'CustomerConnect' from Pentagon allows retailers to build a new demand-side capability that can potentially transform their businesses by providing them with insightful Customer Intelligence (Analytics) in real time, allowing them to develop personalised, relevant Marketing Programmes and providing them with the ability to Communicate these programmes to their customers using low-cost email and SMS.
Essentially, Customer Connect enables retailers to attract, retain and increase business from customers and goes well beyond simple loyalty programmes giving the organization a distinct competitive edge in the market.
A web enabled, real time application which can handle millions of customer records, including individual customer contact details and demographics as well as transactional details at the SKU level, Customer Connect focuses on helping retailers improve their performance on 3 fundamental metrics viz.
The Challenge for Modern Retail
The fundamental challenge facing most retailers today is to put their organisations on a trajectory of sustained profitable growth in an intensely competitive situation.
There is a limit to the advantage that organisations can derive from various optimisation initiatives, most of which are supply-side driven. Beyond a point, it becomes difficult to squeeze more efficiencies out of inventory management, logistics, warehousing or even sourcing and merchandise management.
Today, retailers need to understand customer dynamics at a much more granular level and be able to positively influence key customer metrics that determine overall business performance. The old marketing model based on defining target audiences in terms of broad segments based on demographic and even psychographic data is often sub-optimal in today's context. Yet, while most organisations do realise this, they have rarely had the conceptual framework or the means to actually implement what may be termed the 'New Marketing' paradigm. Pentagon Demand Management Solutions is in the business of helping its clients practice the New Marketing by providing them both the knowledge base and the means to engage with their customers in long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.
The Modules of Customer Connect
Customer Connect comes with different modules which are described below:
The Customer Tracking module helps capture and leverage contact details, demographic information media habits, products & services used for both customers and potential customers as well as transaction details for customers.
The Customer Intelligence or Analytics module of Customer Connect gives retailers a personalised and granular perspective which enables them to diagnose the 'State of their Business' in ways that give tremendous insights into the underlying customer dynamics that drive them.
Customer Connect also enables an organisation to develop personalised and precisely calibrated Marketing Programmes to finely sliced customer segments to increase Customer Acquisition rates, Average Customer Bill Values and Customer Retention rates. The Marketing Programmes module is a unique and powerful feature.
The Communication module helps communicate the wide variety of Marketing Programmes that have been developed with all their variations and customised elements to millions of customers in a personalised manner using low-cost email or SMS.
The Loyalty module allows for the setting up and management of a multi-layered Loyalty programme in a dynamic manner. In tandem with the Customer Intelligence, Marketing and Communication modules, the Loyalty module may be used to engage customers at a much deeper level than conventional loyalty programmes, leading to better retention and increased customer spends at the stores.
The Administration module allows for role-based access control. Different levels of users can access the application at store/format/chain level or in terms of ability to only view or add/edit/delete different elements of data.
The Implementation Approach
At the broad level, Pentagon's Customer Connect application links up to the retailer's Enterprise application from which it receives customer transaction data through an automated data transfer process. Customer Profiling data may be periodically updated into Customer Connect either through the retailer's Enterprise application or directly through other processes.
Different users designated by the retailer may then access Customer Connect from different locations via the web and use its different modules for creating appropriate Analytics Reports (Customer Intelligence), developing Marketing Programmes and Communicating the Marketing Programmes to the retail chain's customers through email or SMS.