Digitization of products and services and the proper management of data creates customer loyalty (or at least stickiness)
It seems that everyday, -new versions of traditional devices are emerging that are integrating digital intelligence and generating volumes of data. Businesses are finding innovative ways to use this data to make my life easier. They improve my experience with their brand and my customer loyalty in the process. These new digital services can dramatically increase the value of our business-consumer relationship, making the basic product or service much more sticky whilst making me a more loyal customer. My new habits make me a ‘sticky’ user who is less likely to leave for a competitor.
Businesses today have the technology and capability to personalise products and services through collection and aggregation of data. They can compare my data with that of similar users’ data and generate useful insights. Add-on services that use those insights, can propel their products into solutions for my real-life consumer problems.
Perceived concerns over customer privacy and security often dissuade businesses from exploring these possibilities. Equally, there are others that are aggressively pursuing digital transformation of their customers’ experience. Personally, I have seen significant benefits to the collection of my information and its aggregation with crowdsourced data. For me, the benefits of the services that I can use greatly outweigh the potential risks. For many people, especially younger generations, the use of these services is exploding.
Need convincing? Compare your habits to three examples in my own life:
Last year I installed Nest learning thermostats in my home.The thermostats connect via wifi to the Internet to allow Nest.com to collect usage information and to syncronize heating and cooling schedules. It uses the location of my home to give the thermostats knowledge of what is happening outside and coordinates their behavior in my house upstairs and downstairs. The units even detect motion to set home or away settings automatically.
Since everything is connected, Nest.com allows me to view and control my home’s temperature remotely via the web or smartphone app. Nest.com lets me review my usage and tells me when I am saving the most. Nest recently bought MyEnergy to integrate my utility bills, thus tracking the cost of energy usage in my home. Comparisons of similar customers help us be more intelligent, use less energy, and save money. This is certainly an improved customer experience for me.
One of the most recognizable intelligent consumer devices in the market is the Smartphone. My Samsung Galaxy S4 Android Smartphone is packed with GPS, accelerometers, microphones, cameras, and motion detectors. With its ubiquitous connectivity options, this device is capable of recording countless life events and then using that data to provide valuable information to me. Google Now offers me personalized ‘cards’ based on my searching, my calendar, my Google+ activity, and my location data. It learns and anticipates what information I may need and displays appointments, real-time traffic, weather, news and more. This type of personal agent, who knows what I need before I need it, is the customer experience that will soon become expected.
Mint.com provides free tools for budget tracking by consolidating all of my online financial accounts, allowing me to have a single consolidated snapshot of my financial picture. Whilst others have tried to create consolidated views of multiple accounts, Mint has succeeded in positioning itself as a trusted third party that is not connected with any particular financial institution. Mint.com provides advice and actions I can put into practice to improve my money management. It also allows me to compare my saving and spending habits with those of thousands of other users.
I can conveniently log into each of these online services from Internet connected browsers and smartphone apps for a truly All Channel Experience (#ACE). The data that these services collect is compared with crowdsourced data to enhance reports with usage patterns or recommended action based on best practices. This information dramatically increases the value of the relationship which makes the basic product or service much more sticky and me a more loyal customer.
That is Digital Stickiness.