The subtle impacts of language… on your customers journey

The subtle impacts of language… on your customers journey

The questions…

Do you find yourself in a similar challenging position to many marketing professionals that attended our recent industry luncheon event on “a new language to modern customer life cycle messaging”?

The collective group of around 30 senior professionals in Sydney nominated key challenges in growing customer life cycle programs as:

  • Resourcing/financing projects
  • Data visibility and access
  • The relevance of communications vs personalisation
  • Measurement
  • Training internal teams

What else do you find getting in your way of growing your biggest competitive advantage of meaningful and sustainable customer relationships?

The concepts…

Firstly, relationships matter. Science is continually proving our health is closely linked to us holding meaningful connections with other people. Customer relationships is no different.

NPS in organisations like Vodafone and Citi are proving to average higher for extended periods over a given customer life cycle. How? By simply changing the internal language from traditional segments like onboarding, nurturing, retaining, etc, to more customer-centric language like teach me, grow me, endear me, etc.

Finally, accessing or gaining visibility of trustworthy customer behaviour data is more often a process of looking within your organisation rather than searching externally. Recently we helped a brand recover 20% of its customer base that it didn’t previously hold a dialogue with on a key channel. We find there are typically numerous pockets of opportunity that are not immediately visible.

Actions to consider…

Start putting customer relationships at the heart of strategy and decision making. Measurements like NPS, LTV, and engagement scores are a start towards gaining stakeholder buy-in on both short and long term ROI

Create a customer journey framework that everyone can understand. The customer centric segment language described above is but one good example.

Think about how to better capture customer interactions that map to the customer journey dialogue and ultimately their needs. A simple example is when a customer buys a car baby seat, what else does this tell you?!

A special thanks to Kara Every for sharing her experiences on this topic. 🙂

Does growing customer relationships matter?

Does growing customer relationships matter?

How often are you wowed or would you give 10 out of 10 for something you’ve bought? This could be a product purchase online, a plumber fixing the taps, or even a bank loaning experience. Really is it more than half, less than half, or rarely? Do you feel they valued your relationship?

Seeing it on the flip side, all of us who work have customers, right?! How often do you feel deeply enamored to each individual transaction and know the impact on that person’s life? More than half, less than half, or rarely? Did you value the relationship?

“I believe customer relationships matter”. No matter what industry or what role you play or how removed you are from the end customer, I invite everyone to give more to growing relationships between you and your customer!

Why?

Jeff Bezos of amazon talks about how relationships with your people and customers should be “obsessive” if you want to keep vitality, discover new areas of value, and ultimately have fun!

Naomi Simpson of Red Balloon states your people are your biggest asset for growth, however is it the relationships between your people and your customers which makes the bigger asset?

Simon Sinek, a global top 10 Ted talker, says long enduring relationships are built on starting with a why that is bigger than yourself. People connect and follow a relationship with your “Why”, not “What” you do. So what type of relationship are you going to focus on?

So once again, I invite you to make growing customer relationships a priority!

How?

Putting your people first – at Marketsoft we over invest in our people with huge flexibility in working locations, plenty of random days off, and regular adventures to places even like the Kokoda trail.

Personalise everything you do – social media like linkedIn and email are tools I use daily to get a lot closer and meaningful with my customers. I know others use Facebook as their core tool.

Personalise at scale – start opening your understanding of technology and the new global trends in real time decisioning and modern customer data platform that are finally starting to solve true personalisation.  Add in machine learning and you are now getting obsessive with your customer relationships just like me!

Large brands admitting data quality is a major gap in disruption and growth plans

Large brands admitting data quality is a major gap in disruption and growth plans

Do you observe technology initiatives are now sprinkled in all corners of your strategic plans? A distinct contrast to 10 years prior?

When addressing your team or wider business around you, are you expected to talk the technical language and distil technology concepts as an expert?

Is there a sense you have most of the puzzle pieces, however, there are still gaps of unknown and potentially large consequence?

A few observations…

Even large global technology companies are realising a fundamental gap in their technology stack. This gap or glue that ties them all together is simply data, or often more specifically data quality.

We are hiring plenty of technical people that can pull data across multiple Hadoop sources and create massive data sets in our stacks, however, are we realising the old adage, rubbish in rubbish out is slowing our abilities?

We are also hiring plenty of analytical people to drive insights and actions from the data, however once again the glue to draw out trustworthy meaning on these insights is commonly lacking.

Given this is such a widespread challenge, then why are the solutions not readily available?

Perhaps we need to look closer at the three driving forces behind most business decisions – prioritisation, budget, and people?

Therefore actions to consider…

Find the people feeling the most pain in meeting targets or challenges from disruption. Often data becomes a priority.

Allocate adequate budget on data quality in line with the pain identified amongst your team. Token funding often leads to partial and disappointing results.

Finally, finding the right people and expertise partners is critical. Data quality is hard to navigate and requires expertise to remove the consequence from your puzzle!