Customer Engagement


Building Relationships Across the Lifecycle With GOAT, Rappi, SimpliSafe, and Shopify

Team Braze By Team Braze Feb 20, 2024

Relationships have always been central to marketing. But in today’s fast-moving, highly competitive customer engagement landscape, finding ways to build strong, enduring connections with your customers is an essential part of meeting your business goals for most brands.

To explore how to do that thoughtfully and effectively, we sat down with a collection of industry leaders at the 2023 Forge conference—Kate Chamberlain, CRM Senior Manager at SimpliSafe, Roman Hughes, VP of Marketing - CRM at Rappi, Stephen Liset, Head of Retail Partnerships at Shopify, and Amanda Record, Director, CRM at GOAT Group—and asked them to reflect on their approach to building relationships across the consumer lifecycle.

Strong Customer Relationships, Defined

What defines a strong customer bond? Roman opened the discussion with an analogy: “It’s like learning how to ride a bike,” where the business should intervene “as little as possible, so the user takes advantage of your product organically.” As with any new rider, you’ll need to provide “nudges here or there.” The key, he concluded, is understanding which key moments require intervention to educate the customer in a way that will build confidence and independence to continue the product relationship.

The responsibility for building a customer relationship falls entirely on the business. “It’s not an equal relationship,” Stephen reminded us, “because the person making it happen is you.” It’s about witnessing behaviors and a deep investment in understanding the customer across every channel.

The Power of Data

This is where data comes in. At a minimum, Kate explained, “As a customer, if I’m giving you my data, I want something back—I want you to know who I am and respond accordingly.” SimpliSafe prioritizes first-party data that the customer provides before seeking out additional metrics. “It’s the most important thing to start with the data your customers are telling you,” Kate noted. “Are you listening to phone calls when they call into your customer service, then hearing what they’re saying?” Customer touchpoints are rich with insights: Where users are struggling, the questions they have, what they’re looking to achieve with your product, etc.

“Look at your first-party data and understand what makes them your best customers,” Kate said. “What indicates that someone will become one of your best customers? The SimpliSafe team uses data science to identify who is most likely to convert and crafts responses accordingly.”

Amanda’s team uses data to create segments and reverse-engineer successful customer journeys. By paying attention to high-value actions that precede purchases, they can direct resources to the channels that are most likely to produce desired results and long-term customer relationships. Sometimes it’s as simple as “sending comms to try to transition people into the high-value action stream.”

Getting Your Team’s Buy-In

If you already have a wealth of customer data, you’re golden. But what about marketing teams with limited access? To build strong customer relationships, you need internal relationships, too. Kate had a simple solution: “Be best friends with your data team! When you have a data scientist that understands the customer need you’re trying to meet, they can make things happen.”

Bringing data partners along for the ride while negotiating resources can make all the difference. “Articulate the impact you’re making based on their data,” Roman explained, so they can see the fruits of their efforts. It’s sometimes quite a heavy lift to set up data collection, but telling the story of what you’re trying to achieve “makes them part of the task force.”

Amanda fortifies bonds with her product team by supporting launches: “It’s very easy to share adoption rate,” she said. If you know what your product team is launching and their success metrics, time a specific campaign to bolster adoption rate and then share it with your partners. “That’s the best proof of value you can provide.”

What Customers Expect

Consumer behavior shifted massively over the past five years, and disparate, disconnected experiences feel outdated. “We need to be everywhere; we need to have multiple channels'' with unique approaches for each, said Stephen. “But they need to feel like they’re coming from the same company and like they treat the person like the same person across all channels.” It’s disorienting to spend lots of time as a consumer of a business and feel anonymous, he continued. “Let your strategy drive a solution; don’t let your technology limit that.”

Interested in learning more about how Braze can support building strong customer relationships with data and automation? See this talk and more at Forge 2023 On Demand.


Team Braze

Team Braze

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