Image by: ouihaha, ©2016 Getty Images

Remember when you used to be able to go to your local grocery store? They were small and modest by today’s standards, but they knew you when you came in and suggested the best steaks or picked out the best tomatoes and put them aside for you. As you made your selections, they’d bag them, help you carry your purchase to the car, and even deliver them to you if need be.

Supermarkets gradually drove Mom and Pop stores out of business. But then supermarkets learned that they had to act like Mom and Pop stores to be competitive. Today, supermarket employees try to be help you find an exotic pasta or special oil or salsa. Emails alert you about specials on your favorite items or even better, send you digital coupons based on your purchase habits. Some stores even offer to escort you to your car, under an umbrella if it’s raining.

Supermarkets act like they care about you, because they do. The smart ones do anyway. And that’s true of every business, not just supermarkets.

Consider the findings of a recent study:
  • The average American business loses 50% of its customers every 5 years.
  • Two-thirds of these customers cite inadequate customer care as the main reason for leaving.
  • It costs up to 5X as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain one.
  • Companies that prioritize customer experience generate 60% higher profits than their competitors.
  • Satisfied customers tell nine people how happy they are. Dissatisfied customers tell 22 people—a case of bad news traveling faster.
  • 80% of your future profits will come from 20% of your existing customers.
Customer relationships are delicate. As the above figures suggest, loyalty is enormously valuable once you’ve earned it. From that point on, every experience either strengthens that loyalty, or chips away at it.

Your bills, statements, emails, and other communications play a significant role in creating that experience. Are they personalized? Do they present offers that align with the customer’s changing needs and interests? Are they based on the most up-to-date information? Are they consistent across all channels—traditional mail, email, mobile devices, social media, SMS texts, telephone communications? Are they sent via the channel that the customer prefers?

When all these details are right, all the time, the relationship feels personal and mutual. When the customer is flooded with communications, many of which are wrong or irrelevant, and the messaging is inconsistent, the customer starts to feel confused, unappreciated, and even annoyed. None of which is good.

That's why a customer communication management (CCM) solution like HP Exstream is so critical for maintaining positive customer relationships. Exstream leverages your data and systems to help you create communications that are aligned, relevant, and engaging—communications that feel “right” to the customer.

Customers soon realize that your messages are worth paying attention to.

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