People are developing stronger bonds than ever with their favorite brands, and fostering that intimacy has become a prime focus for marketers. Brand Twitter accounts are more engaging and funnier than ever, personalized marketing messages suggest products we actually like, and a happy birthday email from our favorite brand hits our inbox every year like clockwork. It’s clear that consumers are becoming emotionally involved with the brands they love. They even go as far as to claim they “can’t live without” them.
And it’s paying off.
Based on a study by MBLM, the Top 10 Intimate Brands continue to outperform established financial indicators for revenue and profit growth over the last 10 years. In addition, they charge premium prices for products or services, because their customer’s loyalty runs so deep that money becomes a non-issue. Customers who feel they get what they pay for stay put.
Authentic Connections Are Key
Brands have personified themselves and customers don’t want sterile interactions anymore. They want to feel like their best friend, the one they can’t live without, is on the other end of the text, chat, email or tweet. From the emails they receive to their customer service experience, customers expect their interactions with brands to feel as authentic as the ones they have with humans.
It starts with data. Lots of customer data.
As it is in our everyday relationships, we have to know someone and feel known completely before a bond feels “intimate.” This type of dynamic is easy to build when two people sit across a table and share a meal. It’s infinitely harder when a non-human business needs to connect with its customers, though. Thanks to big data, companies have access to all the information they would ever need to know about their customers. Unfortunately, is it often housed in different systems that don’t talk to each other – the data is siloed.
So, the issue isn’t IF the data is there, the issue is WHERE the data is, and what to DO with it. This can be fixed with a single customer view.
Any system that collects or houses data from interactions with customers should be collected in a single place, accessible by all within the company. This one change, the aggregation of data, starts an avalanche of benefits that extend company-wide. Support can solve issues faster, marketing can create personalized journeys, and leadership can make business decisions based on facts – not assumptions.
What SCV means for customer service.
We all know that a poor customer service experience can make or break our relationship with a brand. Data gives brands the ability to be proactive and anticipate the needs of customers in order to deliver a personalized and efficient customer experience. Access to the right data can mean the difference between delivering a clunky, impersonal experience or a fluid exchange between brand and customer.
It solves common pain-points that affect both customer and agent. With account details and a wealth of knowledge at an agent’s fingertips, the customer can avoid recounting details and agents are free to focus on solving the issue – rather than digging for data on past interactions.
Make the Connection.
No doubt, data is essential to brand intimacy, consumer loyalty and increased profits. However, having that data isn’t as important as how that information is used. The brands that leverage this data and eliminate siloed systems will be the ones to reap the rewards (and many already are). The brands that don’t will remain nothing more than the acquaintance of consumers who can’t take their eyes off the brands they’re in love with.