The uncertain time of this pandemic lockdown has indeed disrupted the industry, where businesses are struggling to stabilise their operations and rethinking their marketing strategies. Although businesses have mandated their workforce to deploy best practices while working from home, keeping the customers happy has continued to be a concern for the companies.
In fact, in a recent survey — “Impact of WFH on Analytics Function” done by Analytics India Magazine, revealed that 10.5% of respondents are working on customer engagement related analytics — the highest proportion of the new analytics projects followed by 9.5% of respondents working on customer relationship management projects. These numbers alone show that businesses are currently working towards enhancing their customer engagement that is critical for user retention amid crisis as well as for business continuity.
Faced by the COVID-19’s unprecedented disruption, customers’ purchases are drastically moving online, and the majority of them are adopting digital tools. Therefore, businesses are now focused on creating ways to enhance their relationship with their customers. In order to have a smooth operation, several businesses are stepping in with products and are using analytics to strengthen their customer relationship amid this lockdown. Currently, brands that have prioritised their investments in creating digital solutions for their customers are in a better position to fight against this crisis.
Augie Ray, Gartner customer experience expert, said, “Customer-centric organisations will prepare for how their customers’ questions and needs will change rapidly in the coming months.” And according to Ray, the first step is to “consider likely and possible changes to customer needs and journeys.”
Digitisation further brings in a lot of scrutiny from customers’ side, which, in turn, forces businesses to create a seamless customer engagement framework that can not only assist them in improving their relationship but also help in retaining them.
Customer Engagement Remained A Growing Concern Amid Crisis & How Analytics Is Helping
This mandated quarantine will surely have a long-lasting impact on customer behaviour, with a few industries being hit harder than others. For instance, the travel and hospitality industry is currently struggling to meet their bottom line as the outbreak has locked every customer inside their house. Alongside, people have cut down their consumption and expenses, which has again impacted the manufacturing industry. On the other hand, e-commerce, healthcare, ed-tech, to name a few, have witnessed a tremendous boom during the last few months. Although different industries have different impacts due to this outbreak, enterprises have continued focusing on their customers in order to sustain in this crisis, as well as, emerge after this crisis abates.
Concerns like the inability of your customers to physically visit the store and the ability of businesses to deliver services can raise questions in your customers’ minds. And failing to offer these services can hamper your relationship with your customer. Businesses that can take proactive steps in order to address customer requirements amid this crisis can earn a sense of trust and loyalty from their customers. And, that’s where analytics comes into the picture.
It is crucial for businesses, at this uncertain time, to serve the right customers with the right message in order to get the best return for your investments. Understanding customers depends on analysing the data, which, in turn, can help businesses to create a level of satisfaction for their customers.
Businesses should use relevant data in order to customise their solutions and give their customers personalised solutions that are required in the current times. Utilising data and analytics businesses will be in a better position to offer products, services and even suggestions to their customers. The insights generated from these data will also help businesses to drive new opportunities, generate new revenue streams as well as increase the value for their customers. This is all the more important in this crisis environment where customers are expecting the most out of business, and failing to provide that can hamper the continuity of the business.
According to Ravi Narayanan, the global head of insights and analytics at Nisum, “Predictive analytics is a critical tool in delivering a comprehensive view of the consumer to provide these types of experiences.”
In fact, in a report, it has been revealed that data-driven enterprises are way more likely to have a better customer experience and have better chances to retain them. Businesses can use data from resources like websites, mobile apps, and third-party organisations in order to improve their customer experience by tracking, monitoring as well as analysing their behaviours. These data will also help businesses to identify the channels and platforms the customer is using, which will provide opportunities for businesses to deliver an omnichannel experience for the customer.
Alongside, combining analytics with artificial intelligence can help businesses create the utmost experience for their customers. Predictive analytics also allows businesses to accurately forecast their customer requirements way before the actual buying process.
Bharat Krishnamurthy, the CTO of Exide Life Insurance, said to the media that the company combines their data with machine learning in order to predict the documents required from customers to process insurance. He said, “A massive data lake aggregates data from all our systems and third-party sources…” The company has also been using their data to analyse and monitor their customers’ behaviour in order to predict if their customers’ will be able to pay their premiums for the next year.
Besides, in order to have seamless customer experience, it is imperative for businesses to have all their customers’ data in one single place. This would require leaders to move beyond siloed systems and create data consolidation in one place; businesses need to have a single view of their customers’ data, which will not only help in enabling real-time analysis but will also help in understanding customers’ touchpoints. In fact, experts believe that moving beyond siloed systems and adopting a single view dashboard requires a mindset to move from legacy systems and more towards the analytics-driven customer-centric process.
Although to sustain amid this crisis businesses need to continuously show empathy to their customers, it is important that businesses also invest in analytical solutions in order to find the right mix of strategies to enhance their customer engagement. With the right customer-centric attitude, along with more-flexible operating models and advanced analytical tools, businesses can not only strengthen their customer relationship but also emerge strongly from this crisis.
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Sejuti currently works as Senior Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine (AIM). Reach out at email@example.com