Real-Time Interaction Management: 9 Alternatives to Pure Offers


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In a recent report entitled “Use Customer Analytics To Get Personal,” Forrester Research writes that the goal of effective personalization should be to “anticipate customer behavior and be prepared with the most appropriate offer to which the customer is most likely to respond.”

With marketers increasingly judged on financial metrics, such as revenue, profit, and lifetime customer value, it can be easy to view “offers” only as discounts or promotions—messages designed to drive transactions. However, depending on the individual, their relationship with the brand, where they are in their journey, and the channels and devices they use, the offer to which they’re most likely to respond might not be an offer in the traditional sense.

That’s why the term “offer management” might be misleading to marketers, with “interaction management” perhaps being a more suitable alternative. Marketing is not always about selling. Real-time interaction management solutions use all available information about a customer to determine the next best action, be it an offer, message, piece of content, survey, etc. With that in mind, we pulled together nine customer interaction management use cases that “offer” (pun intended) alternatives to pure discounts:

  1. Witelisting – Recognizing that email is still the primary communication channel with your customers—and the highest revenue generator for your brand—interaction management can help counter deliverability issues. For instance, a certain number of failed deliveries to an individual could trigger a message with whitelist instructions the next time they visit the website.
  2. Surveys – Interaction management can propose surveys to specific individuals. For instance, on your website, you could target email non-responders to understand why they’re not opening your messages. The survey might reveal that your content isn’t relevant. Or you might find that certain individuals are too busy—in which case you could suggest they opt down, not out.
  3. Transactional Messages – Transactional or service messages are widely expected by customers due to their useful, often time-sensitive content. Interaction management can push these messages to additional channels to ensure they’re read. For instance, a bank customer who hasn’t opened a critical low balance email could receive the same message upon logging into the website, or via SMS or mobile push notification.
  4. B2B Content – B2B companies could dynamically propose the next best piece of content for a prospect based on the assets they’ve previously viewed or downloaded. In addition, recognizing that web form length directly impacts conversion rates, they could use interaction management for progressive profiling, capturing prospect data over a series of forms.
  5. VIP Treatment – It’s understood that all customers aren’t created equal. Why not use interaction management to propose exclusive contact methods (e.g. a specific 800 number or live chat option) to VIP customers? By providing shorter wait times and more personalized, attentive service, you’ll foster positive experiences and ultimately increase loyalty and lifetime value.
  6. Call-Back Forms – You could also avoid potentially negative customer experiences by proposing a call-back form to visitors who are stuck on your website, unable to find the information they need. This form could be triggered by number of pages browsed, time spent on site, certain pages visited, and other criteria.
  7. Local Events – Using location, transaction history, and interest data (e.g. Facebook likes), a publisher could recommend local book signings for specific authors, while a retailer could invite high-value customers to a private sale at a nearby store. In addition to capturing responses, an email confirmation could be triggered and populated with the necessary details.
  8. Experiential Rewards – Brands could target specific loyalty members for experiential rewards (e.g. golf getaway packages or backstage concert passes), based on their status, interests, etc. As with local events, you could automate registrations and confirmations.
  9. Anonymous Visitor Acquisition – Anonymous web visitors could be pushed an email or newsletter subscription form incenting them to opt-in. That way, the brand can authenticate and acquire these contacts and begin marketing to them via addressable channels.

Clearly, the potential use cases for real-time customer interaction management are nearly infinite, extending far beyond discounts. Which examples are particularly useful to you? Are there others you would add to the list?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ed Hadley
Ed Hadley is a B2B marketer with a decade of high tech experience. He is currently Senior Marketing Manager at Neolane, where he spearheads the conversational marketing technology provider's content creation efforts. Previously, Ed held marketing positions with Netage Solutions and PAN Communications.


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