Engaging clients: A 360 degree view

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As the always-connected client’s expectations continue to rise and shopping around becomes easier, building client loyalty is both more important and more difficult.

The connected client expects a planning firm to know them and anticipate their needs. The connected client expects to communicate with a firm on their own terms: when they want and on the channel or device of their choosing.

Businesses can overcome the challenges of communicating effectively with prospects and customers by moving to a company-wide communications capability. This is a key plank in a planners’ client engagement strategy.

Businesses striving to build long term relationships with their clients and enhance the client experience at every touch point are inundated with potential customer data and potential communication channels but all too often find current practice siloed and disconnected.

Andy Moy, director of Customer Engagement Management at Pitney Bowes Software says that the rise of the connected customer is forcing customer engagement to be foremost in peoples’ minds. This is forcing a shift from one-sided monologues, to interactive dialogues between parties.

“Having the right data, handled in the right way, can help drive improved communications, better customer service and increase revenue,” says Moy.

“In an increasingly data-rich environment businesses must not only make sure information is accurate but also that their systems are able to provide them with a new 360° view of their customer, across all channels and parts of their business. This next generation 360° view draws on past, present and predictive data, to provide a unique insight of a customer to anticipate their needs – essential to convert a customer engagement strategy into sustainable competitive advantage.”

Most companies have multiple systems and databases that hold pieces of customer data. This can make updating data and keeping up with changing compliance regulations challenging. The key is to match, de-duplicate and enrich these ‘client data siloes’ and generate a ‘client data hub’.

Fragmented and incomplete data distorts the perspective you can draw of your customers. This data hub understands the connections between its sources but more importantly provides invaluable fuel for relevant client communications– a cornerstone of effective client engagement.

With a new 360° view of your client, firms can get be targeted with messages and offers.  This focus enhances marketing message relevance and the value for each client engagement – effectively resulting in uplift in return on marketing investment.

Clients’ communication needs are all different. Some like to receive correspondence via SMS, others like email or even postal mail. Today’s technology lets you make decisions on what channel and what messages to use, based on customer preferences and pre-programmed rules. To match customer expectations, it is essential to have a flexible platform that can help you communicate with your customers through their preferred channel and ensure each customer receives personalised, timely, relevant communications.

With a new 360 degree view of the client, fuelled with an ever-current data hub, you can achieve ‘always-on’ marketing and client engagement initiatives.