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Horizon Deep Dive: Managing Customer Data [Video]

This is the first post in our Horizon: Deep Dive video series. To follow along with the series, click here.

In the video above, you’ll see how Horizon makes it easy to combine your CRM and loyalty systems to create a single “version of truth” for each customer. Read on to find out why this is essential to retaining and nurturing your best customers…

(And if you haven’t watched our Product Tour video yet, you can check it out here.)

CRM and Loyalty Are Not Different Things

What can ruin your day?

A bad customer service experience. Spending 10 minutes trying to figure out how to redeem a loyalty “reward”. Receiving a snazzy marketing email that offers a discount off the product you’ve just bought at full price.
Companies find no end of ways to screw up customer relationships – often through the acquisition of new CRM or loyalty technology that was aimed at improving them.

The trouble is, CRM and loyalty programs are often run as distinct entities, with different teams managing each – and as such, different datasets, strategies and objectives behind them. Marketers are beginning to recognise that this system isn’t working anymore, and there’s been plenty of discussion around the importance of joining up CRM and loyalty.

Whilst that may be a step in the right direction, the simple truth is, it’s not enough. CRM and Loyalty are NOT different things, and shouldn’t be treated that way.

Moments of Truth Require a New Way of Thinking

Customers want to feel pleased, valued and cared for at every interaction with a brand. They want to be spoken to with a genuine, authentic voice and they want to be told about things that matter to them. They want to be recognised as a valued customer, whether they’re talking to customer services, being reminded about their points balance, or receiving sales offers.

When your CRM and loyalty programs are run as separate systems, a seamless customer experience is difficult to achieve. Consider the case of James, a customer of a large clothing store. He purchases a high-end jacket in store, and joins the retailer’s loyalty program at the same time.

Now let’s say he has a problem with his jacket a few days later, so he calls up the customer service team, who are unaware of his purchase, his recent loyalty membership or the fact that he’s in the top 20% of their most valuable customers. It’s a long, frustrating call as he tries to explain the situation and reach a satisfactory resolution.

Imagine the difference in his experience (and his sentiment towards the retailer) if the customer service representative knows about his purchase, thanks him for joining the loyalty program and even adds a few points to his account to make up for the hassle of replacing the jacket.

Loyalty is all about positive experiences in “moments of truth”, when a customer touches a brand either in person, on the phone, on the web, through an app, on social or email. These moments need to be handled consistently well, with a focus on delivering customer value.

How can you achieve that if your CRM and Loyalty programs are loosely coupled – or worse still, not coupled at all?

Remember the “C” and “R”, Not Just the “M”!

It’s time to remember that CRM is about customer relationships, not “email blasts”, and that customer relationships require a brand to be loyal to its customers, not just the other way around. Loyalty is a two-way street.

It’s time to make all customer experiences equally relevant, meaningful, engaging, rewarding. It’s time to throw away the old model of “CRM” and “loyalty” systems, and embrace the new world where they’re one and the same thing.

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