This article was originally published in the Fall 2013 issue of Customer Strategist.
Technology continues to progress from the age of responsive platforms to predictive analytics. Companies are now entering the stage where they are able to understand the slightest customer triggers and respond to problems and desires before they fully develop. Just as in-tune couples can complete each other’s sentences, brands are now able to satisfy the consumer’s every question and need by observing and analyzing past interactions and trends to uncover clues that indicate when the company may need to intercept. But, before brands can adequately cater to customers in the manner they’ve come to expect, they must implement and hone the capabilities necessary to enable these psychic elements.
In this time of technological agility, psychic brands are those that proactively tend to customers. They are clairvoyant, understanding what customers need, when they need it, and on which channel they will be most receptive to relevant offers. This continuous, preemptive cycle fosters brand loyalty, cultivating relationships through satisfaction and reliability. From data mining and statistics to modeling and machine learning, brands are able to gather and analyze current and historical data to make predictions about the future and unforeseen events. By doing so, these predictive models unveil patterns that reveal potential risks, opportunities, and the warning signs that accompany each scenario.
Typically, predictive analytics utilizes business intelligence technology that generates a predictive score for each customer and factor across an organization. With such measures, companies can create an analytical model that considers data across channels and interactions to teach the enterprise what elements may drive particular customer behaviors. This helps firms optimize marketing campaigns and other interactions to boost customer engagement, increase clicks and conversions, and decrease churn. But, if brands hope to implement a truly psychic foundation, they must integrate the necessary tools to ensure that engagement, retention, and loyalty comprise the end result.
Brands must build a state-of-the-art infrastructure that processes, analyzes, and formulates actionable insights. Because of the Big Data phenomenon, the amount of customer information flowing about in the ether—both structured and unstructured—can be easily accessed by anyone. However, few know how to manipulate this data and turn it into the actionable insights that enhance the overall customer experience. While each business must assess and integrate platforms that work in tandem with its specific goals, this infrastructure must also be flexible, changing along with the brand’s business strategy as necessary. Much of what is in place in current businesses lack this flexibility and strategic connection. Many companies must upgrade their infrastructure, especially on the technology end, to enable the capability to execute various psychic interactions. These platforms must be fluid to allow for evolution within the organization, as continuous reassessment will be needed to accommodate the rapidly changing consumer environment.