The global pandemic has shifted how customers buy, as well as renewed recognition of the critical value of technology to customers. Convenience, flexibility, and personalization will continue to dominate customer choices. The retailers who continue to thrive will be those that let customers engage on their terms while simultaneously connecting with customers in more meaningful ways.
From websites and apps to helpdesk chats and support calls, to physical store visits. But is all the data really being utilized and what is the impact on customer relationships? The ability to deliver a personalized customer experience relies heavily on a retailer’s customer understanding. This is where customer data platforms (CDP) can help retailers gain a holistic view of customers, deepen relationships, and build ongoing trust with the customers who are vital to their bottom line.
Read additional details about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 is reimagining retail in our recent blog, “NRF 2021: enabling retailers to reimagine the road ahead with Microsoft Business Applications.”
Customers demand and respond to personalized experiences
Customers today expect personalization from the organizations they interact with. According to Forrester, 80 percent of U.S. online users feel comfortable sharing some personal information with retailers in order to personalize their experience. Every customer is unique and has a unique path to purchase, and personalization helps retailers guide customers on the right path based on their needs and behaviours. CDPs provide the crucial foundation for enabling personalized customer interactions by bringing together transactional, behavioural, and demographic data from across channels to create multi‑dimensional customer profiles. They enable activation on real‑time insights across the customer journey and on destinations including analytics, marketing, advertising, and engagement platforms.
Customers reward businesses they trust
While virtually every interaction is being tracked, nearly 67 percent of customers have little to no understanding about how their data is being used by companies, according to Microsoft research in partnership with iProspect. This is an opportunity for retailers by showing transparency and showcasing the value they can provide in exchange for data—organizations can ultimately earn customers trust and loyalty.
How it’s done
A number of organizations have found unique ways to combine deep customer understanding with innovative experiences to achieve growth and set themselves apart from the competition. One such organization is Chipotle Mexican Grill, a chain of more than 2,700 restaurants with multiple sources of customer data including a loyalty program, point-of-sale data, a customer care centre, and digital platforms. They turned to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to unify data and better understand their customers.
Getting personal, at scale
Chipotle has millions of customers each year across its thousands of locations, but with Dynamics 365 Customer Insights the company has a deep understanding of individual customer preferences. They now know whether customers typically order for lunch or dinner, what their favourite meals are and which channel they use to make their purchase. These insights have allowed Chipotle to target customers with promotions and messages that appeal to them.
Using the map, match, and merge logic at the heart of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Chipotle can standardize and reconcile conflicting data and then set up business rules and act on them. The result is unified profiles with detailed views of each guest. Chipotle also uses Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to grow its customer base by converting more guests into loyalty program members. Using rich demographic data, they were able to gain insights on guests who made purchases but weren’t members of their loyalty program, which added up to 30 percent more unified customer profiles.
The ability to personalize has been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many customers have become hesitant to visit restaurants. Dynamics 365 Customer Insights helped Chipotle understand customer concerns and provide appropriate messaging, such as information about delivery and pick-up options. Though this highly specific targeting, Chipotle was able to increase conversations and use of these services.
Take the next step
By leveraging customer data to provide elevated, personalized experiences, retailers can build lasting relationships with customers, increase brand trust, and grow customer loyalty.
Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is a secure and flexible customer data platform with built-in AI to unify customer data and generate insights that power personalized experiences. Using prebuilt connectors, the solution brings together first- and third-party data sources including interactions with the web, mobile apps, and connected products. Dynamics 365 Customer Insights proactively identifies segments and generates predictive insights such as churn rates, lifetime value, and recommended products. Real-time integration with business applications and business processes ensure that marketing, sales, and service efforts are tailored for each customer. Brands see results faster with Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, an intuitive and ready-to-go customer data platform that requires minimal training and IT assistance.