How Retail and Travel Can Navigate Customer Concerns with a Solid Data Foundation

 In Customer Centricity, digital marketing

We’ve officially sailed into uncharted waters as a global pandemic has temporarily transformed our relationship with everyday events like in-store retail shopping and holiday travel. In many places, laws are in place to restrict travel or stores being open. Travel companies like airlines and hotel groups along with brick-and-mortar retailers have been thrust seemingly overnight into relying on their data foundation to carry out business.

While it’s unclear what the next days and weeks will mean for these industries, their customers are still looking to them for guidance on upcoming trips or shopping online or in apps. If you’re working in one of these industries, you’re likely seeing an influx of data from all of your online and call center channels. 

A flexible and well-integrated customer data foundation gives you some powerful options for responding in times like these when context is key and the situation is constantly evolving. For Tealium customers in retail or travel, here are some of the ways our platform can help to deliver value to your customers in these tough times.

Rapid Communication Matters in Uncertain Times

Even in a global pandemic your customers still have needs, and they’re probably online more than ever right now. When your physical locations can’t be open, your digital presence needs to pick up the slack. But setting up new technologies and hitting the ground running is a virtual impossibility without a strong data foundation. In times of crisis, you don’t have time to learn. With a customer data foundation in place, you can just point that data to new and expanded online venues to adjust to new realities. And, for the programs you’re already running, you can quickly map new messaging to your already-orchestrated data. 

Situations like this show that a real-time data foundation is more than a nice-to-have feature, but a must-have requirement for urgent, accurate outreach. For one of our customers this meant their marketing team, without IT help, was able to create and engage audiences of travelers headed to COVID-19 hot spots in under one day. These audiences were able to be used across technologies and engagement venues in their stack. This audience creation agility was the basis for proactive customer experience action.

Reduce Wasteful Spend

Doing new things is fraught with risk though. Launching a new channel or campaign comes with uncertainty. However, if your customer data foundation is comprehensive, you can reduce this risk. For example, you can suppress users who have already purchased based on historical data even though your new channel doesn’t have this data on its own. Or, if you want to restrict a certain geography because it’s been hit especially hard, a controllable data foundation makes it a reality.

Customer Experience Agility

There are few times when your entire strategy is flipped on its head. These times are sure to highlight the agility of your programs— not only how difficult it is to unwind what’s in place, but how difficult it may be to do something new and proactive. For Tealium customers, the Customer Data Hub is a central point of control over customer experience programs enabling plug and play of different segments and technologies making it as easy as possible to change course. 

Rapid Customer Insights

It’s almost cliche at this point to talk about how siloed customer engagement channels create poor customer experiences. What’s not obvious is what a real-time, cross-channel view of your customer can tell you in times like these when you have no idea how customers might react. Are they viewing different information? Have a shifting interest in products? Want to avoid physical store locations but need questions answered? With a real-time view of customers, in an instant, you can gear your analysis towards supporting your customers’ unique needs in unusual times.

Build Trust

Most importantly, in tough times it’s the right time to let your customers know that you’re there for them. The best way to do this is by engaging them respectfully and relevantly. Without a hub for customer data, this can be a challenge when considering a myriad of issues like consent, uneven geographic situations, frequency of outreach, the relevancy of content, etc. A central customer view, integrated with consent and data flow controls, gives your organization the technical foundation to operationalize building trust with your customers at critical moments like during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is just a handful of initiatives that could make sense if you’re looking for ways to react to this entirely new normal. The important part to realize is that when the inevitable strikes and you need to react fast, your data foundation could be THE game changer.

Tealium is here to help you during these challenging times. Whether you’re a current customer or evaluating our offerings, our talented, homebound team is here to help you deliver the best possible experience in these trying times to your customers.

Check out the great resources available in our Learning Center and training from our Education team.

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