When it comes to powering effective and influential customer engagement, there are three key elements that are a must:
- Customer context: What has the customer done in the past, what is the customer doing now, where is the customer, preferences.
- Real-time availability of this context: Uninterrupted access to customer context is critical because engagement, at its core, is all about empowering customers in-the-moment. Whether a customer is shopping for shoes, picking up groceries, or booking a vacation, they need relevant communications deployed when and where they can act on them immediately.
- Omni-channel context: The proliferation of digital channels available to customers to interact with a brand means that customer context needs to flow seamlessly across all channels. This enables frictionless engagement across all digital channels (website, email, mobile, chatbot) as well as on-site (stores, banks, restaurants).
In other words, brands need continuous intelligence to engage every customer in their unique context.
This is exactly the capability that ZineOne offers to its customers through its Customer Engagement Hub for Real-Time Personalization, which is why we are excited to be included in the November 2018 Gartner report on “Make Your Customer Engagement Hub Real Time With Continuous Intelligence” as a sample vendor in the emerging startup category.
“Data and analytics leaders must apply real-time continuous intelligence in their customer engagement hub to drive the customer’s next best action.”
Data Needed for Complete Customer Context
Contextual engagement drives highly personalized and differentiated customer experiences, but it also requires a large volume of data. In order to effectively engage customers in context, enterprises must gather and analyze continuous intelligence about each and every customer— not just what they’ve done in the past, and not just where they are now, but a full 360° view of a customer’s entire relationship with an enterprise, past and present.
Let’s explore the three types of data that power continuous intelligence and enable contextual customer engagement:
- Customers’ Historical Data
In order to understand customers in the present, enterprises first have to understand their past. Historic customer data tracks the entirety of a customer’s relationship with an enterprise, which can include information on their browsing history, channel preferences, online and in-store transactions, point of sale (POS) interactions, and more. Historic customer data is a critical piece of contextual customer engagement because it indicates which messages, offers, and channels are most likely to resonate with customers in the future. Does a certain shopper tend to interact with and use coupons on their smartphone? Does another shopper prefer to research products on the website then buy in-store? These patterns help to shape an informed and personalized engagement strategy, and they can only come to light through rich historical data.
- Real-Time Customer Insight
In order to put historic data to good use, enterprises must pair it with real-time insights that deliver truly continuous intelligence. By actively monitoring a customer’s site and app traffic, as well as leveraging location-based technology to track in-store activity in real time, enterprises can stream customer data that ranges from current online browsing patterns to real-time endpoint interactions, cart items, and loyalty points.These in-the-moment insights empower enterprises to deploy optimized engagement tactics at the right time and in the right place for maximum impact. For instance, if the coupon-loving customer who has been proven to prefer smartphone interactions enters a grocery store, the enterprise’s app could send him a push notification with a 20% off coupon for an add-on item that creates a full meal with his weekly staples. This contextual, data-driven customer engagement was built to resonate with the customer’s unique preferences and real-time context.
- Current Environmental Variables
Not to be confused with real-time insights, environmental variables generally provide data on customers’ surroundings as opposed to their current activity. Environmental data includes a customer’s time zone, local weather, and other contextual details that help to color in the full picture of that customer’s situation in any given moment.This information is necessary in order for enterprises to fully determine a customer’s mindset. When combined with historical and real-time data, environmental variables are the final piece of the puzzle for continuous intelligence and contextual engagement. Take for example a customer who has built up a wealth of loyalty points and who has just entered into the Wi-Fi range of a store located in an outdoor mall. The store could push her any number of notifications with offers to redeem her points. But what if the store’s engagement system knows that it’s about to start raining? It could push a reminder to trade in her points for an umbrella—a deal that will appeal to her as she worriedly watches the clouds roll in.
These three key data sources combine to form the continuous intelligence needed to enable truly contextual customer engagement.
Armed with such deep insight into customers’ in-the-moment needs and mindsets, enterprises can rapidly respond with engagement tactics that are relevant, personalized, and optimized to influence behavior.
ZineOne’s Customer Engagement Hub dynamically pulls these three crucial sources of data—historic, real-time, and environmental—to give enterprises continuous intelligence about each and every customer. Learn how our CEH enables optimized, in-session customer engagement for real results.