In our client projects, we always use the principle of TLC (time – location – context) when developing customer programs. We have found that many organizations, especially airports, seem to believe that knowing the customer’s location denotes context. It does not. Context is this instance is only the vendor’s context, essentailly, we know where you are, so we’re going to push out a program offer. Location is not context!What really matters is the customer’s context. This is entirely different that the vendor’s context. For example, the customer’s context would be known if you could answer: “Is the customer looking for a gift? a replacement product? electronics? or not looking for anything?” Any answer to these types of questions would certainly yield the customer’s context. In the airport community, it is well known that 30-50% of travellers do not buy anything. Knowing the customer context would certainly allow a more focused customer program.
So given the wide variance of context and expectations between vendors and customers, how can this be resolved?
We’ve also long known that a customer offer take-up rate improves dramatically with customer initiated requests. That is, if customer makes it known what their ‘context’ is, any program offer that meets this context need is likely to achieve a higher success rate. This is outlined in the attached chart, that describes customer engagement and offer take-up rates.
The first step is knowing the customer preferences as a means to develop an insight into Intelligent Context. If the vendor then knows the customer context, and combined with the customer’s location and time, the right offer at the right time would achieve a higher success rate than merely shot-gunning offers randomly. The problem is that most vendors do not have the means to do this.
We have advocated the implementation of a CODB. This is not the same as a vendor-centric CRM. The CODB (as we have espoused) is built froma customer viewpoint. It involves giving up control of the data contained in the database to the customer. The quid pro quo for the customer-vendor relationship is that a customer place their ‘trust’ in providing their preferences to vendors. This in the expectation that any program offers would closely align with the customer’s preferences, and only present offers when they are available to accept them.
This is a radical approach. But it is the only way for the vendor to truly to understand Intelliegent Context. If you’re not sure, have another look at the chart.