Select your superpower. You may choose flight, or invisibility, or just being able to consistently find a parking spot outside the coffee shop. Of course, superheroes in Customer Experience know that the only real power is being able to see through customer behaviour and understand intent; to spot values and preferences within customer data.
Now more than ever, businesses want answers and strategies backed by data. After all, if you understand your customers’ context and behaviour, you have a competitive advantage in that you can give them what they really need (perhaps before they know they need it) because you understand them.
CX professionals need proven approaches to unlocking insights about their customers. But here’s the tricky part: customer behaviour is erratic and messy, and this is compounded by a changing customer mindset and evolving value system linked to the uncertainty of our current environment1.
We’ve already seen the shift to consumers being more self-empowered and creative, driven largely by financial concerns and safety. Simplicity has become a lifeline. Consumers have geared themselves for more risk-averse lives while looking for ways to lighten the load. Values are changing, customers are needing personalisation and care more than ever, and behaviour is becoming increasingly unpredictable as time goes on. Constantly changing customer behaviour is the seemingly impenetrable layer that needs to be seen through.
But businesses will not survive in a world where their customers are unknowable.
Helping evolving customers to reach their goals
This is a challenge for businesses, many of which have lost huge amounts of revenue in what has been an unprecedented time. The survival of these businesses into the future will be determined by how well they can keep the customers they have now and regain what’s been lost. Businesses need to support their customers in reaching their goals, and this has to begin by understanding their goals.
But what is the approach for doing this?
Your competitive advantage
The good news is that your customer data (a lot of which you already have) is your competitive advantage, offering insight into changing behaviour and suggestions for next steps. We’ve seen that leading businesses are applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Big Data (your customer data) to make sense of what’s below the surface. But what does AI do?
AI adds intelligence to data and can analyse more data more deeply than a human can. AI can provide a sense of predictability to customer behaviour in these changing times. This, in turn, means we can use customer data to inform next best actions in a way that is personalised and contextual. As an Entrepreneur article from 2019 outlines2, AI is an advanced analytical system that can connect the dots between apparently random things to come up with recommendations, predictions or suggestions. It’s like x-ray vision – for spotting intent and context within the numbers.
So what’s the approach, and how do we get there?
From journey discovery to orchestration
The process starts with the discovery of real customer journeys. Not the conceptual journeys we map out but the real ones, based upon their actual behaviour. Businesses need a toolbox that will help them visualise their customers’ real journeys, and also measure how they are feeling at each point. This will provide a view of customer context and sentiment.
This deep, layered insight points towards ways that we can help customers appropriately, which is where AI becomes a superpower. As an example, it can be used to connect the dots between customers’ behaviour, emotion and history in order to reach out in a way that is contextual and personalised and appropriate. But what about tomorrow? Artificial intelligence also anticipates customer behaviour and what they are likely to need in future.
Superpowers for the New Economy
The New Economy demands that CX professionals have a blueprint for understanding and using customer data, thereby boosting conversion, retention and acquisition. We’ve seen that businesses need to retain and win back what’s been lost and the only way to do this is to activate the competitive advantages within customer data.
What do customers’ end-to-end journeys look like? Which customers are most at risk at each step of the journey? Which method of intervention will be most effective in assisting and retaining each at-risk customer cohort? How do we review the effectiveness of our efforts and further fine-tune our strategies? To answer these questions and more we invite you to take a step and level up for the new economy.
Take the next step
At inQuba, we’ve noted the limitations of current methods, and we’ve been developing a blueprint to reinvent CX for several years. We’ve invited international guest speakers to demystify AI and Big Data for CX professionals and share the blueprint for response.