It’s like the old 1980s ad “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen”; success today requires you to always be relevant.

Relevance is a table stake across the entire lifecycle of a seller-buyer relationship, not just when you’re making the sale or answering a customer service question.

As buyers move through on their journey, what is relevant to them changes. In fact, it changes at each step of the buyers’ journey. Relevance is defined by the situation, pressures and feelings the buyer has at each step; in other words it’s contextual.  It applies as much to information as it does to actions taken. Understanding what is contextually relevant for each buyer at any point in time is a major challenge for vendors. It’s not like you can constantly ask them.

Now you don’t have to. There is a rise of software vendors that capture and analyze buyers’ digital actions and turn them into actionable behavioral patterns. Coupling these behavioral patterns with in-depth buyers’ journeys, vendors can decipher each buyer’s context. The result is actionable data to more effectively personalize content, landing pages, search results, emails, social communications, and sales and support calls, as well as products to meet evolving customer expectations.

Coveo, one of the industry’s fastest growing software vendors, couples content relevance with front-line collaboration. According to Louis Tetu, CEO, “Coveo builds a unified, federated knowledge index of all the fragmented data and information an enterprise has and merges it with what customers seek.”

The solution indexes every scrape of information within the four walls of an organization including data locked in mainframes, cloud applications and on the web to deliver a single view of the most relevant content based on a customer’s current situation. The index even tracks how different customers, market segments and employees rate the trust-worthiness of indexed information. For a call center agent, that can spell the difference between a successful customer experience and a frustrating one. To achieve this level of customer insight, Coveo believes companies need to put the Long Tail of knowledge to use.

The Long Tail of knowledge can pay off big time in a Seller’s quest to discover what buyers’ do before they ‘raise their hand’. Coveo compares the ‘experience’ patterns created by prior anonymous buyers with current visitor interactions to determine where the buyer is in their journey and what their contextual situation is. Based on the buyer’s current behavior, Coveo finds the closest ‘experience’ pattern and uses it to determine, in real time, the most relevant content, product, web page, etc. to present to that buyer. While Coveo matches anonymous visitors to the best-fit behavior pattern it also detects, in real time, when the buyer’s actions diverge and require different content and experience.

Originally published at https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecrandell/2014/02/11/being-contextually-relevant-increasing-customer-loyalty/#2fa7df2442fd