Latest Digital Trends and Business Transformation Stories from the Middle East

Connect to your Customers by Connecting the Dots

Amanda St L Jobbins
SVP, Marketing & Digital Demand Generation, EMEA & JAPAC

It takes months to find a customer and just seconds to lose one, as the saying goes. These days, it might be more like milliseconds. The average cart abandonment rate is 70%, with shoppers giving up on their purchase at the first sign of inconvenience. How can you become a CX leader and create personalised experiences when you have so little time to grab people’s attention? Your best chance may lie in connecting every part of your organisation – and putting customers at the centre of your decision-making.

We all know that if we get frustrated shopping on one website, there are countless others we can turn to. So it’s unsurprising that poor customer experiences will destroy nearly a third of digital business projects by 2020, according to Gartner. In this do-or-die environment, marketers are focussing more and more on creating frictionless experiences. However, they’re also working to make them engaging and personalised too, which relies on understanding customers now – and predicting what they’ll want next. Far from easy.

But not impossible. If companies can connect every part of their business, and use data to fuel and shape every element of their customer experience, then it’s definitely achievable.

Thankfully, consumers are creating and sharing more data than ever. This information on their interests, history, and preferences is valuable in its own right. But it’s most effective and powerful when used to build a complete view of who they are. Instead of keeping it in siloes, and having a fragmented view, we can unite it and build the smooth, personalised experiences our customers are looking for.

Cloud-based systems can be incredibly valuable for businesses looking to integrate data like this, and develop a single view of their audience. They allow for a secure, open exchange of information and insight between teams. And they can streamline operations while helping users to make customer engagement more personalised.

For the American Red Cross, a cloud-based approach to data has helped to alleviate some of the complexity of disaster relief. The organisation has five large distribution centres, but has to open smaller hubs when serving areas hit by disaster – often staffed by volunteers. The Red Cross partnered with Oracle to create a mobile app for these volunteers, allowing them to order and track crucial supplies. Meanwhile, integration with the organisation’s back office – via Oracle Mobile Cloud Service – helps people on the front-lines stay aligned with those responsible for approving and dispatching orders.

Elsewhere, high-end audio manufacturer Denon & Marantz uses cloud-based analytics to help product development. Engineers noticed that many customers were naming one of its products ‘bathroom speaker’, so they decided to bathroom-proof the device. Then marketers ran campaigns highlighting the speaker’s humidity-resistance. So together, the teams were able to enhance the product and give customers what they want.

While some companies are refining existing channels, others are embracing new ones. Voice is hitting the mainstream, with more than 40% of Americans owning a smart speaker as of last Christmas. And adoption is still growing. A delicate, carefully crafted approach for this new frontier could open a completely new avenue for personalised customer experiences – and build strong, lasting customer relationships.

Whether consumers interact on mobile, PC, or through voice-enabled devices, no single platform tells the full story. But if we use the connections between data from all these channels, it’s possible to paint a picture of who they are and what they need. New technologies and ways to interact will bring more detail to each person’s story, but only for those businesses that are ready to connect the dots.

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