Creating a better customer experience can seem awfully complicated. And maybe it is.

 

Customerland graphic

Source: http://en.community.dell.com/

After all, today’s customers interact with brands everywhere from Facebook to print ads to telephone calls.  But getting customers the right product at the right price is still an awfully effective piece of the strategy for keeping customers happy. And in an online environment, accomplishing that feat is getting easier and easier. And there’s a reason we want to keep customers happy. Happy customers mean financial benefits:

  • Increased sales revenue
  • Increased profitability
  • Leverage intelligence
  • Reduce costs

And informational benefits as well:

  • Increased agility in the marketplace
  • Increased market intelligence
  • Increased merchandising competency

Customers are increasingly heading online to purchase after a lot of research. So they are well-informed at check-out and ready to buy. That point of purchase is the perfect opportunity to introduce new offers into a customers’ path. They must be the right offer and at the right price point so that customers can easily recognize the value and make a purchase decision that they feel good about. In order to do this, companies must invest in analytics that support the point of purchase. Client side data, like browsing history, isn’t enough. Broad generalizations about online traffic won’t give you the insights needed. Analytics need to identify individual customer segments and align them with products, sequence, prominence, benefits and supporting copy. Also, the options for offers are necessarily more limited.

Customers checking out aren’t likely to purchase an entire additional item. The offer must be easily recognized as a valued add-on to the existing purchase. And that all means mining data entered while the customer is navigating toward check out. And, of course, the experience doesn’t end there. But that gets us back to more complicated territory. The bottom line is: this kind of ancillary revenue building is not only a profit strategy. It’s a way of keeping customers engaged and extending the value of every interaction. But the reality is that most online companies need to do this in order to remain both price-competitive and top-of-mind for customers. There is an interesting corollary between the understanding of ancillary revenue and customer service… they tend to go hand in hand.