2021 is the year of retention – How respect is going to give your brand the edge


Emma Egerton, Customer Strategy Lead, The Lumery


Emma Egerton 0:14
Hi everyone, my name is Emma. And to date, no one’s called me irrelevant yet. So let’s see how we go with that after today’s session. The relevance is really at the heart of what we’re here to talk about being relevant to your customers.

I work for a marketing technology consultancy called The Lumery as the customer strategy lead based out of Sydney. And every day, we work with ambitious partners and brands like yours, and like the panellists will hear from, to be able to solve complex business problems through the end to end use of data and technology. Simply put, we work with a lot of partners, a lot of clients, and across a lot of industries, in what can be a very complicated world. What I want to talk to you today about is the customer throughout COVID. working across these industries, we noticed some key fundamental changes to our clients businesses, changes to the demand curve on their services and products. In one camp, our clients in the travel sector noticed a sharp contraction on the services that they provided through COVID. They were able to pivot quickly, they saw the need to retain these valuable customers. And once more they’re positioned to grow again. Then in the other camp, we noticed our clients in retail in financial services insurance, who saw a sharp spike in the demand on their products and services. And again, they too are looking at how to better retain those customers that they newly acquired that may not have come across their products and services. If it weren’t for COVID. And across the board, these two different impacts to the demand cycle have led to an increased focus on retention. And it’s not just us who’s noticing this. Gartner have released their outlook. And they to predict a steep shift from acquisition style marketing through to retention. And Forrester have predicted that there’ll be an increase of 30% spend on loyalty and retention marketing, as CMOS start to assert full control over their customer lifecycle. And what’s happening in the businesses that are doing it well is that CMOS a leveraging their operational strengths, and elevating the importance of the customer. What this means is that boardroom conversations are now around NPS, they’re not just limited to profit and loss statements. It means including customer in the balanced scorecard of these businesses. customer lifetime value is being brought into business case development and planning. So that changes to the business that will impact it in three years time are inclusive of the customer’s needs. And it’s kind of this this whole org approach to the customer journey, connecting marketing, sales, service support and product. It’s that whole org approach to the customer journey that really creates a profound understanding across the business of your customers needs. It means that that shared language is common amongst everyone who touches the customer. sales teams can understand how their conversations with a customer, how that impact to NPS can be loaded up into that whole customer journey. And again, their impact to NPS can be reflected in the impact to the business. And it’s this common language, this coordinated and purposeful shift to embrace the customer. That is really redefining how a lot of brands are seeing and talking about the customers. It means that customers aren’t just a siloed complaint in a contact centre anymore. The cost Demand isn’t just someone who clicks on your email, a number, a total engagement score. It’s a dedicated focus on how we can all work together across the customer journey, how we, as individuals can add our best value in a relevant and timely way within the customers experience and relationship.

And that value isn’t always attention grabbing. The brands that are doing this, well are able to create harmony and balance with all of their interactions. Not every interaction has to be a showstopper. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to remember the last time I paid a bill. That should be something that’s forgettable. I’m busy, I just want that to be a transactional exchange, I don’t want to have to remember that moment. And that ability to really respect what needs to have attention, what needs to have some gravitas and hold attention, versus what should be constructive and helpful and supportive. That is starting to create a sense of harmony and balance. When businesses and brands do this well. Fundamentally, that’s really good in respect it’s respecting, that is able to help us better retain our customers. That respect is being timely in how we interact. It’s giving teams the headspace to respond quickly to questions to respond and pick up the phone have a conversation. It’s the headspace to focus on having a meaningful conversation, rather than just hitting an arbitrary number. It’s that headspace that allows us to be timely in our response, but also time things right. I’m based out of Sydney. And I don’t know that anyone else will talk to myself, but I do not want to receive another SMS at 5am, about your sale in LA, thank you so much. But that’s not the right time for me to receive that message. And I’m going to get frustrated about that. I root for the brand that I choose to buy with, I want you to succeed. So please respect my needs and not send me information at the wrong time. And that’s that’s a pretty basic concept being able to send at the right time. But more and more brands are starting to realise that they don’t always have the foundations right. There’s a refocus on being able to send at the right time across the board. And a lot of organisations who are doing it well are employing tools like creating a test and loan culture among their business, so that they can send it the right time by segment across their base. Or by being able to use tools that are available to many of us through send time optimization tools or marketing automation platforms where the machines do some of that heavy lifting for us. But that approach to being timely really comes back to being tailored in when we interact with a customer. And tailoring is beyond just when it’s also how we interact. It’s respecting that I am not engaging with your SMS anymore. My preference is email, I will engage with your emails, please just send me emails. The tailored approach to how we interact means that businesses doing well are able to better plan their channel myths and make smart business decisions about the weighting across channels. It’s that holistic approach that means that every experience that touches a customer doesn’t report to a siloed function of the business like email alone. It’s held accountable to the customer. It means that messages are consistent across channels, be that email, SMS Kol follow up support.

It means that through that coordination, we’re able to start looking at things like what the next Best Action is what the next best offer is. But it’s through that dedicated planning around channel preferences that we’re able to really embrace the feedback either declared or inferred that a customer is telling us every time they engage or don’t engage with us. And that tailoring, that tailoring is the when the how, but it’s also what we’re sending, and tailoring the content. There’s a million ways to do this, whether that’s personalization, or the use of rich media, in email, or being able to employ tactics like next best action or next best offer. But that tailoring is also fundamentally looking at a customer’s subscription preferences. Being able to respect what they want to hear about really means to be at the, at the heart of that interaction. At the heart of that user flow, it doesn’t mean sending me a service based email, and then driving through to a landing page with your competition at the top. It means fundamentally respecting that, I just want to hear about transactional information from your business. And as many of our ambitious clients start to unlock the worlds of machine learning AI or headless content syndication, more and more, where they are really understanding that these solutions need to be designed for inclusion and diversity. More and more businesses are realising that the power of creating a data set that is representative will have profound effects in three years time on the outcomes of that programme. And being representative is sometimes not just being representative of your database. Our clients who are really taking representation seriously are realising that their subscribers might just be a portion of the community that surrounds their brand. They’re realising that their database also needs to be held in perspective among the other customers. By using focus groups by having meaningful conversations by picking up the phone, and having relevant and impactful conversations, these clients are able to understand rich and powerful information that can be brought into their business. Through the use of things like focus groups, they’re able to unlock a lot more information than they had before. But beyond that, they’re able to use them in business planning. So using focus groups early in prototyping means that what ends up going out to the customer in three years time is validated is the miss the risk is mitigated. Using focus groups early provides a lot of qualitative information to steer the course and help them adapt. And it brings rich information back into the business information again, that can be shared amongst executive planning. But beyond that, being able to connect that feedback, connect the qualitative information needs to stretch across the whole org customer journey, it needs to stretch across the entire martec ecosystem. So that feedback is actionable. It’s not just a note that’s upended someone’s CRM record, hidden away by 200 clicks to even see it. It means that the text is analysed, voice is analysed. sentiment is quantified and shareable so that we can create a common understanding across the organisation and the journey. And we can use that information when we’re sending emails or in shaping the message that goes to the customer.

And a lot of these themes really come back to speaking to the needs of our customers, respecting them and designing with inclusion. That’s what makes us able to retain our valuable customers. And at the end of the day, each of us sitting on the call today We are the gatekeepers of our customers. And we have to take that responsibility seriously. The responsibility of being timely of meeting customer expectations and being respectful. And over the next four days, we will hear from amazing panellists with a lot of how tos and a lot of tactics on how to embrace some of these key trends in your business from audience segmentation deliverability, the use of rich media and content, journey planning, and I hope that each of us are able to make wise decisions about what tactics we take back to our business. But even wiser still, how those tactics will impact our customers. So I won’t waffle. Clearly I can talk about this for days. So please feel free to reach out to me and connect on LinkedIn and we can carry on the conversation but for now, enjoy the conference.

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