Long time readers will know I'm passionate about customer service and fussy about bad marketing. Nothing gets my goat faster than the call center agent who can't or won't help answer a question because it's off script. Except maybe the marketing department that clearly has no clue who I am.
Exhibit A. Me: "Why do I have this interest charge on my credit card?" Agent at Chase Bank: "We value your business."
Outcome of A. The credit card company just drove me away by insisting on an inexplicable charge, thereby gaining $66 and losing commissions on hundreds of transactions per year for years to come, nevermind their annual fee of $99. I'm no MBA (oh, wait I am) but needless churn is bad business.
Exhibit B. A women's lingerie company sent me catalogues for years because my first name is "Nikki."
Outcome of B. Ok, maybe I didn't mind the free literature (I only read Victoria's Secret for the articles), but it certainly didn't sell them any undies. This was an ongoing marketing spend to absolutely the wrong audience, assuming they wanted an ROI, not just brand awareness.
There is a repeated forced realization that big businesses really don't know how to interact with their clients. Big data promises to help, but doesn't seem to be making much of a difference (yet.) What's the common thread to getting it right? Accessible event data.
Look, I'm glad you have a massive data warehouse or have begun filling your data lake, these are worthy endeavors. BUT you've got to get the right information into the right hands in the right timeframe for your customer engagement people to act on it.
I've recently seen two approaches to this problem that were compelling:
1. NG Data's Lily - sounds like a pretty flower, but actually helps banks and utilities know the history of the individual customer in the moment. Not a vague categorization of "Soccer Dad" or "Retiree" but the specific interactions and dare I say (dare, dare) lifetime value as a customer. Treat me like your favorite grandmother. I am not a number, I am a free man, and if you don't acknowledge me for myself then I'll take my business elsewhere. Harrumph.
2. Interana's Explorer - sounds like an SUV, but yet gives the ability to build comprehensive customer profiles, follow behavior patterns, and interactively ask questions about events without coding anything. Again, I can know who has done what and when and WHAT THIS IMPLIES about how I should interact with them. Make them a small concession for goodwill, market a new product to them because it fits, not because it's the promotion of the month.
If you want to be a more successful business, you've got to know who you're dealing with. Get it yet?