Reading through many 2018 marketing trends and predictions, one of the key words propping up frequently is customer loyalty - as companies are all trying to find the magic formula between new technologies and marketing techniques to winning customers for life.
I came across the below article by Martin Häring (CMO @ Finastra) where he examined the ‘four Cs of customer centricity’ that banks should consider in order to remain competitive. It’s from a while back, but extremely application today in the broader B2B world. The four Cs can be summarised as:
- Connect - personalisation of communication. The key to content strategy for enterprises delivery high value services or solutions should address customer problems at the heart of its messaging. Customers today are expecting firms to demonstrate a thorough understanding to their problems, and acting out as their trusted advisor.
2. Collect - maximise the use of data. Making sense of customer data is critical to understand your customer behaviours and what they want. Combining customers' behavioural and demographic data will help build a fuller picture of their behaviour.
3. Communicate - maintaining engagement throughout a customer's lifecycle. More importantly, establishing a transparent and authentic dialogue. I wrote about how Monzo Bank demonstrated this particularly well a while back.
4. Close - streamline the post sales / on-boarding process. This is especially critical for SaaS and professional services firms, where often the solution or service delivered requires complex customisation or implementation. Companies need to establish a clear and easy on-boarding process, and deliver consistently excellent customer service.
The common theme in these four points is personalisation - delivering a personalised experience for the customer. With emergents of AI and marketing automation tech, it’s easy to categorise your clients or prospects into generic personas. While I can't argue the efficiency benefits to this, it can also be easy to forget there is a real person on the other side. I believe establishing true emotional connections between the customer and brand will be the key to winning life long customers.
Delivering true customer-centricity beyond lip service means organisations will need to be constantly rethinking and reassessing their interaction models.