Why Zero Party Data Sharing Fits Your Customers Like a Glove
By: Linh Ho, Chief Growth Officer
Teams of front-line sales agents everywhere are singing the praises of an AI technology innovation that is making them look good. Mostly because their customers on the other end are feeling more understood and taken care of than ever. That’s powerful. For both the receiver (customer) and sender (any organization hyper-focused on delighting their customers).
The actual term to describe this customer data type—and that’s getting all kinds of exposure these days—is not a very sexy name. It’s called Zero Party Data.
Forrester Research coined the term Zero Party Data in 2020. And in 2022, Forbes Magazine called Zero Party Data “the new oil.” Is it any wonder this data innovation is fast becoming an essential tool for any company on a mission to grow customer loyalty and goodwill?
Let’s dig into the “what” and “why” of Zero Party Data.
What Is Zero Party Data?
First, it is the customer who drives the data share; they are the ones choosing to proactively and willingly share personal preferences with a motivated outcome: they want to be better taken care of. Think of how you might share with a real estate agent your top 10 “needs” in a new home. Or the way you list ingredients so your barista can consistently make your latte just the way you like it. Both are examples of how you help others–help you. You may be prompted with a question or two, but you gladly respond.
Forrester defines Zero Party Data as: “Data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand, which can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize them.”
As with all AI data innovations today, there is an appropriate spotlight on the ethical and responsible collection of any customer data. Protecting the data security of tech consumers is paramount. During the State of the Union address recently, legislators on both sides of the aisle showed enthusiastic agreement for creating what is likely to become federal privacy law protecting both children and adults. Everyone agrees: our data is worth safeguarding.
In the meantime, giving consumers control of the data share by asking consumers once, then protecting the data always–is critical. In fact, any company in the business of accessing prospect and customer data to create AI-driven recommendations, must be willing to put an ethics-guided stake in the ground around data collection. Then, back that commitment up by clearly stating how they enforce that data collection and protection.
How Does Collecting Zero Party Data Work?
This responsibility for designing ‘what’ to collect typically falls on marketers and is often digitally driven. However, the ‘how’ the data is collected should be anyone who is customer-facing such as sales, customer service reps. The goal is to build out experiences that ask customers for information that they, as marketers, cannot infer, buy, or collect anywhere else. It could be created as an in-app preference center that requests specific, granular details about a product or service, or the creation of data micro experiences—mobile-friendly queries around pieces of personal information.
What Are the Advantages for Marketing and Sales Teams?
These collected customer highlights then become the fuel that charges your data recommendation engine. When applied across all prospect and customer databases, this customer outreach refinement can lead to significantly improved lead generation, conversion, upselling, cross-selling, customer churn mitigation, and in the case of the Zelros’ solution for insurance agents and customers—the ability to consistently make the right insurance risk selections for the best all-around outcomes.
How Are Insurers Benefiting?
Even though the insurance industry was slower to the customer obsession party than other industries, it appears they are making up for lost time. More and more insurers are realizing the advantages of having a robust personalization and recommendation engine working for them 24/7. For example, our AI business platform solution creates actionable customer insights that leverage an insurers’ plus other third-party data. Because it is tailored for insurers in a highly regulated industry, the working AI recommendation engine follows strict Responsible AI standards that are validated by industry regulators.
How Does Zelros Capture Zero Party Data?
In today’s highly competitive marketplace, Zelros wants to help marketing and sales leaders move faster and further by offering a no code platform solution that gives them a 10X faster time-to-market advantage compared with building their own recommendation engine. The value insurers gain is a purposeful way to capture zero party data to supplement their 1st and 3rd party data. As such, insurers can holistically understand the most accurate situation of the customer and their household to proactively prevent and protect what matters most to the customer. Here’s how solutions like Zelros work:
- Offer next best questions to help capture client lifestyle changes, risk exposure changes, validate anticipated life events, and other relevant preference data.
- Allow agents to do this work on their CRM of choice, through direct-to-consumer websites and portals, SMS, or other channels.
- Use an intuitive decision tree so insurance administrators can easily map the client buying journey–while leveraging existing workflows and templates for faster time to value.
- Use AI and Generative AI technologies for further personalization and precision in serving the customer better.
An example of Zelros within the insurers website or portal assisting the consumer in real-time with next best Zero Party data capture.
An example of the Zelros widget within a CRM that helps agents capture real time Zero Party Data.
The fact that collected Zero Party Data fuels how an insurer can more quickly connect with and build customer trust and loyalty—is now a growing must-have capability in the hands of insurance agents and marketers everywhere.
One thing is for sure. Customers will always tell us what they most want and need. Sometimes we just have to ask them.
To see how we capture zero-party data, book a demo today!