Recently we co-hosted a webinar with Forrester on how to go From Campaigns to Conversations: Turn your static, manual marketing campaigns into insight-driven, contextual customer interactions. The idea being that in today’s day and age, simply running a campaign won’t get you eyeballs or an audience. Today’s consumers expect personalized and customized interactions, when, where and how they want it, and that lead them to affinity and purchase.
So we thought what better way to end 2018 than with a round up of some companies who are truly excelling in the realm of customer experience; those brands who are innovating and disrupting the space, and seeing results from it.
Use Data and Analytics to Uncover How Marketing Delivers Business Value to Fulfill Customers’ Needs
Alibaba: The Chinese Amazon came up with a genius idea similar to Black Friday, but much more lucrative. In honor of Singles Day in China, a day when people celebrate being single on 11/11 (due to the 1 representing themselves), the e-tailer has been running promotions for the past 10 years. And this year the results were staggering: over $30B in sales in 24-hours. To put that in perspective, on Black Friday in the U.S., sales on ALL online e-tailers were $6B. So how did Alibaba do it?
Employees cheer in front of a screen showing Alibaba’s sales volume exceeding 213.5 billion yuan (about 30.7 billion US dollars) at 24:00 during the Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival on November 12, 2018 in Shanghai, China. VCG | Getty Images
- AI-Generated Personalized Ads
They created 400M custom banner ads, resulting in 100% higher click throughs. So how did this customization work? Alibaba used a new technology called Lu Ban, which is named after a legendary craftsman in ancient China. This technology can generate 8,000 customized banner designs per second — equivalent to 100 designers working nonstop for 150 years.
- Content Creation
They generated 60B personalized pages for the virtual storefronts of their merchants’ and brands’, resulting in a 20% higher conversion rate.
Ali Xiaomi, their AI-powered customer service chatbot, handled 3.5M customer inquiries, accounting for 95% of all inquiries received on Singles’ Day. Not only is this efficient and timely, but it frees up human workers to handle other tasks that can’t be done artificially.
Gaming is huge in the Chinese culture, so Alibaba allowed customers to play a voice trivia game for coupons. Not only does this engage them, it keeps them on the site and generates more opportunity for additional spend.
Create Immersive Brand Experiences to Solve Customer Needs
Amazon: First they delivered groceries to your door with Prime Pantry. Then they bought Whole Foods. Now Amazon is upping their customer experience even more with AmazonGo, cashier-less stores that remove the #1 complaint people have when shopping — the checkout process. These stores allow customers to shop without checking out. Once an item is put into your cart and stays there, you’re charged for it. It’s essentially like a shopping spree but you do pay, just virtually.
So how does this solve customer needs? It removes the friction of the checkout process. No more waiting in line, dealing with bagging groceries, issues with items not scanning etc. It’s genius in its ability to both increase sales and elevate the customer experience at the same time, because obsessing over open rates or CPM is not the same as obsessing over the customer. And while the technology is new and actual stores are limited (and data is also not available yet), the potential for where this can go and how it will serve consumers even better is only limited by the technology Amazon can think to create. And if the rumors are true, a checkout-free experience could be coming to a Whole Foods near you…and who knows where else.
Use Data to Know Your Audience and Give Them More
USAA: Due to its strong military ties, USAA has upped their customer service game. Beyond providing mortgages for service members and their families, they’ve gone one better and teamed up with real estate agents who understand the challenges faced my military relocations. Not only do the realtors aid in finding a home that will work for them, they can recommend movers too. This builds the customer relationship and demonstrates a thought process of offering more than what’s needed to drive affinity.
USAA also opened a 120-person Design Studio in Austin, built to serve their members with a more immersive experience and focused on AI and emerging digital technologies. Known for its innovation, USAA was one of the first to implement mobile and online banking. The studio’s goal is to make all aspects of financial planning, insurance, etc. as easy as one-two-click.
“One of the things that has really struck me is how much people are missing the 101 [about finance]. That is a tremendous weight for design practice at USAA, an opportunity to change conversation and emotion we all have about money,” says Meriah Garrett, the bank’s chief design officer.
Here’s an eye-opening statistic: a change in customer experience ratings for a multichannel bank leaves $124 million on the table for every 1-point decline in its CX Index score, according to Forrester. In fact, for a multi-channel bank, customer service and respect for the customer are valued more than communications, the bank’s website or app.
While most banks offer just checking and savings accounts, many are starting to think out of the box and allow people to put money aside for specific things. Take Bconomy, a new offering from BBVA in Spain that allows customers to set goals, save toward them and track progress. It also offers price comparisons to give customers ideas for how they can save even more money.
So as we head into 2019, some questions you might want to ask about your own organization:
- How customer obsessed are you?
- What is the status of your data and analytics?
- What is your need for insights & orchestration?
And how are you preparing to use AI to elevate the customer experience?