Customer loyalty goes beyond loyalty cards

Nowadays we often talk about ‘customer experience’. This means that, throughout his relationship with a company, a customer must always have the same positive experience - whether he is buying a new product or contacting the company about a problem. With regard to advertisements, this means that companies must avoid bombarding the customer with advertisements. Instead, it is better to deliver the right message at the right place at the right time.

Analytics play a major role


Thanks to analytics, you can get a 360° view of the customer. Most companies, however, have not yet reached the point where they have this level of insight. Rather, they work in a channel-centric instead of a customer-centric way. As a result of this, the customer often receives the same message via several channels. Or even worse: clashing messages.

So what is the correct way to go about this? By integration and (realtime) interaction. Integration of the different points of contact with the customer, and interaction based on the insights you gain from this. This is how you can truly generate added value! Imagine this: you are watching the shopping window of a clothes store and you post an Instagram-message about the “way too beautiful new collection #shopaholic”. The store can react with a message: “If you buy something here now, you receive a 20% reduction”. This way, both the customer and the store is happy. A true win-win situation, in other words.


Retail companies can also use real-time insights from integrated information in other ways. Even IoT is an option here. Just think of a supermarket that places sensors in the store to monitor the customer stream. This way, they gain insight into the customers’ behaviour - for example, how they move through the store and where they stand still most often. These insights can help them to offer suppliers the best positions in the store. Or they can observe in real time that a client spends a lot of time at the wine tasting stall, and decide to offer a reduction on the price of this wine.


Privacy vs big data: quid pro quo


Recently, media reported that Belgians, more than other nationalities, are prepared to share data about their driving behaviour with the insurance company, if they get something in return. Free roadside assistance, for example, or a couple of free fuel refills. Or simply a reduction on the insurance fee, as Axa is already doing today. This is only one of the examples of how big data and privacy do not have to be mutually exclusive: if both companies feel that they can gain something, a lot is possible.

Looking for ‘the next best offer’


If a company has built a personal relationship with a customer based on the available data, it will be possible to make the right offer at the right time. The ‘next best offer’ is the offer which ensures that the customer behaves exactly as you expect him to do. If a customer’s transaction- and surfing behaviour shows that he has clear intentions to leave, you can make him an offer which appeals to him and which makes sure that they remain a customer. Or you do nothing at all, of course, if your analyses reveal that the costumer costs you more than he yields.

Data should not become a gadget, but gadgets can become data
Using the available data well can make the difference between a successful deal or a failed deal. Just think of people who are house hunting: based on their VR-experiences, visiting houses virtually from the real estate agent’s office, they can have their preferences saved. Later, the real estate agent can send them much more specific and relevant offers.

Sometimes, data can even make the difference between life and death. Smart watches and other wearables which can share information about your body, such as blood pressure, blood sugar level and heart rate can give a warning at crucial times and hence make a life-saving difference.

This way, devices which were bought primarily because of their fun-factor can become valuable sources of information.

Analytics have never been more relevant and important than today

Getting the right insights based on the many datasources from different channels and, especially, reacting in the right ways - often, this is enough for a company to be truly innovative.