus only on the most relevant. These changes have been so rapid that they constitute a revolution, not an evolution, in how customers and businesses relate to each other.
‘Customer Management’ is obsolete
This revolution has rendered the term ‘customer management’ obsolete as the locus of control of the ‘relationship’ shifts from brand to customer. Customers increasingly select products based on whether they trust the brand and engage with its promised and delivered values. Trust and engagement are reinforced through the customers’ experience of dealing with organisations or using products. Getting the basics of customer service right is vital, but delivering a personalized, relevant experience consistently requires businesses to understand customers and organize themselves to engage them whenever and however customers want to engage, via whatever channel or media, wherever they are (e.g. office, home, store, out and about), recognizing their customer lifecycle stage (e.g. prospect, enquirer, new customer, at risk customer, live complainer/claimer, regular customer, high value customer, past customer).
The role of data and technology
The ability to integrate masses of data from many sources and slice, dice and visualize it can give businesses valuable insight not just into what customers do and how they buy, but also why they do it and who influences them along the way. Better insight combined with ‘precision marketing’ to known and unknown customers can help marketers build their brand story and deliver relevant, personalised experiences to build engagement via almost every medium and channel. Insights on which activities work best help businesses manage the cost of customer engagement and sales. At least in theory.
How is data and technology actually being used, in practice?
TCF’s global SCHEMA® research programme identifies what businesses are doing to rise above competitors. Our benchmarks show that most businesses are trialing many technologies and approaches but uncertain how to maximize ROI. That is why we are commissioning this research. TCF together with our partners around the world and our research sponsors want to investigate the ‘state of the nation’ in the use of data and technology in marketing, sales and service.
The research exercise
The aims of the research are to understand;
- How companies are evolving how they manage customers in a data-driven, digital world
- Where they are investing now and where they plan to invest
- What they see as most important capabilities – now and in the future
- What capabilities give the biggest impact on business performance
- Whether and how this differs by sector, by geography, strategic focus and by maturity
Insights and best practices from the SCHEMA® global benchmark base (which contains data on customer engagement capabilities of over 100 organisations) have been used to design the questionnaire. Each of the questions in the questionnaire explores how data and technology is applied to engage customers. Each of the practices covered has been used by leading businesses to drive engagement and profit but no businesses we know of use them all, yet.
The survey is for senior managers in marketing, sales, service, insight and market research, IT or any other ‘customer related’ function. It takes 1 hour to complete the online questionnaire. In return, Participants receive a benchmark of their ‘current state’ and ‘future intentions’ versus other large businesses, a comprehensive ‘state of the nation’ report on the findings from the research and observations from experts about how data-driven marketing, sales and service drive customer engagement and profit. They will understand in more depth some of the possibilities and be able to ask marketers and IT specialists in other companies searching questions about their use of data and technology.
The survey is completely confidential. Aside from the answers to the questions themselves, all the researchers need to know is data to profile the organisation (e.g. sector, size, region) to improve the insights from the research.
So what are the benefits for you for taking part? Firstly, I think you’ll be interested in going through the questions – it’ll prompt some thoughts and ideas I’m sure. Next, when you have completed the questionnaire, you’ll receive an email report of your summary findings. Thirdly, in a few weeks, when the research is complete across the world, you’ll receive a benchmark of where you are now versus others and key insights which will help steer your thinking. Finally, you will also get a detailed research report, packed full of statistics, observations and insights around what world class use of data and IT in customer management looks like. Just click on this link to get started;