Listen! The payments of your customers are talking to you.

Customers make on average 800 payments a year – so that’s 800 opportunities for interaction.

These are really valuable opportunities to get to know your customer. They can facilitate not just ex-post interaction, like thanking the customer for making a purchase, but also ex-ante influencing customer behavior towards desired business goals, like incentivizing the customer to buy slightly more, or to educate them or encourage new habits.

However, incentivizing and rewarding can be cost-effectively achieved, only if thorough knowledge of the customer is available, so that rewards are given diligently and not just for the next transaction. The whole value, the potential, and the satisfaction of the customer must be taken into account.

This approach goes beyond demographics and segmentation. After all, personal data is not always available due to confidentiality reasons. And this will become even more stringent with the advent of new, contactless payment methods, like Apple Pay. Even without personal data, analyzing the unique behavioral ‘fingerprint’ that each customer leaves behind after each single transaction, can be enlightening and more than enough to take informed decisions and actions based on that knowledge.

If we want to interact with our customers, we should not count on clusters, segments or averages. This will only provide guesses, assumptions and one-size-fits-none decisions. We have to observe each customer, one-by-one. Their individual transactional behavior will tell us much more than we would have imagined and expected.

Your customers are talking to you. Not with words but through their actions. You just have to listen to each one of them beyond the noise of the crowd. Although it’s not simple to understand them, the opportunity should not be missed.