A famous quote from Peter Drucker says, “Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” I learned this during my MBA days, and it seems to have relevance at a more granular level these days. In the present age of shorter selling opportunities and changing expectations of a customer, the customer must receive value from every single purchase. Questions that businesses need to ask are: Is it possible that these customers wanted other product(s), which could have provided greater value to them? Was there any insight into the customer’s wants and expectations before selling? The answers lie in the revealing truth that companies forget to uncover the voice of the customer and create a value in context. Today, Peter Drucker’s quality theory needs to be applied to all transactions you do with the quality product or service you’ve built.
Businesses have to shift from after-the-fact marketing analysis to real-time analysis at the point of sale and be able to predict the next purchase from a customer. Businesses need to adopt “intelligent selling” by aggregating real-time data from various touch points of customer interaction and combine the new data with historical information on customer preferences and behavior to create a 360-degree view of the customer. This will enable them to design a more focused marketing campaign providing a value to each up-sell or cross-sell offer, targeting personalized customer experience rather than mass marketing programs. Summarized, it is about predicting the expectation of the customer and being equipped to provide the customer with the right product at the right time, through the right channel. Companies who create a consistent customer experience by delivering value every time will ultimately be able to retain their customers for a longer period and do more business with them.
Rent-A-Center, Inc. headquartered in Plano, Texas, offers name brand, durable goods such as major consumer electronics, appliances, computers, furniture, and accessories under flexible rental-purchase agreements that generally allow the customer to obtain ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed upon rental period. Rent-A-Center retired ‘after-the-fact’ marketing and adopted real-time dynamic selling vision at store level by incorporating a 360-degree view of its customers – a requisite for effective cross-selling and up-selling. This peripheral selling vision is assisting over 10,000 customer-facing employees improve customer service and sales across 3,000 stores of Rent-A-Center.
The science behind Rent-A-Center’s new holistic view of each customer resides in TIBCO Master Data Management (MDM), which ensures that an enterprise’s critical information — on customers, vendors and products – remains robust, consistent and secure across geographies, lines of business, application-silo boundaries, and third-party interactions. In a nutshell: enterprise data circulates through a labyrinth of operational hierarchies and business relationships. Along a transactional mosaic that would otherwise compromise data quality, TIBCO MDM ensures that data cleansed and secured remains clean and secure.
“We know who our customers are. What we lacked was insight into the products they prefer, the patterns of their rental behaviors, the peculiarities of their demographics, and the changes in their lives that would drive future rentals. The more we know about the customer, the better we’ll be at offering the right products at the right place at the right time, and that should translate into rental agreements with longer life.” - John Gideon, senior director of Data Management for Rent-A-Center.