Take the Guesswork Out of Loyalty

With consumers and brands both focusing on budgets and cost savings, the battle for wallet share becomes more intense every day. A tight or volatile economy makes buyers more selective about how and where they spend their money. At the same time, businesses are being forced to cut resources and infrastructure costs in their efforts to improve their ROI from marketing and customer service budgets.

With various surveys putting the cost of acquiring new customers at anywhere from five to 30 times that of retaining existing ones, retention and loyalty are top priorities for the C-suite across businesses in 2015 and beyond.

Make Omnichannel Easier

Providing a seamless, cross-channel experience is integral to achieving customer loyalty. A survey by Greenfield Online and Ovum analysts found that poor customer service and a lack of cross-channel communication amounts to losses of $83 billion each year in the United States alone.

While most companies offer customer service via digital mediums, including mobile, video, and social, consumers' interactions with the enterprise frequently are not seamless. Consumers often experience situations in which they engage with inquiries on one platform and then need to initiate their purchase on another. Such "experience architecture" means the seller is at high risk of dropped sales, consumer dissatisfaction, and even losing out on significant opportunities to "listen" and engage with consumers in real time.

By understanding the customer's path-to-purchase preferences, companies can eliminate inefficiencies and "re-architect" these paths to deliver a unified brand experience. Collect engagement data at each touch point so that your sales and marketing teams understand all the cross-channel paths your customers take, along with their expectations at each. With this data, you can design every engagement to be more meaningful for both parties.

Step Up Your Social Behavior

This is the age of social business. To truly be in tune with the needs of consumers, we must listen intently to what they're saying. Big data today enables us to parse insights about our product categories and market niches, even when consumers are not "speaking" about us specifically.

By engaging and responding to conversations in real time, you allow your service organization to proactively engage with customers and potential ones on mobile devices, Web sites, discussion groups, and social networks. Many organizations see social interventions in the context of customer service issues and reputation management (i.e., to help customers avoid and reduce complaints). However, there is 

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