About UsResourcesBest PracticesHow it worksWhat it does What it is

Friday, August 29, 2014

Six Most Common Customer Interaction Points

The goal for preference management is to allow preference collection to take place across the full spectrum of prospect and customer interactions. Enterprise-level businesses engage in complex interactions that often feature an expanding set of personal and virtual interactions. It’s essential to collect and react to information from all touchpoints such as call centers, social media and mobile devices, not just the easy or inexpensive ones such as email or websites. 

Here are the six most common customer interaction points where enterprises must collect preferences. As the preference management program develops, these points represent excellent targets for inclusion:

  1. Acquisition marketing. Building awareness and earning a purchase is a purposeful and complicated process. Yet many companies fail to use these interactions as opportunities to learn about communication channel of choice, preferred product segment or other information that could make the difference between a window-shop and a sale.

  1. Product and/or services support. With the sale secured, customer interaction often passes to support – an entirely different team operating a different CRM, a different database and a different mindset. Customer data can be lost in the transition, slowing the support process and presenting a fragmented and contradictory experience to the customer.

  1. Website services and functions. With very few exceptions, customers begin their journey to sales, support or social interaction with the brand on the web in an effort to find what the information they want in way that is convenient to them. The website is not just a critical opportunity for preference collection, it’s also one of the cheapest and most efficient means to do so.

  1. Account services. For most consumers, the can’t-miss brand interaction is the payment process. Learn how and when your customers want to be billed and find innovative ways to remind them to do so. You’ll be rewarded with improved receivables collection and preference data applicable to new sales.

  1. In-store and point-of-sale (POS). Many enterprise businesses maintain physical locations where key tasks are handled through human interaction. While much attention has been paid to culture and customer experience in the store environment, too little has been directed at preference collection and distribution. Arm your staff with timely data and give them the opportunity to add to the customer profile.

  1. Take advantage of emerging channels. As more and more customer rely on SMS and social media for interaction with each other and brands, enterprises must stay ahead of new technology adoption to continue to remain relevant and connected with their customer base. The addition of a communication channel becomes a value add reason to reach out to a customer to further enhance the relationship and better understand the customer’s profile.


About the Author: 
Robert Galop is the Senior Director of Product Architecture for PossibleNOW.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Three Preference Management Goals

A five-part series about the implementation of preference management

In its ideal form, preference management should be present at every interaction point between company and customer, such as mobile, social media, in-store, contact center and more. However, a sweeping introduction of new functionality across the enterprise would require approval from many stakeholders and could quickly become bogged down or even abandoned. In many cases, preference management leaders choose a specific brand or line of business to use as a start-up program to prove ROI and gain momentum before seeking company-wide application.

The best starting point for many enterprises is an intentionally-limited start-up project designed to speed the journey towards ROI. Here are three simple preference management goals (offered in order of complexity) that can be proposed, piloted, budgeted and achieved within a reasonable timeframe.

  1. Offer opt-down functionality in email marketing: instead of defaulting customers to an all-or-nothing engagement choice, give them the power to tailor communications to suit their interests. Offering an opt-down option drastically reduces opt-outs and helps marketers focus messaging on topics of interest. 

  2. Install a website preference center: an easy-to-use portal where customers can create individual profiles, select topics of interest, preferred delivery channels and pace of communications. Preference centers empower customers to maintain their preferences as their interests change over time.

  3. Expand to a secondary channel: with a preference center in place and opt-down functionality already in progress, expand the program to the contact center and leverage service and support calls as opportunities for consent and personalization. 
An excellent example of this approach can be found in the experience of a leading national software company that develops financial and tax preparation tools for small businesses, accountants and individuals. The internal marketing team was struggling in recent years with mounting opt-out numbers – prospects and customers that were acting to prevent future communications from one of their lines of business and in doing so, were legally and permanently preventing the company from ever sending them communications again from any of their lines of business.

In an effort to stem the tide, an opt-down program was initiated within a selected business unit. When a prospect or customer chose to opt out of a given communication, they landed on an opt-down page where they were given the opportunity to opt out of (or into) any number of specific channels. The preference center also allowed customers to refine communications channel of choice, set frequency parameters and more. In other words, they were given the opportunity to personalize their experience instead of an all-or-nothing choice.

Within months of launching the program, the marketing department was able to report a greater than 60 percent conversion rate from opt-out to targeted opt-in. Extrapolated across the enterprise, that rate represented 200,000-250,000 opt-out saves over the same period of time. Bolstered by the data and the bottom-line savings it confirmed, the enterprise moved forward with an expansion of the broader preference management initiative.

About the Author: 
Rob Tate is the Director of Enterprise Sales at PossibleNOW.

Friday, August 8, 2014

ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

Here’s our roundup of recent news and views worth checking out: 

Geomarketing: It’s Where It’s At Today

CMOs know that to be successful, they must get the right message to the right people at the right time. Location-based technology is giving businesses greater opportunities to learn about their consumers and market effectively through a variety of different channels. As technology evolves, marketers are hopeful they’ll be able to create a real-time strategy that will adapt to their consumers’ locations and better suit their needs. Click here for full story.

5 Ways Your Contact Center Can Encourage Repeat Customers

Businesses can improve customer satisfaction and boost revenue if they measure customer happiness, dig into the details about why the customer is calling, and humanize the customer experience. When businesses view the customer support process as a journey rather than simply focusing on the resolution, they are opening up opportunities to make change and ultimately serve their customers better. Click here for full story.

Mobile Social Uses are More Engaged

A new study by Forrester reveals that people accessing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter from their mobile devices, are more likely to engage with a company’s content then they are if accessing it from their desktop computers. The results showed that 46% of smartphone users engage with content via likes, shares, and comments compared to the 37% of desktop social users. This study proves that the socials users you want to reach are on mobile. Click here for full story.

Customer Experience is the New Battleground

Over the last several years, businesses across all industries have had to go above and beyond to enhance the ways consumers interact and engage with their brand. Casper, a mattress startup based in New York City, has reinvented the mattress buying experience in order to be competitive in the market. By offering convenience and flexibility, Casper is winning over new customers and getting great publicity. Companies must go the extra mile if they want to stay competitive and secure returning customers. Click here for full story.

Social Customer Service for the Travel Industry

The travel industry, more than any other industry, is likely to have customers complain about their experience through social media channels. Fortunately, many travel businesses are using social media to their advantage. By responding to complaints and educating their travelers about potential delays, many businesses are using social media to help them rather then letting it bog them down. To be successful, marketers must have a strong social media strategy in place. Click here for full story.

Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda

Monday, August 4, 2014

Preparing for Preference Management Success

The first of a five-part series about the implementation of preference management

Preference management typically represents a “crossover” initiative – one that begins as a marketing project, gains traction through IT and finds valuable application in customer service and support. Moreover, in its aim to unify the company’s view of a consumer and make information available through a central repository, an effective preference management program acts as a silo breaker inside companies, encouraging a holistic view of customer interaction. In short, it can be complicated.

Once the educational and budgetary hurdles are cleared and an enterprise has decided to introduce preference management into its technology architecture, a new challenge arises: where to begin?

For some, the challenge is artificially enlarged by the ideal they hope to attain: preference collection at every touchpoint, seamless integration between systems and a 360-degree view of every customer available on-demand. Overwhelmed by the sheer scope of work, the project team cools and inertia becomes a threat.

For others, preference management is a series of steps, each one building on the last, each further proving the validity of the original value proposition and demonstrating its worth in a progressive series of tests. This is the model for success.

The modern enterprise-class company is, in part, a living museum of hardware, software and the various systems designed to connect it all together. Authority over these assets (and, in some cases, liabilities) is spread between multiple departments and leadership hierarchies. In addition, some enterprises’ corporate leadership structures are ill-equipped to meet the diverse challenges presented during the implementation process.

In the following posts, a clear and comprehensible path towards implementation will be demonstrated. While the nearly limitless variability of size, existing architecture, decision-making process and other factors make it impossible to present a truly universal playbook, this series is intended to offer useful guideposts with application to a broad array of organizations and needs.

Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda