1,000 customer journeys for a single destination.
Telefónica Germany implements personalized customer experiences with Adobe Experience Platform.
Employees: approximately 8,000
central platform for personalization at scale
- Provide tailor-made offers every time
- Establish seamless customer service whether online or in-store
- Combines online behavioral data with existing customer information in real-time
- Makes unified customer information available across all touch points
Personalized customer approach online and in store
After originally starting out as a mobile phone provider, O2 — Telefónica Germany’s main brand — has transformed itself into a digital leader over the last few years. Today however, there is a lot more behind the brand with the blue logo. The company’s growth means it’s now serving customers across multiple channels and touchpoints — including high street stores, via its website, and through its customer service call centers, to name a few. When customers engage with O2, they see just one brand, regardless of which channel they interact with — but to give customers a consistent experience, the company needed one central solution for both collecting and providing customer insights.
A central customer data platform makes personalized content possible
“We think in terms of households,” explains Steven Burkhardt, Head of Digital Analytics at Telefónica Germany, who is responsible for the technology behind the ambitious marketing project.
Whether O2 is offering customers a new contract, TV subscription, or new device, it wants to provide customers with individual deals and personalized, tailored content at all times. “To do that, we need to be able to bring different sources of information together into one place,” notes Burkhardt. “For example, it is important for us to break down who is in the household. We need to see which products they already have and we need to see who in the household might already be an O2 customer, or a customer of one of the other Telefónica Germany brands. If we can understand that, then my team can support customers in the best possible way, offering them the content and services most relevant to their situation.”
As such, Telefónica opted for Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform (Adobe Real-Time CDP), an application service provided by Adobe Experience Platform to develop optimum real-time customer experiences across all channels.
Thanks to the platform, all online data including behavior-based web data, is combined with the company’s own existing customer information as well as information from other data sources across the business, including the retail data. This makes it possible for the brand to create targeted scores for customers, which are then used to determine purchase probability forecasts that are made available across all channels at all times.
The smart way to use the DSL availability checker
A great example of this is the online Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) availability checker that allows O2 customers to check network coverage. “We have a relatively high number of visitors to our service availability pages, but we’ve not progressed further with how we use this information yet. What we do know is many customers visit our shops after visiting the site in order to ask for DSL,” says Burkhardt. “The pandemic actually exacerbated this cross-channel behavior. We’ve now developed a corresponding business case, testing how we can make information about customers’ online searches available to our employees in retail stores. If we can do that, then customers can still be addressed in a targeted way, with bundled offers specially developed to fit their individual needs.”
"Even though we have less footfall in stores now, when customers visit, they come with a purpose. So, the better we can respond to their needs, the higher both their subsequent satisfaction and conversion rates will be."
Head of Digital Analytics, Telefónica Germany
The DSL availability checker alone yields six-figure visitor numbers each month. In the future, when a customer enters a store after completing an online search, or contacts the service by phone, the employee they speak to will already have the relevant information they need about that customer to hand.
As an additional marketing measure, the company will also send personalized emails — based on the customer’s DSL online search and include tailor-made offers to further support any subsequent purchasing decisions. “The whole experience will traverse online and offline with real omni-channel marketing across all relevant touchpoints,” explains Burkhardt. “But it goes without saying that private information is protected. Customers of course decide for themselves which data they want to make available to us for further use.”
Trust is the foundation for a successful customer experience
The example of the DSL availability checker is just a mere pixel in a high-resolution image — it shows a completely new kind of customer experience and how companies can interact with their customers, and Burkhardt believes buying behavior will change even more over the coming years.
“The trends are already clear: dovetailing online and offline touchpoints is becoming increasingly important — and it is the only way in which complex products, tariffs, and deals can be presented to customers reliably and satisfactorily,” says Burkhardt. “Personal contact is the big difference between online and bricks-and-mortar retail, and technology is the best way to improve retail sales and provide customers with a consistent experience. We don’t want to replace bricks-and-mortar retail with digital offerings. We’d simply like to bring the two closer together to create true omni-channel experiences.”
"In-store, there is a person I can look in the eye and share a little joke with, which already helps me to feel confident and positive – and that’s the kind of customer experience we are seeking to recreate in e-commerce."
Head of Digital Analytics, Telefónica Germany
The set up also means customers can feel confident when switching from e-commerce to a phone call, chatbot service, or speaking to someone in store should they need help if any questions or problems arise. “For this to succeed, data needs to be shared in real-time across all channels. That’s where Adobe Real-Time CDP has been invaluable. It helps us to share this information,” says Burkhardt.
Many journeys lead to the destination
The system, which is tailored to each vertical, creates the right conditions for designing any customer journey — notably those that Telefónica expect its customers to experience in the future.
“We started with two use cases to prove the concept,” explains Burkhardt. “That figure has since increased to 48. Each case represents a customer characteristic that is synchronized across all channels. For example, customers can receive a renewal offer directly if there is information available that states their mobile phone contract is about to expire, or if a user seems only interested in iPhones then they will hear from Telefónica when a new model is launched as early as possible.
“There will probably be over 1,000 cases for new and existing customers, with just as many different customer journeys that need to be managed via corresponding data points,” Burkhardt continues. “Adobe Real-Time CDP makes it possible to manage each of these and the complexity associated with data-driven marketing based on different clusters of customers. It also creates a consistent yet personalized customer experience across all channels. O2 is just the beginning. In the future, you’ll be sure to see our other Telefónica Germany brands following suit.”
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