Articles Tagged with: Customer Journey

The little rules engine that could: Creating the ultimate customer journey

The little rules engine that could: Creating the ultimate customer journey

Amrith Ganesh

MarTech Blogger | May 17, 2022


When dealing with customers digitally, it’s important to create a well-planned-out journey. This ideal set of interactions will keep people on the right track as they engage with the brand and deepen their loyalty over time. Creating this journey, however, can be a challenge.

Too many companies are spending excessive amounts of money to keep their customers on a preferred path. Rather than using an automated rules engine that will set rewards and triggers for loyalty and rewards programs, they’re working with expensive and restrictive manual efforts. These major expenses cut into the return on investment, offsetting the value and usefulness of loyalty programs and other engagement features.

What your organization needs to get out of this pattern is an effective, affordable rules engine. With the right rules in place, you can lay out a suitable path for your customers while keeping up a strong ROI.

More time conceptualizing, less time executing

Getting customers to engage with a brand in a specific way can be difficult and time-consuming if there are too many manual processes involved. When a business doesn’t have much automation in place and customer outreach is handled on a case-by-case basis, employees are investing time that could be better spent elsewhere.

A business that is manually guiding customers from one engagement to the next may be losing its ability to pull back, look at the big picture and form a strategy. Ironically, these companies spending more time controlling the customer journey end up with less control, because they can’t create an overarching plan.

Creating a smooth customer experience, where users are guided naturally from one interaction to the next, should be a major priority for businesses today. This is especially important because Gartner research has found that customer expectations are rising and 81% of marketers envision CX as the competitive battlefield of the future.

How can your business create a positive CX while performing less manual outreach? It all comes down to automation, powered by a strong rules engine. The custom triggers and outcomes programmed into the engine determine the path of a customer’s journey, with less intervention from your team. No matter how sophisticated your customer engagement strategy is, there’s an automation solution for you.

An continuous customer journey

When designing an automated, rules-based customer journey, you should make sure there are no obvious off-ramps for your customers. This means eliminating the inconveniences that may make a person stop engaging with the brand.

An off-ramp can be anything that hurts a customers’ enjoyment, such as an irrelevant reward, a long wait before re-engagement or a bad mobile experience. Ideally, each contact will lead to further engagements, with the customer setting their chosen pace. Each micro-experience is strung together into the next, creating a continuous and seamless journey.

Each time a customer engages with a brand, the interaction should be positive and resonant. CMSWire quoted Harvard Business School’s Gerald Zaltman, who states that 95% of customers’ buying decisions are emotional, rather than coldly logical. If your brand is making people feel good, they’re more likely to stay loyal.

CMSWire added that personal touches are a valuable element of the customer journey, as long as they are added seamlessly into the journey, and in ways that improve interactions. This is another area where automation is better than heavy manual intervention. Customers should be getting tailored experiences by default.

A rules engine is the behind-the-scenes technology that makes a never-ending, personalized customer journey possible. A good engine will allow your team to create an intricate system of triggers and outcomes to keep customers engaged indefinitely through earn and burn or loyalty points, rewards and hyper-personalized experiences that are immediately relevant to them.

With varied game mechanics for earning and using points on customized rewards, you can win the CX war and keep your audience interested.

Actions equal triggers, milestones equal rewards

Building out a loyalty strategy on a rule engine means creating customized loyalty actions. Common interactions serve as triggers, and when customers reach milestones in their engagement with the brand, they receive rewards.

These reward allotments and the triggers that activate them will differ for each brand, and they give you the chance to lead customers down ideal paths for long-term loyalty. Salesforce noted that rewards can be more interesting than just discounts on future purchases. Your brand can offer free subscription services to customers who reach a loyalty threshold, or even invite them to exclusive events.

When you’re using a rules engine to plan out a strategic loyalty and rewards program, you’re free to go more in-depth about what you offer to your most engaged customers. Your choice should reflect customer data and intensive research, so you can be sure you’re giving them rewards and experiences that fit their goals and lifestyles.

Loyalty programs may even include offers that don’t go directly into your customers’ pockets: Salesforce added that some compelling engagement programs involve charitable components. By engaging with your brand, people are contributing to worthy causes they care about.

Perx has the rules engine you need

To get started building the automation-driven customer rewards journey of your dreams, you can invest in the Perx Lifestyle Marketing Platform.

The rules engine enables deep customization without time-consuming and difficult manual adjustments. You can design compelling reward earning and redemption scenarios that encourage customers to interact with your business in specific ways, leading them on a journey that suits both their preferences and your objectives.

Customized rules can be based on the real-time information coming in from real customer interactions. This means you can tweak and optimize the program based on actual information rather than assumptions. Such a level of precision allows you to shape the customer journey and experience in ways that will deliver results.

Rather than having to build a rules engine from scratch, the Perx Lifestyle Marketing platform gives you this capability right out of the box. Request a demo to learn exactly how it works.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORIES

The Right Customer Engagement Trick? Treat Them Right!

The right customer engagement trick? Treat them right!

Despite the fact that the campaign was launched a decade ago, it continues to haunt me.

Sundeep Keramalu
Director, Marketing Content | November 01, 2021

Was Coke crazy to put random people names on its ‘#ShareACoke’ campaign? Yes. No. No. Yes. Yes, when one considers the campaign’s general desperation. No, when you consider how it made people feel. And no, when you consider the campaign’s stated purpose. And yes, when you consider how Coke was catapulting addiction to new heights.

While Coke’s amazing taste is refreshing, we must keep in mind that even the great ice age reached a point where it was no longer cool.

Share A Coke was no doubt a sweet campaign. That is, having your name appear on a billion-dollar brand. How frequently do you see that? What bothers me is that Coca-Cola is a well-known brand. It has its own name. It has taken decades and hundreds of millions of dollars to get to this point. And suddenly, it was willing to gamble with its identity by putting random, unknown names on its bottles to boost sales for one summer in Australia? It is self-evident that Coke has the absolute right to do anything it wants with its bottles. But, if you know that your product is not exactly health-beneficial and has addictive elements, you want to enable your customer to be disabled from being addicted — not the other way around.

Brands cannot capitalize on the unconditional condition unless they are willing to allow their customers to explore the condition of conditionality.

The goal of any brand is to make the customer fall in love with it unconditionally. Unfortunately, brands cannot capitalize on the unconditional condition unless they are willing to allow their customers to explore the condition of conditionality.

Simply put, to receive anything, you must first offer something. While Coke’s amazing taste is refreshing, we must keep in mind that even the great ice age reached a point where it was no longer cool.

The ethical question remains whether a brand can go as far as to entice consumers to purchase a product simply because it bears their name.

To keep consumers’ hearts warm for the brand, even a “cool” brand must step up and do something genuinely cool that also ends up being a warm gesture for the brand. Coke’s “nice” gesture was to put people’s names on its bottles. Of course, Coke, like any other marketing campaign, had its own agenda. Putting random people’s names on its bottles would be akin to a jilted Bollywood lover in one of those 90s movies engraving the name of the lady in his blood — since she does not feel the same way about him or, worse, has no idea who he is to begin with! Coca-Cola did not want a one-sided relationship. During the summer of 2011, it sought to increase sales in Australia.

Influential personalities and multimillion-dollar deceptive marketing messages are damaging to one’s willpower when it comes to resisting unhealthy and harmful lifestyle choices.

As much as people enjoyed seeing their or their loved ones’ names on Coke bottles, the question we must ask is if it was the proper experience. True, the ethical question remains whether a brand can go as far as to entice consumers to purchase a product simply because it bears their name. However, when a brand is aware that its product is bad enough to be a good pesticide, I believe it should refrain from influencing people in this way — from persuading them to share something this bad.

As it is, influential personalities and multimillion-dollar deceptive marketing messages are damaging to one’s willpower when it comes to resisting unhealthy and harmful lifestyle choices. In any event, when compared to Kendall Jenner’s ‘Live for Now’ Pepsi fiasco, Coke’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign was more thoughtful and positive.

When you are a brand that is bad for the body and bad for the mind, you cannot give people any more reasons to buy it than they need. There is a very thin line to walk. This means that you should not compel your customers to adopt your brand. Rather than that, develop incentives for people to adore your brand. There is a significant difference, but the line is really thin. I am not being a snob and slamming the idea of sharing a Coke with a close friend. It is just that you would not want to share anything harmful to your health with someone you care about. That contradicts the point of the campaign’s purported goodness.

Brands that make essentially harmful products to one’s health have additional avenues for customer engagement. Coke tricked its customers into purchasing more Coke. And, mind you, this was done in the name of “treating” its customers. Did not expect this from you, Coke!

Even for a beauty brand that wants to reward its customers, it cannot be skin-deep in its approach to rewarding them.

As much as we would like to believe that the #ShareACoke campaign was an engaging sales-increasing, brand-building, emotionally-engaging campaign, the reality is that it was not as engaging as it could have been. So, the deal was that Coke gave a platform for people to share a virtual Coke with pals or, if they were lucky, find a bottle of Coke with their or their friend’s name on it.

All of this, you see, is still quite transactional. In the end, it is just a name on a bottle! That is all there is to it. When the campaign ended, the transaction concluded. When you invest millions of dollars in advertising a campaign, you spend far more to market and nurture the campaign so that people remember it.

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the beauty of a reward is in the embrace of a participant.

Rewards cannot be superficial. Let me give you a perspective. Beauty is considered superficial, right? But even for a global cosmetics brand that wants to reward its customers, it cannot be skin-deep in its approach.

How did a global cosmetics giant under Louis Vuitton increase its in-store sales with the Perx Platform? They did not go around handing out random rewards or sample cosmetics to the passing crowd. Instead, they incentivized regular in-mall footfall to visit their stores

It was a simple and straightforward approach. With smartphones being the single common denominator across shoppers in developed countries, QR-coded posters were placed throughout a highly popular mall. Customers were rewarded every time they scanned the QR code. However, to receive the reward, they had to enter the store — the point of sale.

The dynamic campaigns connected offline footfall, incentivizing them to walk into the store, where purchases were built and launched using the Perx platform. In addition, Perx’s advanced gamification and engagement mechanics transformed the whole experience into a gamified and instantly gratifying one.

Before launch, the brand researched customer footfall and buying patterns before designing the experience around them. They wanted to reward them for their intention to buy something from the brand. Even if they did not intend to do so, the dynamic mobile engagements influenced them to engage with the brand. In other words, I am attempting to convey that, in light of the example, the reward offered should not be based merely on the customer’s pleasure; rather, it should be based on the customer’s intent.

It is true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, Coke’s #ShareACoke campaign might have made the day for some of its customers. But at the end of the day, we must remember, while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the beauty of a reward is in the embrace of a participant.

A disconnect or a pause between you, the brand, and your customer will cause them to seek another brand that meets their requirements.

While each beginning and each campaign should have a conclusion, the reality is that engaging customers is a continuous process. Brands are required to engage in a never-ending cycle of evolution, progress, and improvisation. A disconnect or a pause between you, the brand, and your customer will cause them to seek another brand that meets their requirements. This is why brands must focus on engaging their customers in ways that transcend beyond transactional interactions — something that keeps the connection going for a long, long, long time — how about forever!

Treat the relationship with your customer as though it were a long and happy marriage and not a one-night stand.

Treat the relationship with your customer as though it were a long and happy marriage and not a one-night stand.

Given that you have read this far, we are here to assist you if you are looking for a superpower to build that long-lasting, deeply-engaging relationship with your customers. Now keep in mind that we do not help you treat your customers just for the heck of it. Instead, we assist you in treating them genuinely and sensibly – you know, for the right reasons!

We work on making sure your customers do not just remain customers, instead we turn them into level-headed superfans.

It all boils down to giving you the satisfaction of knowing that you as a brand did not trick your customers and that you treated them appropriately. And understanding that will help prevent your conscience from being haunted.

Here is to a #CleanConscience!

CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORIES