Category: MarTech

CRM

4 Customer Experience Management Stats — and What They…

Here at PostFunnel, we’re all about making data-driven decisions — and helping you do the same for your business.

(It just makes sense to do so: With the right data in hand, you’ll always know the best direction to take your marketing campaigns and initiatives.)

While you certainly want to pay attention to the data your team collects (and your audience provides), it’s also important to keep up with the more overarching trends weaving themselves through the eCommerce realm.

To that end, we’re going to take a look at four key eCommerce statistics that paint a clear picture of the state of customer experience management — in 2020 and beyond.

Let’s dive in.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

CX Leaders are Three Times More Likely to Exceed Their Marketing Goals

According to the 2020 Digital Trends Report from Adobe, companies that prioritize customer experience management are 300% more likely to reach and exceed their goals than their competition.

What’s more, CXM leaders also see three times the returns from their efforts, too.

Simply put:

Optimizing your overall CX will lead to more revenues and larger profits for your business.

To be sure, we’ve known this would eventually be the case for a while now.

(Remember back in 2013 when Walker predicted that CX would overtake price and product as the key factor for consumers’ purchasing decisions? Well…here we are.)

Of course, this isn’t to say that the quality and price of your product don’t matter.

The point of that prediction is that those things are table stakes by today’s standards. To truly set your brand apart from your competition, you need to jampack your entire CX with value at every point along the customer’s journey with your brand.

The key to optimizing the customer experience in 2020: Contextual personalization.

By now, it’s not enough for brands to offer surface-level personalization. Yes, it’s still crucial to provide personalized product recommendations and the like — but this is really the bare minimum you can do for your customers at this point.

You need to take your personalization efforts to the next level.

This means transitioning to a more customer-centric mode of operations, and gaining a more holistic understanding of your audience — both as consumers and as people. This enables your marketing team to more effectively map your customer journey, and better anticipate your customers’ needs and expectations along this journey.

Once you have a clearer idea of your overall customer journey, you can then work on injecting contextual personalization throughout your entire customer experience.

Again, the goal isn’t to just slap basic personalization tactics on top of a generic customer experience. Contextual personalization is about being able to deliver exactly what your individual customers need at any given moment to help them move forward in their journey.

The lesson to take from all this is simple:

If you’re not laser-focused on providing a hyper-personalized experience to your customers, you’re leaving a ton of opportunities on the table — and are likely falling well behind your competition.

Spending on CXM Technology Will Reach $641B by 2022

Of course, providing such an enhanced customer experience requires strategic and liberal use of technology across the board.

It’s no surprise, then, that global spending on CX-related technology is expected to exceed $641 billion by 2022.

Overall, brands continue to invest more and more into technology related to three key areas:

First and foremost, we’re seeing brands adopt AI-driven software and tools to supercharge their customer experience. With artificial intelligence and machine learning in the driver’s seat, your team can easily deliver on your hyper-personalization promises in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Behaviorally triggered outreach and engagement
  • Conversational marketing tactics, such as chatbots and conversational landing pages
  • Delivering dynamically generated content and offers

Another key area where tech comes into play is in delivering an omnichannel experience to the consumer. Here, the goal is to immerse your customers in your brand’s experience by interconnecting your channels (and the experiences you provide on them). In turn, your brand will become almost ubiquitous in your customers’ lives.

Making the shift to omnichannel is also about making the purchasing process more streamlined and convenient for your customers. To this end, we’re seeing brands continue to invest in technology to improve their checkout processes via social commerce, additional payment options, and more.

Companies are also looking to use technology to get better control of their company data, organizational knowledge, and digital assets. By centralizing this data — and making it easily accessible for your team — you’ll ensure your team members always have the information they need to deliver top-notch value to your customers.

There’s no doubt about it: Your tech-related expenses are going to continue to increase as time goes on.

It’s vital, then, that you take a strategic approach when adopting new tools into your tech stack to ensure the returns you experience are worth the investment.

82% of Consumers Expect Immediacy from Their Favorite Brands

According to Hubspot, 82% of consumers expect an immediate response from the brands they do business with after reaching out for support.

On the surface, the message here is pretty obvious:

You need to have structures in place that enable your team to provide immediate assistance to your customers whenever they’re in need.

(A quick note: “Immediate” in this context means ten or fewer minutes.)

This is a huge reason live chat and chatbots have become so en vogue in recent years. By optimizing and/or automating your service and support efforts, you’ll always be able to respond quickly and efficiently to your customers’ requests.

Providing self-service options — such as FAQs, knowledge bases, and other informational content — can also help deliver immediate solutions to your customers. Here, you’re cutting out the middleman (your support team) and allowing your audience to take matters into their own hands.

(Needless to say, you need to optimize these resources in order to deliver value to your audience.)

Again, we’re talking here about immediacy with regard to individual interactions with your customers.

On a deeper level, though, this expectation of immediacy applies to your approach to customer experience management, overall. In order to continually provide for your customers, you need to stay on top of the shifts, changes, and evolutions occurring throughout your industry.

Again, becoming data-driven is essential here.

More than just being able to react to changes in your industry, being data-driven puts you in position to proactively lead your industry in the right direction with regard to customer experience management.

By becoming data-driven, your marketing team will inherently become more focused on growth (as opposed to maintaining the status quo).

When growth becomes your team’s main goal, you’ll always be looking for the “next big thing” you can do to enhance your customer experience — and will consistently be able to cater to your audience’s evolving expectations.

How to build your customer model

One-Third of Consumers Will Defect from Brands They Don’t Trust

A recent study by IBM found that an astounding 33% of customers will stop buying from a preferred brand if they lose trust in the company.

(In fact, the report shows that one-third of consumers have actually defected to a competing brand due to a decrease in trustability.)

So, to be clear:

If you aren’t instilling trust in your customers throughout their experiences with your brand, you’re going to lose them.

Building trust within your target audience is done both on an individual and “big picture” basis.

In terms of the individual customer, it’s vital that they’re able to trust your brand to provide for them as expected. This means:

  • Following through on the claims and promises your brand makes
  • Taking the time to acknowledge and consider the individual customers’ needs and expectations
  • Providing a consistent — and consistently valuable — experience to your customers whenever they engage with your brand

For the most part, building trust within your individual customers will take time; that’s just how trust works.

Still, you can increase their likelihood of trusting you by becoming more open and transparent across the board.

For one thing, the modern consumer needs to know they can trust your brand with their personal information. Yes, the GDPR and similar legislation have made it mandatory for brands to be transparent with how they use their customer data…but your customers will expect this transparency regardless of what the law says.

It’s also essential that your organization be transparent in terms of how your business operates, providing good reason for the modern, socially-conscious consumer to trust you from the get-go.

Some key facts to consider:

  • 73% of consumers trust businesses that can maximize profits while also improving the conditions of the communities they operate in
  • 67% of younger consumers want brands to keep them informed as to how they support and empower their team members
  • 72% of US consumers feel it is more important than ever for brands to reflect their personal values

A better way to define your VIPs

Most importantly, the report from Edelman shows that 81% of brands say they need to trust that a brand will always “do the right thing” before they decide to buy from them.

Now, we hope this goes without saying, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t make clear:

Do. Not. Fake. It.

Whether we’re talking about the claims you make about the value of your product or your public commitments to various social causes, they need to be legitimate.

First of all, it’s the right thing to do.

(See the stat we just mentioned for a reminder of why that’s important.)

Moreover, your customers aren’t just more conscious of these aspects of your business; they’re also more knowledgeable about them, as well. The modern customer does their research — and will ultimately dig up the truth about your brand, whatever it may be.

Again, this isn’t to say you should do a better job of hiding the less-than-responsible things your company does. It’s to say you shouldn’t be doing these things in the first place.

Along that same wavelength, you shouldn’t be looking to build trust as a means to generating more business. Rather, you want to see the strong relationships you build with your customers as ends unto themselves — knowing that this will lead to better things for your business moving forward.

The post 4 Customer Experience Management Stats — and What They Mean for Your Business appeared first on Post Funnel.

AI

Choose Your Chatbot Wisely

Just about every business website has some form of chatbot now, though their level of usefulness does vary. The right chatbot can give your customers a great experience and improve your operational efficiency. But the wrong ones may frustrate customers and cost you business.

The key? Make sure you’re aware of your options and the user experience before committing to any solution.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

The origins of the chatbot

The proliferation of chatbots over the last decade may give the impression that they are only a product of the internet. In truth, though, the roots go all the way back to 1966 when Joseph Weizenbaum a German computer scientist and Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a program, he called ELIZA.

The all caps make it look like an acronym, but ELIZA doesn’t stand for anything. Instead, as explained in the original Stanford article about it: “Its name was chosen to emphasize that it may be incrementally improved by its users, since its language abilities may be continually improved by a ‘teacher.’”

The reference there was to the character of Eliza in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (more likely recognized by people today as the character in the musical version My Fair Lady).

Eliza was hoping to convince others that she was something she was not – a well-bred lady. Likewise, the program was designed to come across as a human therapist and convince users “that they were having a conversation with a real human being.”

While ELIZA definitely counts as the first chatterbot, the term was only born decades later. In 1994 Michael Maudlin invented a program he named Julia and called the function of a chattering robot “ChatterBot,” and the term soon got shortened to chatbot.

Chatbots now

While users enjoyed their conversations with those early chatbots, most of us would not mistake them for actual people. But today’s chatbots are a different story.

They’re able to carry on much more natural-sounding conversations thanks to the application of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing. Adding in ML and AI enables them to learn by identifying data patterns and then to apply their knowledge to answer questions and carry out tasks without any human intervention.

Their greater functionality translates into far more use by businesses and their customers. Today businesses use bots for a range of communication needs, ranging from customer service to product suggestion, scheduling, and various forms of marketing designed to engage the audience.

But the biggest area of growth for chatbots may be in sales. In Chatbots: Vendor Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2020-2024, Juniper Research anticipates that consumer retail spend over chatbots will hit $142 billion by 2024, quite a jump  from the $2.8 billion we had in 2019.

Juniper also predicts that by 2024, more than half of retail chatbot interactions will go through automatically and that “80% of global consumer spend over chatbots will be attributable to discrete chatbots” that are used  through a mobile app rather than a browser. On that basis, the report “urges retailers to implement chatbots as part of a wider omnichannel retail strategy in order to maximize their presence on a number of key retail channels.”

How to build your customer model

Examples of chatbot successes

For businesses who are looking for inspiration of great applications of chatbots in 2020, there are six standout examples assembled by Discover.bot:

  • WHO – Understandably, 2020 created a great demand for information on COVID-19. That prompted the WHO to put out a chatbot on WhatsApp to provide “fast, reliable information related to the pandemic and combat the spread of misinformation.”
  • National Geographic Genius – This was a Facebook Messenger chatbot to promote its Genius series. The bot’s interactions varied according to the featured figure.

For example, when it was up to the Einstein episode, they got the experience of interacting with the quirky personality of the scientist.  “The result was six-to-eight minute average conversations, 11 turns per conversation, 50% user re-engagement, and an engaged community of followers,” reports Discover.bot.

  • Duolingo – It’s a native chatbot built with the freemium language learning app to encourage users to practice through a gamified experience. It’s not one-size-fits-all but offers different style tutoring bots to appeal to different types of learning styles.
  • Erica – Back to female names with Erica from Bank of America, a financial assistant who goes beyond just offering account information. She is equipped to not just carry out basic transactions like paying bills but to offer budgeting advice.

The numbers tell the story of the success. It boasts over 7 million users who have completed over 50 million transactions with it. Users appreciate the ease of discovering the bank’s services with her and the helpful reminders to do things like cancel subscriptions.

  •  Madi – That a cool and apt name for Madison Reed’s hair color bot. For those who need help visualizing what color will work for them, this is the perfect solution.

All they need to do is upload a photo. Madi does the analysis of the hair through image recognition and also asks the right questions about what they would like.

As Discover.bot notes, it removes the pain of waiting to get a colorist appointment (something that may not have even been possible for months during 2020-2021). The payoff was huge: “the bot has boosted engagement by 400% with a 21% click-through rate to the company’s website.”

  • Julie – She’s the friendly and capable voice of Amtrak’s customer service. In truth, Julie is older than she looks. The voice is named for the voice talent lent by Julie Stinneford since April 2001. Read up on that in For a machine, Amtrak’s Julie is really sweet.

That means Julie has a successful track record of nearly two complete decades, which is quite an accomplishment for a chatbot. She also saved Amtrak $1 million in customer service cost and boosted revenue by 30%  automated bookings.

More reasons to get on board

Chatbots.org lists a full dozen types of functions for chatbots and shares the statistics on their ROI for businesses:

  • Consumers are 63% more likely to return to a website that has a chatbot.
  • 71% of people are willing to use messaging apps to get customer assistance. People want their problems solved, fast.
  • Web page engagement rates increase by 3x on average after adding a chatbot.
  • Chatbots increase conversions on your website by 45%.
  • 53% of consumers are more likely to shop with businesses that they can message.

The site also offers information about the various chatbots in the market with rankings, so businesses can find the ones that fit their needs and budget. With the right chatbot, your business can scale up marketing and sales with great efficiency and deliver real value for your investment.

The post Choose Your Chatbot Wisely appeared first on Post Funnel.

AI

How Retailers Will Be Using Artificial Intelligence In 2021…

We’ve known for years that artificial intelligence and machine learning technology is the future of marketing. 

 Or, at least, it was a few years ago. 

 The fact is, AI-powered retail technology is in full effect by today’s standards, in a variety of ways. And, as impactful as it’s been for many companies around the world, it’s only going to keep evolving as time goes on. 

 For retailers in 2021, using artificial intelligence technology is essentially table stakes. As Capgemini found back in 2018, 28% of the top 250 retailers use AI in some capacity (compared to just 4% in 2016). 

In other words, if you’ve yet to hop on the AI-powered bandwagon, your business is likely missing out.

If, perhaps, you’ve been waiting for some hard evidence to prove the value of AI before hopping aboard, well…look no further.

CDP eBook

AI and Data Analytics

Becoming more data-driven is the key to success as a retailer.

In using actual data and hard evidence to drive your business decisions, you’re all but guaranteed to keep your company on the right track.

Of course, combing through the ever-increasing amount of big data your teams collect can be a Sisyphean task if done manually.

Which is why artificial intelligence is playing such a major role in retail data analytics.

Netbase Helps IHeartMedia Analyze User-Generated Content and Other Brand Mentions

Staying up to date with what your customers want from your brand is more important than ever.

But, again:

With a million things being said throughout your industry at any given time, cutting through the noise isn’t exactly easy.

Knowing this, iHeartMedia began using Netbase’s AI-powered tools to track mentions of their brand in terms of both quantity and quality. With Netbase, the team was able to collect valuable insight into their audience’s personalities and perspectives — in turn leading to more promotional opportunities for the brand.

“iHeart uses NetBase to measure sponsorship ROI during our live events including the amount of activity generated for each sponsor, the amount of conversations, the quality and sentiment of those conversations, and the conversation themes.”

Hetal Patel, EVP of Smart Audio Insights and Analytics

With AI automating the process of monitoring social and other channels your audience operates on, your team can stay focused on actually using the data being collected to grow your business.

GumGum Scans Third-Party Sites to Optimize Ad Placement

Getting an ad noticed often comes down to getting it in the right place, at the right time.

With so many places to choose from, though, finding the optimal time and place for each of your ads can be pretty difficult.

Luckily, AI-powered tools like GumGum are here to help.

With GumGum, teams can easily identify the best possible scenario for a given ad, based on millions of data points relating to the customer.

The impact of refining your ad targeting just can’t be overstated.

As GumGum reports, one hotel chain was able to engage and book an additional 148,000 guests by optimizing its ad placement on various channels. Even better: The chain did so at a cost per acquisition that was nearly thirteen times below the industry average.

While other efforts certainly went into improving the chain’s ad campaigns, these improvements would have been for nothing without strategic targeting. With AI tech on-hand, though, this initial step becomes a breeze.

Using AI to Make Better Predictions

Going along with the last section, the entire point of gathering more and more accurate data is to make better plans for moving forward.

More than just collecting and analyzing data, AI is also being used by companies to act on the data they collect.

For example…

AIXON Helps CommonWealth Magazine Identify High-Probability Prospects

When it comes to predicting whether or not a given prospect will convert, AI will always be more accurate than its human counterpart.

Tools such as Appier’s AIXON are being used by a number of companies to supercharge their team’s ability in this regard. Specifically, brands such as CommonWealth Magazine have used AIXON to:

  • Unify and centralize incoming customer data being collected in real-time
  • Identify behaviors indicative of action/conversion
  • Identify the right offer to deliver these individuals, and the right channel to deliver it on

With AIXON’s help, CommonWealth Magazine was able to increase its subscriber list by 400% — at about a third of the cost it would have otherwise. Because the team was better able to predict the outcome of individual engagements with their prospects, they were able to focus on the ones with the best chance of converting.

SalesForce’s Einstein Helps Marriott Staff Predict and Provide for Guest Needs

Making accurate predictions is also key to keeping customers on the hook, as well.

This is especially true in the hospitality industry, where catering to the individual customers’ needs is critical to their satisfaction and loyalty.

For this reason, Marriott relies heavily on Salesforce’s AI-powered tool, Einstein. With Einstein’s assistance, hotel staff can stay on top of any goings-on that may impact their guests on the whole, or on a personal level. In turn, they can quickly react to any incoming information that may enable them to better serve their visitors.

“Partnering with Salesforce, we’re building a platform that enables us to go fast, but do it in a way that’s elegant and still warm and human at the same time.”

– Brian King, Marriott’s Chief Digital & Revenue Officer

AI for Proactive Audience Engagement

Brands are also becoming increasingly reliant on AI-powered technology to stay actively engaged with their individual customers.

In many cases, AI is being used at all stages of the customer’s journey in lieu of actual person-to-person engagements. While the technology hasn’t completely replaced the human brand rep, it certainly has enhanced their ability to deliver value to the customer.

Appier’s AIQUA Helps Clovia Deliver Dynamic, Personalized Content

Again, Appier’s suite of AI-powered tools comes into play.

Here, we’re looking at how AIQUA can help brands deliver dynamic content and offers to their individual customers based on their individual circumstances. By automating this process, brands such as Clovia have uncovered tons of additional opportunities to engage with their customers in real-time.

In Clovia’s case, the goal was to minimize cart abandonment — and turn potential defectors into paying customers. With AIQUA, Clovia was able to present highly-targeted offers based on the customer’s shopping cart and purchase history at critical moments in the on-site experience. In turn, Clovia was able to recoup an untold amount of lost business.

Says Clovia’s Head of Digital Marketing, Rajeshwar Rao:

“Browser notifications work very well when the content is dynamically personalized. We like the way the entire system works by itself, fully optimized to meet our goals. Personalized cart drop-off campaigns have helped us scale conversions significantly.”

KIA Uses Chatbot Technology to Spur Sales

We’ve always been a fan of chatbots here at PostFunnel — and with good reason.

As artificial intelligence continues to improve chatbot technology, using it to engage with the customer will become more and more common.

Need proof?

Kia’s proprietary chatbot, dubbed “Kian”, generated three times more conversions than its website did within just four months of being operational. Through Facebook Messenger alone, Kia’s engagement levels increased fifty times over in that same time period.

Again, a common thread emerges among brands using AI to reach their customers. As Brendan Flynn, VP of Marketing at CarLabs explains, Kia’s chatbot isn’t delivering “blatant marketing messages.” Instead, it’s “the right message, to the right person, at the right time”.

Streamlining Transactions With AI

Modern retailers are also using AI to automate and otherwise optimize transactions for both the customer and the team.

For both parties, it’s all about convenience and ease: The less friction involved in the transactional process, the easier it is for each party to get what they’re looking for from the actual transaction.

For example…

Hypatos Automates Customer Invoicing Processes

As important as it is for your business to get paid, actually processing payments and other transactions can be a huge drain on resources if your workflows aren’t optimized.

Hypatos is just one tech company aiming to help companies do just that, specifically through the use of artificial intelligence. Hypatos’ AI-powered tools take nearly all of the legwork out of processing documents, whether from customers, vendors, or internal staff members.

In addition to processing written and other physical text, Hypatos actively learns how to better recognize this text over time. Moreover, the tool can also detect anomalies within scanned documents, as well. In both cases, this ensures ever-increasing accuracy throughout any and all customer transactions.

The impact, here, can be tremendous: Many of Hypatos’ clients have seen an astounding 90% reduction in costs relating to invoicing and other processes.

Standard Cognition and Other AI-Powered Companies are Paving the Way for Cashierless Stores

While retailers have been offering self-checkout in some form or another for a while now, AI-powered technology continues to revolutionize the process as time goes on.

A few examples:

  • Standard Cognition’s software uses a network of cameras to monitor in-store consumer behavior and product movement
  • Imagr’s SmartCart technology identifies products the customer places in their physical shopping cart, allowing the customer to pay for their purchases via mobile app
  • Amazon continues to open more and more Amazon Go brick-and-mortar stores, where customers can simply “Just Walk Out” with their new purchase (which will be charged to their Amazon account)

Most recently, Australian AI tech startup Tiliter has secured $7.5m in funding to ramp up its efforts in developing cashierless technology. As explained in the company’s press release, the funding will be used “to accelerate its expansion across Europe and the U.S., with many supermarkets to unveil Tiliter’s product recognition technology over the coming months.”

In other words, cashierless checkout is going mainstream in the years to come. As things currently stand, the technology is able to process the necessary product- and customer-related data within one second, with 99% accuracy.

As artificial intelligence tech continues to evolve, we’re bound to see more brick-and-mortar locations adopt some form of cashierless checkout in 2021.

Is Your Retail Business Ready for Artificial Intelligence?

(Hint: The correct answer is “yes”.)

Like we said at the beginning, the use of AI for various purposes is no longer optional for modern retail businesses.

With so many affordable, scalable tools quickly coming into the mainstream, even the smallest of startups will be looking to see how AI can supercharge their business. What’s more, those that may have already adopted artificial intelligence to some degree will definitely be adding to their AI-powered tech stack in the near future.

That said, it’s important to be strategic as you add new AI-powered tools to your tech stack. The message to take from all this isn’t that AI allows you to put your business on autopilot; it’s that it allows your team to truly maximize their efforts, while automating tasks that don’t need the human touch.

So, really, you shouldn’t be asking yourself “Is our organization ready for AI?”, but instead “How are we going to be using AI to supercharge our business this year?”

The post How Retailers Will Be Using Artificial Intelligence In 2021 (and Beyond) appeared first on Post Funnel.

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