Contextual Activation: What It Is and Why You Should Care

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by Sarah Poore | Last Updated: Oct 4, 2017

Remember the days of dial-up internet? For me, it brings back memories of more than just that horrible dial-up tone...I remember that was a time when an internet page took about thirty seconds to load. And now, people get upset when their internet doesn’t load instantaneously. This applies to more than just your internet connection though. Customers today need instant (in two seconds or less if they’re a millennial). This calls for a customer experience revolution. Contextual activation can revolutionize the customer experience by offering a seamless experience before, during, and after they purchase an item. This means going above and beyond the expected. Getting Personal Let’s talk the basics. Quick, easy, and frictionless–those are the driving concepts behind contextual activation. At its core, providing contextual activation methods for your customers creates an experience that allows them to interact immediately and without interruption. It sounds technical, but it really comes down to creating a moment when your customer interacts with you or your product. Now, let me put it in perspective and give you a couple examples that can hopefully show you the power behind creating moments when providing contextual activation: Scenario 1: Frictionless Set-Up It’s Christmastime. You have little ones running around with all the toy boxes they just unwrapped, and you want to go back to sleep because they woke you up at 5 a.m. You look at the toys they want to play with and you see the dreaded words: “Some Assembly Required”. Now you could spend an hour per toy reading the too-small-to-read, vague instructions on how to put it together, or you could tap your phone using NFC or scan a QR code that takes you to a video showing you exactly how to put the toy together with common complications, and allows you to contact the company if there’s a part missing or you run into any other trouble. The less time you spend putting toys together, the more time you get to spend with your family (or napping off that Christmas dinner). When you tap or scan, that’s using contextual activation to create a positive post-purchase experience. Scenario 2: Personalized Shopping You walk into your favorite grocery store, ready to stock your fridge for the week. If you take the time to walk through every aisle it will take you an hour to make it through the store, plus however long it takes you to finalize your decision on buying something or not, and then checking out after you put the things you don’t want back on the shelves. Or, you can scan or tap a device in the store that recognizes you and your past purchases and will send a “roadmap” to your favorite products to repurchase and suggest products that you might like and let you know exactly where they are. It makes sure that you only see things that are relevant to you. Tapping or scanning that device and then interacting with the map is using contextual activation to create a more seamless and personalized shopping experience. Benefits For Your Business You can see how contextual activation fits seamlessly into our lives as consumers, but now let’s discuss what it means for your business. Contextual activation is another way you can ensure that your customer experience stands out from the competition. Three out of four consumers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences, and more than two thirds of consumers state that they are willing to spend more with a company they believe provides excellent customer service. Contextual activation can help you provide that stellar customer experience that excites your customers. And more importantly for your bottom line, it can also help you maintain your customers and get them to spend more with you.

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