Bad times come and go, but when they come, they are an opportunity for companies to do things differently, to distinguish themselves in the marketplace, and to create new avenues for expansion and growth.
Robert Half, the founder of the global human resource consulting firm of the same name, is quoted as saying, “When the customer comes first, the customer will last.” There is a lot in that sentence. Starting with the need to understand your customers and what they really want.
Traditionally building that understanding has meant asking customers what they think. Have you been on the receiving end of that? Often those questions seem intrusive – and possibly not that helpful. Or, companies have relied on intuition and the preferences of individuals within the company to imagine what customers want. Or, it has meant using CRM systems that collect transaction information and some level of customer feedback, but CRM data is not the same as insights into your customers and their behavior.
Today there is another option.
Customer Data Platforms (CDP) are a single 360-degree customer view that provides real-time, intelligent insights into customer preferences and behavior. They tap into your existing systems like SalesForce.com, SAP, and custom systems to use analytics and artificial intelligence to understand customer preferences. Preferences based not on what customers say, but on behaviors that can be observed, measured, and evaluated.
In practical terms that means several things:
- Reacting more quickly than your competitors to customer behaviors and preferences
- Personalizing customer interactions across all aspects of your business
- Recognizing customer intent with machine learning that identifies key behaviors and choices
- Evaluating customer-facing initiatives across a wide range of data to see what is really working
Who sells CDP solutions? Many software companies, including the largest business applications creators: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights; Oracle CX Unity; and entries planned for release by SalesForce.com. There are also numerous smaller companies that specialize in CDP – often with industry specific solutions.
Every business experiences bad times, but when you modernize your approach to understanding your customers with a CDP solution, you can deliver exactly what your customers want, beat your competitors to market, and find new ways to grow and flourish.
rGen, Inc regularly advises our clients on how to make the most of their customer data to serve customers better and drive growth – in good times and bad. Feel free to connect with us at email@example.com.