How much value can your customer management partner generate through customer insight?

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Rich Elwell 2nd November 2018 5 minute read

How much value can your customer management partner generate through customer insight?

Rich Elwell, Solution Director at Capita Customer Management, gives his thoughts on the benefits that harnessing data through insight can bring to the customer.

Customer insight is not a new concept. The idea of interpreting trends from consumer behaviours has been around for centuries, and businesses have used many methods to obtain this knowledge and enhance their offerings.

I remember my brother did his dissertation on the purpose of reward cards about 20 years ago. His conclusion (10,000 words later) was that they were an effective method for businesses to understand the true spending habits of their customers and help them to target offers that would increase revenue and loyalty.

Consumers are often aware of the tactics businesses use to entice them into spending more – we’re not all stupid. But the key question for me is, do we care? And if so, what is it that makes us care?

To sell is to serve…

My colleague Sally Earnshaw (Managing Director of Blue Sky Performance) believes that ‘to sell is to serve’. When I first heard this, the sceptic in me took over. A new marketing strapline designed to create debate and challenge the status quo, but ultimately meaningless.

But when I considered this more deeply, I realised that methods such as targeted offers, direct response marketing, and being upsold to had actually enhanced my lifestyle at certain times. This was often delivered by talented salespeople who were empowered by data or customer insight in order to offer me a tailored product or service, or from an innovative piece of marketing that introduced me to a valuable product or service.

Some examples that come to mind:

  1. The spa break that my partner and I went on, where the receptionist recommended that she have the full body massage based on her previous purchases. The receptionist also knew that this would free me up for a good amount of time to watch a sporting event!
  2. Channel 4’s ‘We’re the Superhumans’ campaign, which positioned disabled people as powerful and confident and broadened public perspectives and expectations. 64% of viewers stated that the Channel 4 coverage had a favourable effect on their perception of people with disabilities, with 82% agreeing that Paralympians were as talented as their able-bodied counterparts.
  3. The proactive call I received from my telco provider to recommend me a different package based on my existing needs and spending behaviour. I was going to spend slightly less too!
  4. The proactive text from my telco provider guiding me to an easy-to-use mobile website where I could monitor my data usage and make a more informed decision on what the right plan is for me. Also, the proactive messages showcasing (again, very simply through a one-touch link) the latest gadgets which could be added to my plan, i.e. Apple AirPods, Ring video doorbell, connected home gear etc.

These are just four examples, but there are hundreds more such occasions where I’ve been pointed towards a better experience or better value. Did I care that I had been targeted by brands in these instances? No.

This was due to the transparency, honesty and genuineness of the businesses when they interacted with me. Something every organisation must consider when utilising customer insight to gain the competitive edge is that it’s as much about how you execute the delivery as what you know about the customer.

So how much value can Capita Customer Management generate for your business through customer insight?

At Capita, we handle over 1 million UK customer interactions a year. This can be online, in a contact centre, or in a store.

We’re chosen by our clients to execute customer insight strategies, and ensure that we do so in a transparent, honest and genuine way.

In order to add value to an organisation, we need to work closely with them as part of a joint customer insight team in order to look at this approach in a holistic manner. We need to be solving problems for our clients’ customers and adding real value, and we need to show this to them in a simple manner. This requires our clients to ‘let us in’ and when they do, the results can be startling.

For example, in the telecommunications and media sector we are currently helping clients to make sure their customer contact strategy embraces the opportunity ‘text to switch’ will present to our customers, and using all our collective experience to help them to realise it. This doesn’t mean that we need to carry out extensive customer profiling – this is something that an organisation generally handles themselves without third party support, and we accept this. We don’t expect to become part of our clients’ businesses and be given access to personal customer data. But we can use our knowledge to help implement a strategy that helps our telecoms clients to utilise their data effectively and seize the most from this opportunity.

We’ve also invested heavily into data analytics itself. Voice/data analytics tools, social insight, customer feedback tools, churn analytics, propensity to buy – the list goes on. Fundamentally, it’s valuable data that is taken from direct customer interactions and from publicly available sources.

The key takeaway for me from this is a need for greater collaboration and sharing of data and how this data is exploited. Truly transformational outsourcing partnerships work when both parties bring something to the table and work cohesively as ‘one team’ when extracting and executing value.

To read more about how we can use insight to help your business deliver a transformative customer service, see our September 2018 edition of Intelligence here.

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