Ned Moore, Co-Founder and CEO at Clutch, says they are working toward the goal of connecting brand organizations with their customers and cultivating a relationship where customers are happy to engage with the brand.
“What we’re here to do is help our customers create a better experience for their customers and keep them engaged and connected to the brands,” says Moore, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the company that offers customer data and marketing platforms that centralize customer data and empower modern marketers to deliver personalized experiences.
Moore remembers back in 2013 when Clutch was founded and how many of the brands they approached were focused on adding new customers only, instead of making things easier for their existing ones.
Using Data to Gather Insights
“They’d say, ‘why would we pay you anything for our existing customers? We want new customers,’” he recalls. “People didn’t really understand that they needed to use their data to get insights and really figure out how they can continue to deliver for their existing customer base.”
To answer that question — and to pay homage as a Philadelphia-based company — Moore and his Clutch cohorts often refer to a famous quote by the notable Benjamin Franklin: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.”
For Clutch and the clients it serves, the goal is a deeper, emotional loyalty that built around a high-quality customer experience that goes beyond convenience or price.
Creating a Connection with the Customer
“It’s really about creating that connection,” Moore says. “It’s how you fit in your customers lives in a way that is appropriate for your brand. It’s how you make your customers’ lives easier and make their lives better by either making them smarter or making it more convenient, not just more convenient to buy, but more convenient to do the things that are important to them.”
Moore says that’s where the emotional connections really come from, when the customer and brand find a mutually beneficial value. When the customer feels, “these people care about me, they care about who I am, they care about what I’m doing, and their fitting in with my value system.”
Defining Goals of a Program
Clutch has had more than its share of brands come to their front door and say, “We want to run a loyalty program, and here’s what we think we should do,” Moore says, and they even describe to them how much their points are going be worth.
That’s when Clutch will advise those brands to take a step back and ask some hard questions.
“We say you ‘what are the goals of this program?’” Moore says. “Because when you think about how to engage customers on the emotional level and create things that are deeper connections, it’s not the price. There’s value in price, and it has a place. But what we tell brands is use your data first to understand your customers and understand what really makes them tick.”
Moore points to a few key questions brands should ask themselves to inform the design of their programs. How do customers feel smarter dealing with your brand? How do they feel more informed? How do they feel recognized as a customer?
Meaningful Engagements and Anticipating Needs
Once brands get their arms around the data with Clutch’s assistance, then they can really figure out what the program design needs to be. And once a customer buys from a brand, that is when the great customer experience becomes a key focus.
“It’s like, ‘Okay, I bought from this brand, and there were some expectations I had going into that purchase,’” Moore says. “But once you fulfill their expectations as part of the purchase, the bar goes up once they start buying from you.”
That’s where Clutch has made its name by helping brands maintain great expectations with experiences that enhance a buyer’s overall feeling about the brand. That includes offering them meaningful engagements and anticipating their needs, which Clutch accomplishes through the power of machine learning and predictive analytics.
“Artificial intelligence, in its true form, can really help brands drive that deeper customer loyalty,” Moore says. “We have to figure out how to use data to figure out how we can get smarter about what degree of loyalty we have with each customer, and that requires the right technology.”
When Moore looks to the future of customer loyalty, he believes, “we’re going to get more specialized loyalty, that’s going to be less binary, less single program focused, and more customer focused.” That’s what they are hoping for and trying to enable at Clutch because it is great for the customer, or end user, and great for brands.