TheCustomer QT

TheCustomer QT – April 27, 2021

In the latest edition of TheCustomer QT:  We should and should not be worried about AI, Amazon’s TRULY unexpected turn, The further wisdom of Steve Jobs, The future of loyalty lies in superapps, and joy-ful messaging.

Happy skimming!



Need More From Your Digital Ad Spend?

Quick-take: “We found that contextually aligned ads were 93 percent more memorable than misaligned ads…there is a clear benefit to aligning ads with congruent content, rather than simply placing ads where there are larger audiences,”




A Look at Where AI Stands

Quick-take: Artificial intelligence technology is on the cusp of huge adoption with global retail spend increasing to $7.3 billion annually by 2022 — quite a spike from the $2 billion spent in 2018, according to a Juniper Research study. By 2024, AI investment is expected to reach $110 billion, according to an IDC forecast.


Stop Talking About AI Ethics

Quick-take: And we also are now starting to see the toxic legacy of what happens when you just rip out as much data off the internet as you can, and just call it ground truth. That kind of problematic framing of the world has produced so many harms, and as always, those harms have been felt most of all by communities who were already marginalized and not experiencing the benefits of those systems.




Amazon is Loosening its Grip on Customers

Quick-take: Last week, Amazon began piloting a tool that enables U.S. companies that are part of its Brand Registry program to email marketing materials to shoppers who have opted to “follow” their brands. These companies can then notify those shoppers when they launch a new product or promotion.




Are We Humans Getting Smarter or Have We Peaked?

Quick-take: You might assume that the more intelligent you are, the more rational you are, but it’s not quite this simple. While a higher IQ correlates with skills such as numeracy, which is essential to understanding probabilities and weighing up risks, there are still many elements of rational decision making that cannot be accounted for by a lack of intelligence.




Shifting the Customer Experience from a Cost center to a Profit Center

Quick-take: During COVID-19, companies that invested in automation, AI, training, and agent empowerment learned that service is not a cost center at all. It’s an investment in customer engagement that can deliver intentional, meaningful experiences, at scale, that lead to retention, and ultimately loyalty.


Measuring the Whole Customer Experience from the “What” to the “How”

Quick-take: As Adrian Cockroft, formerly of Amazon Web Services, underlines, the most critical metric is how long it takes for an innovative idea to reach a customer (defined as Flow Time in the Flow Framework). You can reduce your Flow Time by applying the theory of constraints to the feedback loops of your most importantproduct value streams. Do you know what’s holding you back from support customers today? Do you know where the bottlenecks in your feedback loops are?


Design Solutions with Customers, for Customers

Quick-take: Steve Jobs: “You’ve got to start with the customer (experience) and work backward to the Technology. You can’t start with the technology and then try to figure out how to sell it.” Aligning your customers’ needs and outcomes with the expertise of your internal design teams and partners, will bring innovation to process, service and product, that has greater impact, for your customers and the organization alike.


Identifying and Optimizing The Experiences That Matter Most

Quick-take: Without a customer-focused approach, large organizations can risk losing sight of what’s most important. This famously happened with the Pontiac Aztek, a perennial entrant on “ugliest cars ever” lists. The Aztek had great engineering, amazing innovations for its cargo space, and pioneered the mid-size crossover vehicle category. But ultimately, the Aztek answered questions no one was asking, and it was overshadowed by its own poor stylistic design. I refer to this phenomenon as the “Pontiac Aztek Effect”.




Marriott Leans Into Superapps

Quick-take: The likes of Alibaba, Grab, and Rakuten have billions of members. If hotels can tap into a just fraction of their users, and convert them to their own loyalty schemes, they’ll be mighty happy.


Fetch Flips The Script

Quick-take: “There was definitely the opportunity throughout COVID for certain brands to show that they were loyal to their customers, which I think is a mindset very few brands ever take because when they say ‘loyalty,’ they’re talking about a consumer’s loyalty to their brand,” Fetch Rewards Founder and CEO Wes Schroll said in an interview with PYMNTS. “But we believe at the end of the day, it should be the opposite. It should be a brand proving that they’re loyal to the consumer.”


Mobile Drives CVS Best-In-Class Loyalty Program

Quick-take: CVS coordinates text messaging and push notifications from its app to further personalize offerings and mobile coupons targeting customers based on past purchasing behavior and browse activities in the app or online. In the past year, coupons sent to users’ ExtraCare cards from the app have more than doubled. CVS data shows ExtraCare Rewards members who use the CVS app save up to 6X more than shoppers who don’t.




Does Your Martech Stack Inspire Joy?

Quick-take: Customers may not feel joyful upon receiving multiple, disconnected messages from your firm in a short time frame. A truly customer-centric enterprise will start at the glass and work backwards, rather than from incumbent tech platforms and work forwards. You could probably create more joy for your customers with one or two carefully orchestrated email services, spanning use cases from transactional to marketing to support.




Plug The Leaky Bucket Of Customer Revenue

Quick-take: The average churn rate among U.S. companies is more than 23%. At this rate, a company that has 1 million customers with a $500 ARPU would end up losing the business of $100 million or more. Plus, the cascading effect of this revenue loss could impact the company’s next year as well.




The ‘Meconomy’ is Driving the Need for Unification

Quick-take: Let’s face it, the new economy is the “Meconomy.” It’s all about the customer. Customers are in control of their journey and show no signs of moving to the passenger seat. They have high expectations for how they’re treated and how quickly their issues are resolved; demand high levels of personalization; and want everything delivered via a seamless, low-friction experience. In fact, our research shows that 41 percent of consumers switched brands due to lack of personalization, and an astounding 96 percent of consumers will leave brands after a high-effort customer service experience.

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Photo by Mika Matin on Unsplash.

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