Titan Travel once had established itself as one of England’s top-rated tour companies when its senior leadership noticed something disturbing a few years ago. Competitors were advertising lower priced tours featuring many of the same itineraries the company had spent decades honing with the input of customers. Suddenly, the company that had separated from the pack through its unsurpassed knowledge of British travelers was seeing its product commoditized. Rather than change it business model, Titan Travel decided it would find a way to better understand the “trip intent” of every one of its customers, so it could take personalization to the next level. They called customers to discuss specific holiday packages they had researched on the company’s website. The sales proved that by having a personalized and relevant conversation, it could generate more revenue per year.
Here are 5 tips Titan learned than you can apply to your customer engagement:
- EMPATHY – Before making decisions, ask how they will affect the customer’s experience. Map out all the possible touch points a customer may encounter on their path to purchase and prioritize them according to how you think they affect the overall customer experience.
2. RESPOND – The Engagement Economy is a two-way street, so don’t push out content on social media if you can’t assign someone to monitor, analyze and respond to customer engagements.
3. METRICS – Make sure you are measuring engagement in high priority areas and tracking it against brand loyalty metrics, such as average sales per customer, average transactions per customer or average lifetime value of customers. If no correlations emerge, you may be focusing on the wrong segments of the customer’s journey.
4. UNSTRUCTURED DATA – Consider whether you can tap unstructured data from social media channels, web forms, and call centers to fill gaps in your engagement data.
5. ROI – When calculating ROI, don’t overlook savings. Determine whether engagement initiatives have enabled the company to reduce spending on lead generation, customer retention, market research, content development or customer service.
This is the type of marketing automation that modern vendors are using to win business while seeking an edge in what has been dubbed, “the Engagement Economy.” The term refers to a new era in which competitive advantage will lie more in a brand’s ability to engage and retain customers than generate and retarget leads.
In an era when consumers control when and how they engage with brands with ease, knowing how to use engagement to scale personalization may be more of a matter of survival than a competitive advantage, regardless of the industry.
This article appears in the new March/April 2018 issue of Connect magazine published by NextPage, which can be found online here. If you would like a free print subscription to Connect, please click here.