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5 Distinct Reasons to Collect Customer Preferences – Part 3

Type: Blog
Topic: Customer Experience

Have you ever wondered why people adopt preference management? Who first had the idea that the customer might have good feedback? What made this trend of listening to customers grow to where it is today?

There are five distinct reasons that companies adopt preference management. These specific Key Performance Indicators are the ultimate driver for implementation, yes. But they also help justify continuing the system once you start. Most people agree that all five of these KPIs are important. Even so, one in particular is usually the deciding factor to start collecting customer preferences. That “most important” factor may change for each company. But since we consider them all to be important, we’ll discuss them in this five-part series.

These KPIs fall into one of five categories – this series of blogs will discuss them in more depth.

KPI #3 – Boosting revenues

In the last blog in this series, we discussed reducing costs. The flip side of reducing costs is boosting revenue. Companies interested in boosting revenue need to use customer feedback to build loyalty.

Have you ever heard the saying “it’s cheaper to keep a good customer than to attract a new one?”

Companies that rely on their own internal understanding of the customer and their wants and needs often miss the mark. Companies have a better chance of keeping existing customers by collecting customer feedback. But that’s not the only factor – once you listen to your customers, you have to remember what they say and make use of it.

The best way to improve your knowledge of your customer is to ask them what communications they want to hear about and across what channels. Done correctly, preference collection fine-tunes your marketing approach. It dramatically improves response rates and better fulfills customers’ desires for personalized communications. A customer that has a good customer experience is likely to stay your customer. Building that loyalty is invaluable for future revenue.

With revenue as the goal, you want to keep improving your customer experience to build that loyalty. It’s important for companies to identify locations for adding more preference collection. Where and how are your customers being contacted? Every touch-point is an opportunity to ask them about their preferences. Better understanding of the customer lets you give them a better experience!

But what about customers who have stopped engaging with you? Consider strategies to re-engage opted-out customers such as targeted digital ad campaigns. Be cautious, though. When attempting to re-engage opted-out customers, know that sending them communications directly could be violating compliance laws. Have knowledge of whether your customer has opted out of SOME communications (if so, which ones?). If they’ve opted out of ALL communications, be careful. Stay within their preference boundaries. If you can’t be certain, the targeted digital ad campaign can be a safer road to use.

Now what about the metrics for this process? How can you tell if it’s working? Collect existing metrics about abandonment, conversion, or time spent on site (to name a few examples) as a baseline. One campaign or message will rarely result in a specific measurable boost in revenue. However, over time as you improve your customer experience, you’ll see a boost in return business. Understanding the cycle of communications helps identify gaps and successes to improve the lifetime value of the customer.

Simplify external messaging and consider the customer’s true motives for interacting with you. This requires a combination of surveys and primary research which can occur online, via direct mail, through sales people and customer support. Ultimately, the evaluation will identify missing opportunities for engagement.

Another way to improve your customer experience is to create better content. You’ll see better engagement with content that is more tailored to your customer. Promoting extra content that engages customers beyond a specific transaction increases your value. Giving your customers valuable content that’s interesting to them (in a manner they want to receive it) builds loyalty. And what does loyalty build? More sales and more revenue for you!

We know your company probably has several reasons for wanting a preference management process. No matter what your primary reason is, we know that sometimes different business units within a company consider a different reason to be the main reason. Not everyone agrees on one specific KPI as being the most important. In this blog series, we’ll continue discussing the other KPIs as important factors in the decision to install a preference management tool.

Don’t miss the previous parts of this series:

KPI #1 – Preventing loss of customers
KPI #2 – Reducing costs


 

About the Author: 

Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He’s a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. Check out his book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior – Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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