The next best action phrase has been touted for years and has delivered little more than semi-personalized offers for the next product a customer might want to purchase. And after going through painstaking efforts to implement next best action technologies and processes, companies are still struggling with stagnating Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and customers viewing them as a commodity offering, easily replaceable by a competitor with the offer of the moment.
A recent study of more than 34,000 consumers worldwide by Verint® Systems Inc., showed that customer loyalty and retention are declining. Our hopes for the next best action didn’t come to fruition – customers feel valued for their next purchase instead of feeling valued for their loyalty. Next best offer or action technologies and thought processes have led to a degradation of relationships with the customer and made your business interchangeable because next best offer has the product at the center while next best experience focuses on the customer.
The value of using a CDP to improve customer loyalty
As stated in the Harvard Business Review: “Earning customer loyalty is firmly in the interest of both shareholders and management. [R]esearch shows that loyalty leaders—companies at the top of their industries in Net Promoter Scores or satisfaction rankings for three or more years—grow revenues roughly 2.5 times as fast as their industry peers and deliver two to five times the shareholder returns over the next 10 years.”
We must be able to provide standout experiences digitally and change from thinking only about the monetization of customer data to using that data as a memory to enable meaningful connections and easier services.
We cannot rely on standout in-person experiences alone to drive loyalty – while great in-person interactions are still powerful –, we don’t have social hubs on Main Street anymore, and after exposure to a global pandemic, customers want even fewer in-person interactions. We must be able to provide standout experiences digitally and change from thinking only about the monetization of customer data to using that data as a memory to enable meaningful connections and easier, more convenient services to your customers, even when those interactions don’t immediately add to your bottom line.
How to move from next best action to next best experience
Recalling moments and interactions, and essentially creating a contextual experience based on the knowledge and understanding of your customer leads us to the concept of next best experience. This could for instance mean connecting a customer with relief programs they are eligible for – even if you don’t provide those services. The next best experience could also include sending a customer a customized link to complete an address change or routing an outbound call if they previously showed a preference for phone conversations. Providing these experiences require us to connect all of our customer data and touchpoints – not just their purchasing behaviors or indicators thereof.
At the heart of defining the next best experience for the customer, NGDATA’s Intelligent Engagement Platform has developed Customer DNA™. With this, we build individualized data profiles that highlight the uniqueness of customer data and in turn don’t trigger offer-based messages but create personalized engagements that treat your customers more like a person and less like a number.
We enable personalization at scale. To do this digitally you need to leverage data science which is built into our platform so you can get to know your customers better and be more proactive and precise in your customer engagements. The Opportunity Index calculated for each individual customer is used by our recommender to determine the offers and experiences. This recommender always ensures the most relevant offer at the moment of engagement whether the customer interacts or when their behavior changes.
If each time you met with a friend, you had to remind them of information you previously shared, you would be annoyed and if every time you met up with that same friend they just touted how awesome their new abilities were as you told them about your struggles – you might want to find a new friend. We all know the value of being heard, understood, and treated as more valuable than the dollars in our bank account. If we want our customers’ loyalty, we must start valuing their relationship, and not just their click on the next offer.
Need some extra guidance to boost your customer experience?
 Hyken, S. (2019, October 10). Customer Loyalty And Retention Are In Decline. Forbes.
 Markey, R. (2019, December 17). The Loyalty Economy. Harvard Business Review.