It’s no secret that today, businesses can’t rely on once-traditional marketing tactics to engage their customers. As people increasingly live through their mobile devices, researching products and services and making purchasing decisions in real time, companies must respond by adapting their approach to fit with these live interactions.
For a business to succeed, its customers “require unique, personalized responses in real time that transcend traditional marketing and span channels and devices,” SAS concludes in a report that examines how companies can adapt to this new world.
Already, many are already diving head first into this real-time experience, presenting customers with personalized offers based on their purchase and browser history. Yet greater up-sell opportunities are still available. Cloud communications plays a key role in unlocking this next level in optimizing real-time interactions.
One strategy is to take advantage of “moments of now,” which go beyond simply making the right offer in the right channel to the right customer, SAS reported. Rather, you should always consider context. This addresses the customer’s intentions and determines how you can best engage and add value. Google calls these “micro-moments,” and has identified four that require attention in our digital world. Cloud communications plays a role in responding appropriately to each of them.
- “I want to know” moments: Here, customers are looking for information on a product or service. The cloud enables them to find relevant data quickly.
- “I want to go” moments: These are location-based searches. Companies can leverage them by presenting information relevant to the customer’s location.
- “I want to do” moments: These occur when customers look for information on how to use a product. Businesses can leverage the cloud to store content such as tutorials or support forums, making information easily retrievable on the fly.
- “I want to buy” moments: These are the moments when the customer is ready to take action—to buy. Here, the mobile channel is of utmost importance, since 93% of customers who use a mobile device to search end up making a purchase. Data analytics and mobile app integration are just some of the ways the cloud helps companies optimize the mobile user experience.
A 360-degree view
Stepping back from these micro-moments, there are several bigger picture steps to take to optimize real-time interactions. One is obtaining a truly 360-degree view of customers. A holistic view requires looking at not only their account status, but also at their interests, activities, preferences, attitudes (including those expressed on social media), mobile app activity and call center activity. Successful real-time interaction requires the business to fully understand the customer, not only in their purchase history, but in how and why they interact.
Cloud solutions gives employees access to all relevant customer data and offer multiple channels of communication. These enable your staff to easily switch from one platform to another based on customer preferences. It also empowers them with a total view of the customer – which brings us to our next subject.
Primary focus on the data
The 360-degree customer view is only possible when data is a primary focus. It must include CRM, demographics, psychographics and social media, as well as web and mobile information.
But capturing this data is not enough. Businesses need to build predictive models that can personalize the real-time customer experience. Most companies aren’t here yet, with only 14 percent of executives reporting that their data are structured to be cross-functional and synchronized, according to a Forbes Insight survey.
The cloud’s increased storage capacity and reliability helps customers expand their view on data, and its analytics provide the tools needed to extract relevant information from these massive amounts of data.
Finally, there’s integration. Cloud technology provides seamless access to information across multiple channels. Integration of communications systems with sales apps and CRM systems delivers a comprehensive picture of each customer. This final piece brings everything together, so you can recognize the micro-moments as they happen, and thus create meaningful interactions for each customer in real time.
Optimizing the real-time experience allows companies to offer personalized service on a large scale. But businesses must prioritize focus on context and give special attention to broader data gathering and predictive analysis. Pulling it all together into a unified system gives your firm the opportunity to not only offer personalized service, but also the type of highly individualized interactions that factor in each customer’s unique situation, location and intention.