Customer Analytics

4 Keys to Leveraging Data to Improve Digital Engagement

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Companies that are driven by customers and transactions are challenged to incorporate data from a number of different systems to properly attribute behaviors, such as browsing, influence or direct conversion. Digital experiences have dramatically increased the number of ways customers can measurably interact with companies. While this proliferation of data is useful, it is not without significant challenges. We can look at specific data points to diagnose problems, improve performance and increase engagement. Here are four ways to leverage data to improve your digital engagement.

1: Don’t Be Rude
One way to markedly decrease engagement, possibly without realizing it, is to violate user boundaries with bad UX and impolite marketing.

  • Pop-ups and re-captures: While you may increase email sign-ups slightly with a pop-up ad, are you also increasing exit rates on your website by adding a path blocker? Are you too aggressive with tools like Bounce Exchange combined with a cart abandonment email program reminding customers when they have “forgotten something”? Monitor bounce and exit rates so your programs are helpful, not annoying.
  • Notification and SMS Timing: Be careful not to text your users at strange hours of the morning and night. Detect and trigger your messages based on location and time zones. Monitor your SMS complaints and opt out rates.
  • Excessive Notifications: Be cautious with app notifications, badging and alerts once you’ve been given permission. You want to deliver signal, not noise. While permission for push means users are retained at a much higher rate, 46% of users will opt out of push when they get 2-5 push notifications in one week and 32% will stop using the app altogether when they get 6-10 push notifications in one week (Localytics/Research Now, November 2015). Monitor your push opt-ins and active users on a weekly basis, especially as you increase message frequency.
  • Buggy Apps: Nothing is a better predictor of app uninstalls than a lagging or crashing app. It’s important to navigate the often complex legacy IT issues that underlie these problems in service to users. Monitor sentiment and defect/complaint queues.

2: Be as Available As Your Customers Wish

To deliver the most engaging content to your users, the most effective strategy is to be present and available in as many of their preferred communication channels as possible. Looking at your customer demographics and response rates are good places to start to determine whether you need to be on Instagram or click-to-chat or both. For many retailers, social media is just as important a customer service channel as the 800 number, and even more important a selling tool than the official product description pages; so, it’s important to assess the user needs and competitive space to determine where to invest.

Mobile users ages 13-24 show dramatically higher usage of in-app messaging compared to older mobile users, who prefer legacy communication methods like email. What’s more, when users enable push notifications in your app, they are much more likely to still be using your app after 3 months (43% retention vs. 13%).

Evaluate which contact methods your loyal users prefer, segment how you communicate with them so it is via their preferential channel and be selective with your communications. Meanwhile, don’t neglect your classic channels of data collection like phone call records, mystery shops, online rating sentiment and receipt surveys. Call-reason analysis is important because when a customer calls in, they may be at a breaking point of frustration. Look over all this data for patterns so you can be proactive in addressing customer pain points.

3: Predict and Prevent Rather than React

Embedded predictive analytics within your app analytics platform, such as what is offered by IBM Tealeaf, can proactively identify groups of users who may be at risk. Examine your common funnel leakage points to identify where user friction is occurring. The process becomes easy when your tool does a lot of the heavy lifting for you, identifying common problems. With help from a competent data scientist, you can evaluate your data manually and identify user actions or inactions that can help you predict churn.

Modeling can also help you develop segments of customers that are similar to each other from a messaging and product mix standpoint. This is a rich area if you invest the resources, as you can model predictive behaviors like churn, product recommendations and likelihood to respond to promotional offers.

4: Observe the Customer Journey Holistically

The strongest KPIs in measuring your retail customers’ engagement are still as simple as retention, frequency and shopping basket size. To get the most out of that program, it’s essential to look closer to optimize customer engagement. If you look at your customer journey holistically, you should consider not only recency of purchase, but also responsiveness to all your messaging channels and sentiment expressed in direct communication with you. If someone is actively using your app and reading your emails but hasn’t purchased for five months, that user is still a very engaged customer. Moving away from the silos of old-school digital marketing into the multi-channel, multi-screen world allows us to engage with increasing effectiveness and nuance.

About PointSource:

PointSource brings business, marketing and technology together to create transformative digital solutions. They blend the creative energy of an agency with the technology savvy of a development firm to build digital solutions that solve complex problems and change businesses.

Come see PointSource and our clients, Security First Insurance and Ply Gem, at Amplify, May 16-19 in Tampa, FL! We’ll discuss how mobile is driving digital transformation in four sessions throughout the conference.

Tuesday, May 17:
Building an SEO-Focused Digital Experience for Ply Gem, DDX-1569
10:15 AM – 11:15 AM in Room 2
Presenters: Barry Pellas, PointSource; Jim Barnes, Ply Gem

Wednesday, May 18:
Create an Industry Leading Digital Engagement Strategy Driven by Mobile, MMO-1568
9:45 AM – 10:45 AM in Room 19
Presenters: Stephanie Trunzo, PointSource; Marissa Buckley, Security First Insurance

Panel Discussion: Customer Panel Session – Promoting Engagement in Customer Facing Digital Experiences, DBV-1090
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM in Room 17
Panelist: Jim Barnes, Ply Gem

IBM Mobile Analytics: Five Ways to Optimize Customer Experiences on Mobile Applications, CMA-1147
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM in Room 12
Presenters: Greg Ng, PointSource; Sharon Nei, IBM

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Digital Officer, PointSource

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