Put the customer first with the right offer at the right time

Put the customer first with the right offer at the right time

Axel Wells,

In the early days of wireless, I worked with a call center team to implement upsell offers related to handset insurance and quickly learned that context mattered. I would ask the agents on my team to make an offer while they were handling an inbound/outbound call, only if the customer had upgraded their device in the past 30 days and didn’t have insurance. The team struggled to convert on the offer because they were not paying attention to whether the customer had upgraded recently.

Flash forward to today. Your wireless marketing managers and agents likely have an even harder time understanding customer context. Customers are mobile-first and are connecting via untraditional channels like text and social. If your systems can’t capture the history and context of each customer interaction, regardless of channel, you’ll never know how to sell to your customer’s specific needs or solve for their problems.

And the stakes today are higher. Customers have become accustomed to on-demand service like they get from Amazon and Uber. They hate marketing and don’t want to feel pressured. They give you a tiny window of opportunity to recognize their need and make an offer … and if you miss it, it’s gone. That opportunity lasts minutes, not days or weeks like it used to.

To sell to customers you need to understand context, and be able to predict what offer they’ll want.

Unlimited data, international calling, the latest device or a lower priced plan – how do you know what is most important to each of your customers? Do the math. Using predictive models you can run hundreds or thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of models that calculate the business value of an offer and each customer’s propensity to accept that offer at that moment in time. Plus, you can test out incentives and other levers that may or may not influence your customer to purchase.

By creating personalized, targeted campaigns that are tailored to the needs of each individual and the context of their current and recent interactions, you systematically eliminate the guesswork that comes from traditional marketing campaigns and put the customer’s needs at the center of your messaging.

AI-based tools help you know your customer and know when to take action.

To really know your customer you have to be aware of their history, the context of their past and current interactions, and understand what they really want at this moment in time. Then you need to be able to convey your message to them appropriately on the channel of their choice. AI-based decisioning tools can help you make sense of all these data and variables, plus can recommend the best action or offer to make, in real time, within the channel in which your customer wants to engage.

This is a one-to-one, customer-centric, next-best-action approach to marketing in which the system analyzes all of your customer’s data and context, then guides your agents on the best offer or messaging to use. Your agent doesn’t need to know if the customer has upgraded recently – the system knows and crunches that data, along with potential offers, then presents the best messaging based on your business strategies. This lets you deliver a cross-sell or upsell offer in real time, designed for today’s customer.

Make the offer in the way your customer expects.

Pushing messages across typical channels doesn’t work anymore. You need to have the flexibility to deliver your message on the preferred channel for your customer at that moment in time. Whether it’s inbound, outbound, digital, or mobile – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that all your data, analytics, and strategies are in one place, working together in real time – so you can deliver a 4 to 5X increase in conversion, anywhere you interact with a customer.

Only 10% of companies have the technology to adapt to customers in real time. But the ones that do are winning big!

Real-time, customer-centric engagement is transforming the customer experience and producing significant results for organizations that have implemented this approach.

For example, U.K. mobile service provider EE uses the Pega Customer Decision Hub™ to provide real-time, contextual offers to its more than 20 million customers – identifying the best-fit package from more than 100,000 potential combinations, in real time, while the interaction is ongoing. EE is able to take all the information they have about the customer’s needs and context, plus the customer’s value to the business, and create an individual, one-to-one investment budget for each customer. This allows EE to balance the customer’s needs with their organizational goals to increase both customer satisfaction and lifetime value.

The results have been amazing. Since implementing a customer-first, next-best-action approach to marketing, EE has achieved a 62% increase in cross-sell / upsell revenue and driven a $40 million per year increase in revenue.

By putting the customer first you create more opportunity to increase lifetime value.

Unlike my upsell example from the beginning – where we were working with no contextual insight – we now have the technology to read the signals, understand the customer’s contextual situation, and personalize our messaging for each customer. By using advances in digital technology, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and real-time decisioning, we can make true personalization possible and make every interaction matter. Ultimately this means we can provide outstanding customer-first experiences while adding value.

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Tags

  • Industry: Communications Service Providers
  • Topic: Decision Management
  • Challenge: 1-to-1 Marketing

About the Author

With nearly two decades of experience in customer engagement, decisioning, and go-to-market strategy, Industry Principal Axel Wells is driving digital transformations that deliver real outcomes for leading Telecom and Media organizations.