Yesterday I was reading the Customer Success Management Forum on LinkedIn and someone asked a good question:

“What are the most effective methods of delivering content to customers?”

There were several good responses where people talked about leveraging a high touch approach for unengaged customers, to automated and regular emails, and even taking a situational approach depending on the customers.  All great advice.  However, no one talked about using customer behavior to effectively deliver content.

While tracking customer behavior may not be a method for delivering content, it’s a critical component of many methods, which is why I wanted to discuss it.  So, whether you develop behavior tracking in-house our use customer tracking software, here are several ways it can help.

With email, you can easily blast your customers, and this can improve engagement for some.  However you’ll also annoy other customers and run into email fatigue (where your customers start to ignore your emails).  Instead, if you track customer behavior, you can send blog articles with business cases in them to people who use relevant features of your product, or you can email people who get stuck in a funnel (such as set-up) with hints and tips to help them move forward.  In short, you’re sending emails to people with content relevant to what they are actively doing in your software.

You can also use customer behavior to score customer engagement.  If done properly, this can help you determine when someone might be at risk for churning or be a potential upgrade candidate.  You can also easily bucket customers into highly engaged, medium engagement, and not engaged.  By leveraging customer segmentation models like the above, you can now focus your high touch processes on customers who need it most and your low touch processes on customers who don’t.  This is a very efficient and cost effective way to increase revenue from your customer base.

One of the most effective methods of delivering content and engaging customers isn’t even possible without behavior tracking, and that’s in-context messaging.  When you know, in real time, what someone is doing in your product, and you’re able to deliver messages in your app as soon as the customer does something, you know you’re getting them relevant content when it’s top of mind.  So, without tracking customer behavior it’s not even possible to leverage this content delivery method.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, by tracking customer behavior you can measure the impact of your programs.  In my opinion there is nothing worse than taking a gut feeling approach to customer engagement.  Instead, you need to know the impact of your activities so you can continue to improve and optimize them.   So, no matter what method you use to deliver content, you’ll know if it’s effective and can now easily experiment with multiple approaches to find the right one for you.