CPG producers nowadays are strongly cooperating with retailers and some are also actively developing own sales network (like own point of sales, show rooms) to gain more market share.
Putting much effort into things like: brand marketing and product information/support, knowing the customers and personalizing offer, on-shelf availability with proper placement – is a must have.
The areas of cooperation that need to be managed, properly planned and monitored, are growing. Especially if the market is highly competitive.
Strong CX system solution is needed here to help be efficient and grow in the market. Solution that gives more time for actual business than manual searching/updating/filling in data. Some words written here regarding that are worth reading:
The important parts of such CX solution can be pointed as below…
Customer data and segmentation
Let’s start with basics – our customers’ data. Direct customers (B2B and B2C) but also those indirect if we work in B2B2C model). We can roughly point data like:
- For B2C – loyalty programs and changes here, sales statistics, interests, sentiment, consent,
- For B2B – agreements that we signed (e.g. regarding distribution or branded market avenue), focus areas, buying potential and any classification, resell statistics (if we have this kind of data), competition, and relational business model – contacts.
Based on that we can build segments and manage them. We can use automation for keeping segments up to date even in real time manner (thanks to direct and online eCommerce/ERP and Marketing segmentation connectivity). That means that even on a moment of event occurrence customer can change segment due to that.
Solutions for managing B2B customers and Consumers data are still different, because needs and volume are different. Todays this is especially challenging segmenting Consumers and finding out their preferences.
Segments can be used in our marketing, sales and service processes. It is used as well in assigning our model care to the customer -> prioritization in customer service or order fulfilment, frequency of sales activities, special offers and promotions. This is the key to personalization.
Communication marketing (in fully online mode?)
Internet and Social media communication is a normal thing today. But personalization is even more important – e.g. on our portals – where we need to have robust marketing automation tools to impact eCommerce offer in an online manner (take into account what customer did and what is now doing, or even predicting next step e.g. buy or churn).
Here B2B customers are getting more and more similar to Consumers, thus solutions used here need to float towards more flexible, fast and easy to use Marketing Automation tools (with using various channels built in).
Also merchandising is a point to remember – when battle also happens in front of the shelf. Correct prices and promo materials on site.
Promotions and pricing (in all channels?)
When it goes for promotions that is a struggle to negotiate internally number and complexity of promotions and adjust with our systems’ options.
On one hand we have market needs and high frequency of changes, and on the other implementing those in all our sales channels and be able to analyse. Crucial is having tools and process in place to be able to plan, configure, implement and analyse promotions and their impact on revenue. Communication marketing must also be aware of them and speak out loud about them.
Sales channels like:
– traditional sales done by sales reps – all of those should have similar possibilities here and be able to activate/deactivate promotion same time.
Connecting planning promotions tools with sales channels’ apps and analytics (evidencing and reporting) is a challenge, although easier in newest solution landscape (containing Revenue planning, Customer Experience & Logistics Execution functions).
POS (is a history?)
And what about brick&mortar sales. When its our place we should have POS application integrated bidirectly with our Logistic Execution, Pricing and CX system – we store customer data in one place but use them in many channels.
When it is driven by our business partners it is important to know how retailers are fulfilling requirements and KPIs from distribution agreements. E.g. how products are displayed, where presented, what’s their stock in the shop but also on a shelf. Such check process can be easily launched using “Perfect Store” functionality. All to get most detailed data from the field.
We already wrote about this process and features behind it in blog:
Don’t forget about competitors’ field presence and their pricing – that is also a key data that can be collected by field sales for strategic pricing & marketing departments.
Nowadays also mixing on-site visit with online is possible – where new buying experience can be given to customers, or to sales influencers (like architects, designers, etc). To help grow our business and easily use newest product catalogue. Here is an interest solution:
Whatever it is – product support, commerce support, complaint, return or any other concern or question (“please help me in placing order”?), our customer service team should be available and efficient.
CX solution should help in connecting sales and service processes, and provide multichannel communication cockpit for our team. This is not just call center or email inbox. So many consumers want to use also chats, social media, chatbots, etc. And all should be in one tool, to save time of our consultants, and give them powerful and flexible tool.
Remember that all of this communication history should also stay in CX solution – to know our customers better and better.
Our team should be also equipped with Knowledge Base with flexible search but also be assisted by solution that can on its own, contextually, provide helpful information. Tricky customer request, that can be done as other team member did similar few months back – system can find it and push an info to agent with such similar ticket.
System can also do automatically translation of a ticket, categorize it based on content, find a customer in our data base and display history, estimate time to complete ticket, determine sentiment. That is also out of the box today. All to save our and consumer time. We have these features in now in special addon “Agent Console”.
How to combine these needs in a systems landscape?
Please contact us to talk about it and our experiences.