​How to strengthen customer relationships with insight

Capgemini Consulting’s senior VP and global practice leader discusses the power leveraging data and technology to encourage greater customer participation

Capgemini Consulting’s senior VP and global practice leader, Didier Bonnet
Capgemini Consulting’s senior VP and global practice leader, Didier Bonnet

According to Capgemini Consulting’s senior VP and global practice leader, Didier Bonnet, business success today relies on collaborative customer experience, a marked shift from the traditional marketing model of simply conducting surveys and running focus groups.

“Customers never stop to surprise you, even more now than ever before,” he told CMO in a recent interview. “And because everyone’s approach is very linear today with respect to design, production, marketing, distribution and sales, you’ll find a lot more customer participation in the overall process.”

While product development used to be R&D focused and secretive, today’s focus must be on transparency and having ongoing conversations with clients, Bonnet said.

“The communication is a lot more open,” he said. “The risks are not that high for the companies doing it right and you ultimately come up with better solutions because you’re having the customer involved from day one.”

And that requires data. One example of leveraging data for a more seamless customer experience is the parcel delivery sector, Bonnet explained. Customer data and collaborating with customers are both being used to completely transform the postal process.

“There’s nothing more annoying than when you have to use UPS or DHL deliver a parcel and you have no clue when it is going to arrive,” he said. “But there’s an easy solution to that, because UPS does know where your parcel is, they do have the data and can geo-localise the actual lorry to tell you exactly when it will be delivered. Today, you can actually access that data.”

Balancing info with sensitivity

But while data insights can be a good thing, Bonnet warned of the dangers of being too intrusive. One example is Facebook’s new functionality of retrieving your ‘memories’ to share, which may not always be positive if the memories involved ex-partners or broken down relationships, he said.

“Then it can become too intrusive and become a negative sentiment, which can have huge implications for the brand,” he claimed. “Companies like Facebook are responding to it, but I think they are pushing the limits of the data that they’re collecting, because in a way, it is more than what you volunteered.”

For organisations, Bonnet believed the key is being creative when being more collaborative, without pushing the boundaries towards negative sentiment.

“Customer collaboration is great: You can decrease costs in the long-term or reduce the pain points in operations, brands will get more information from their customer, and the customers like it – they want to be involved if they like your company,” he said. “But the data side of course, is a bit more tricky, because it’s all about balance. If you utilise more data than your customer feels comfortable with, you could venture into negative territory.”

As a result, Bonnet expected transparency to become hugely important for brands.

“Customers want to understand what you’re trying to do with their data, why are you asking for something or how you’re using data to provide a more positive or seamless experience?” he said.

“If you provide a service that is very useful or a service that the customer totally trusts, transparency shines through. So the whole notion of customer journey needs to be seamless and positive, but executed in a non-intrusive way.”

For Bonnet, Uber’s ‘wow’ factor is based on exactly that concept. While the technology used is not mind boggling, the magic for Uber was to discover the pain points for the customer and then leverage technology to make the experience far more seamless, he said.

“What is interesting is how this then becomes the de fault benchmark customers expect across all other industries,” he said.

Emotions in a faceless environment

Whether it is online or offline, emotional connection is still key in building customer engagement, Bonnet continued.

“Take an example like banking,” he said. “If you have a positive and efficient relationship with your bank because it offers you a seamless and positive online and mobile experience, you will have a close relationship with your bank, even if you rarely have face-to-face contact.

“The interesting thing about digital is you can have a good emotional experience and attachment that is actually faceless.”

But this may be a complex notion for brands to embrace who are more accustomed to doing billboards and 30-second ads for 30 years in marketing, he admitted.

“It’s important to remember that even if you’re marketing online, the emotion hasn’t gone away - the story telling and engagement is more important than before, because you have to create authenticity for the customer in more creative ways using avenues like social media and online community participation,” he concluded.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Searching for social and marketing data

Many marketers, agencies - and everyone in between - get caught up on bubble references and data points. They’ll use Facebook best practice as the only best practice for Facebook executions and only consider metrics and responses of the one channel they’re expected to deliver on.

Isaac Lai

Connections strategy lead, VMLY&R Sydney

Why Australia needs more leaders

A few weeks ago, our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison took it upon himself to tell companies and their CEOs where to go when it came to societal issues. It wasn’t an organisation’s place to get involved. Instead, he said it should be left to governments to solve societies challenges.

Dan Banyard

Managing director, Edentify

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Informative blog. Xero is a well-known revolutionized accounting software, specifically developed to provide best User Experience and mak...

NavkarConsultancyServices

Xero evolves to fit a changing marketplace

Read more

>Writes article about how to show diversity in an authentic way>All featured opinions are from white women

Jennifer Metcalfe

Food for Thought: How can brands show diversity in an authentic way?

Read more

Excellent post, congratulations !!! - Prof Paulo Coelho | https://www.drpaulocoelho.c...

Prof Paulo Coelho

The B2C and B2B marketing transformation helping Invisalign win more smiles

Read more

Great article - but regarding "For a team to achieve their full potential, Edmonson also advises leaders balance psychological safety wi...

Sim

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration - Business leadership - CMO Australia

Read more

I would invest money in machine learning. I think it's important to do that. Don't you agree?

Polly Valentine

Metcash to use AI for promotional planning optimisation in liquor division

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in