1:1 customer knowledge - the key to increased growth

By Betina Munkholm Johansson, Loyalty Group

1:1 customer knowledge - the key to increased growth was the headline of the Loyalty Group seminar arranged in Copenhagen on September 18th. The goal was to inspire participants to maximize the benefits of working with customer information across the enterprise. The Danish companies Energimidt, Bisnode and Loyalty Group shared their experiences and gave specific recommendations.

Too many companies cannot produce a coordinated and targeted customer strategy, which is based on specific knowledge of the customers. This mean that they miss obvious opportunities to retain and sell more to existing customers.

The basis for an effective customer strategy require proper customer insight. Customer insight to ensure an optimal customer experience that will lead to the desired behaviour of customers, which ultimately will contribute positively to the company's bottom line. These were some of the key messages from Mikkel Korntved, CEO of Loyalty Group.

The right customer insight - at the right time

He stated that the business' should combine data of customer's past purchases and history with knowledge of customer attitudes, loyalty and expectations to the company. In other words, the need to see both backwards and forwards working to optimize customer relationships.
Companies must ideally gather information about its customers at all key touch-points and not just once a year. A continuous collection of customer information means:

  • Greater relevance to the customers
  • Ability to react quickly to dissatisfaction
  • Ongoing focus on up-sale opportunities

It's therefore an important process identifying the key touch-points with the customers. Based on this, the company can decide what information that must be collected, when it should be collected and how it should be used in each function to optimize the customer experience and create growth.

Focus on customer retention and up-sales

Marketing Responsible Mille Just Haaning shared a view into EnergiMidt's work to strengthen customer loyalty, reduce churn and generate additional sales based on customer knowledge. She talked about the key areas in EnergiMidt's customer strategy:

  • Remove negative loyalty factors (creating dissatisfaction)
  • Develop loyalty strengthening factors
  • Monitor churn, satisfaction, loyalty and additional sales potential

Energimidt continuously collect knowledge about customers in cooperation with Loyalty Group. The solution ensures that data including customer loyalty status is available to the relevant functions via the company's CRM system.

This means that each function can target efforts towards the customers with messages about retention and sales. Among other things, EnergiMidt's anti-churn team handle disloyal customers and constantly focus on reducing customer churn.

In addition, EnergiMidt use a "business intelligence" system that displays relevant data across systems so that management can constantly monitor developments in relation to the overall customer strategy.

Mille Just Haaning ended her presentation by showing a number of ratios that showed the effect of expanding the company's customer focus:

  • Churn has been reduced by 34 index points since 2010
  • Satisfaction rate rose from index 60 to 70
  • Loyalty ratio rose from index 62 to 67
  • Recommendation rate has increased from 71 in 2011 to 78 in 2012

In addition, EnergiMidt registered fewer terminations, fewer calls from customers and an increased willingness to recommend among customers. Overall, this has meant an increase in gross margin per. customer per. month.

Mille Just Haaning concludes that it's no doubt that the targeted customer strategy and coordinated effort across departments have brought fruit. Based on the good experience and results it's now planned to implement the same routines for other of EnergiMidt's customer segments.

Efficient marketing based on customer knowledge

In the last session to focus was on the use of customer knowledge in Marketing. Bo Rasmussen, Business Unit Director at Bisnode (previously Greens Business Information), presented an example of a campaign that was nominated for the Direct Mail Prize in 2012.

The campaign aimed to highlight the updated customer data as a platform for effective sales and marketing activities. The large challenge was to create interest in the subject. Client data are not as Bo Rasmussen put it, a "sexy" topic.

He started with a pilot-test posting a letter entitled "We have spelled your name wrong!" The letter should attract attention because the recipient's name was deliberately misspelled. With the letter came a piece of toilet paper, which should illustrate where letters with incorrect data usually ends.
The strategy was to hit the target with humour and provocation while giving them an eye-opening experience that made them understand the importance of accurate customer data. The pilot gave them an opportunity to fine-tune the letter before the final release to 2700 sales and marketing managers.

Greens Business Information (now Bisnode) got widespread awareness of their services and achieved an impressive response rate of 49%. The campaign gave payback in 3 months and had after 7 months, gained a profit of 50%.

Bo Rasmussen summed up the experience of the campaign in a number of recommendations for companies that want to use 1:1 customer knowledge in creative marketing solutions:

  • Create relevance for the recipient
  • Keep track of data quality
  • Cross the accepted line"(take chances)
  • Choose the right channels
  • Test the  campaign first
  • Be sure to measure the effect