It’s true that more and more we need to answer to the individual instead of the group. There is no reason why we should send a message at 9 am when the customer prefers to receive it by the late afternoon. Or during weekends. Why should we send a campaign about a product to a customer who is simply not interested in, or is not part of the target market for it?
Sending the same email to thousands of people at the same time is a thing of the past.
We already have tools on the market that allow us to establish a different degree of communications with our customers. We are not just trying to increase our sales momentarily, we are also trying to increase our customer loyalty and its value.
We are not just talking about email communications; we’re talking about the whole cycle pre and post-sale. Offering solutions that meet the specific necessities of every customer should be a cornerstone of our store management. Knowing our customer is important. But more important is to know what to do with that information. How to manage it and make it useful for the customer and to our success.
Communication through different channels is commonplace nowadays. The client wishes to be informed by SMS or email. And that decision shouldn’t be taken by the customer. We have indicators in our store that tell us the type of device the user is using. To what type of action and in what periods of time.
No, no need to profile data from any social network or resort to any person’s psychic abilities or buy advanced knowledge services with top-secret analysis. If companies were to use in the right way even a small part of the information customers are willing to give, they would have a much higher conversion rate.
Giving our customer the information they need when they need it is a giant step to increase their value.
Have you ever realized when you go the to shop in the corner the lady already knows what you are buying? And, if needed, even gives you information about a possible product or warns you that that product is not the one you usually buy?
That nice lady is capable of all of that, but your online store is incapable of telling you your toner is running out or you need a new perfume bottle? Most online shops don’t seem to realize people grow, and still recommend that same type of articles they recommended when we were 18.
Sure, the number of online customers and transactions is much bigger, but that’s no excuse. Imagine increasing your customer retention rate by 20%. You would soon realize that it is cheaper to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones.
Maybe companies would understand that ads are a cost to the company. Yes, that’s right. And that that cost should be accounted for in Customer Equity and LTV. It will decrease the results, but still, we must account that cost.
What should we do? It’s simple.
We need to automate the communication process with our customer in a way we can serve them better.
This action will have a positive impact on the future of our store. To be clear, we don’t want to initiate a robot-like relation with our customer, but most of our communications can be made in an automated way without losing the personal touch we care so much to give.
These automated actions should replace the existing ones. Forget general campaigns, same time communications, global recommendations, global prices, and all others global.
It can be a slow process sometimes but automating tasks that can only be achieved through automation should be a hard choice to do by a company. We can’t manually analyse each customer and recommend them some products, we can’t manually check every order to calculate the next re-order time. Let machines do their work.
But automation is not only for the communication with customers. It would be good if companies already did that, but automation goes a long way and affects especially stores with a physical frontend.
We are talking about invoice integration, stock management, warehouse management, shipping, CRM, and all other abbreviations you might find.
We want to be perfectly clear on this: It’s fundamental that you do an integration as autonomous as possible between your online store and the software you use in your physical store. There is no other way. If you update a product stock level, that change must be replicated online. The same goes for prices, invoicing, CRM, etc.