Are We Driving Revenue or Driving Customers?

Marketers may be able to pull some data from their websites, their CRM systems and social media, but they still may be missing the boat on a significant amount of critical data.

It used to be that to return equipment, Comcast customers had to visit a payment center — which might involve a long drive and standing in line. Today, customers simply stop by a UPS location, where equipment is packed and sent back to the company.

“That’s a really clear example of how we’re trying to simplify and make it easy to do business with us and deliver great experiences,” said Chris Helle, Comcast Executive Director of Brand Marketing & Strategy for XFINITY. Helle was part of a recent webcast that explored the importance of creating a personalized customer experience strategy to drive revenue.

The webcast, presented by the CMO Council and Pegasystems, also featured Cynthia Ricciardi, Vice President of CRM for SiriusXM; Vincent Jeffs, Director of Product Marketing for Pegasystems; and Liz Miller, SVP, Marketing, for the CMO Council. Miller, who moderated the forum, noted that many marketers say they don’t have adequate insight into extracting value from every interaction with customers. Finding paths to a deeper customer engagement strategy is critical, she said.

One size doesn’t fit all

Consumers are individuals, and companies can’t continue treating them as marketing segments, noted Pegasystems’ Jeffs, adding that attempting to pre-map the customer experience journey doesn’t work.

“About half of marketers know that personalized engagements are critical, but they struggle to do it very well,” Jeffs said. “That’s the opportunity.

Consumers’ expectations constantly change for real-time interaction with brands, and companies must be prepared to respond dynamically, Jeffs noted. He added that context is critical, with consumers’ engagement and buying decisions changing by the minute.

How does solid data help?

Great data helps add “color” to what companies know about customers and their preferences, Jeffs noted. Marketers may be able to pull some data from their websites, their CRM systems and social media, but they still may be missing the boat on a significant amount of critical data. For example, research indicates that few marketers are effectively pulling enough information from mobile data and from reviews on websites.

“We’re dealing with the fact that these customers are expecting you to have a good view of who they are. But something like 80 percent of respondents don’t feel they have a decent 360-degree view of the customer,” Jeffs noted. “We need to be customer-centric and understand who these customers are so we can understand their needs and preferences.”

What does transition look like?

Ricciardi, of Sirius XM, said the company used to drive “pieces of equipment” rather than customers. To manage customer journeys, she said, the company had to make fundamental changes across the business.

By making wholesale changes, the company transitioned from an organization where data was kept in silos and was under-leveraged to one that could drive segmentation and communications fueled by preferences and profiles.

The idea of changing all at once is daunting to organizations, Jeffs observed. “It becomes one of those moments where you or the entire organization says ‘It sounds really hard’ or ‘I don’t know if we can do that.’”

The organizations that achieve success in transitioning to a fully integrated customer experience strategy take it slowly; for instance, by bringing together only two major data sources or two functions — like marketing and customer service — at once to share information and coordinate efforts.

To watch a replay of this webinar, click here.