In the digital world, we are constantly creating data. To improve the customer experience, it’s essential for businesses to make sense of all this data and understand how to use it to their advantage.
We have previously explored how to form a strong relationship with the customer , as well as how to build a meaningful customer journey. But now, it’s time to consider how digital data can impact your organisation, including its effect on the customer journey.
Understanding data and its influence upon business is a challenge for most organisations. Websites, social media, mobiles and apps are just a few of the touchpoints with which a business interacts with its customers, and with each of those interactions comes a new opportunity to gather data and improve the customer experience.
There is a huge amount of data being generated throughout the customer journey. Therefore, to find gaps and opportunities for engagement, it is essential to be able to organise and understand the information. This should be one of the first initiatives when companies start to invest in and focus on their customer journey, as Gartner expects more than 40% of all data and analytics projects to relate to the customer experience by 2020.
When we talk about data intelligence, we’re actually talking about helping businesses to integrate their data and make sense of it. The importance lies with making data more actionable, and eventually, making the company more profitable.
At Stefanini, we use a four-step methodology to help make sense of large quantities of data:
First, we look at both the business objectives and customer experience objectives. These might be customer loyalty, engagement or conversions. Depending on what goals the company has, there will be a data strategy tailored to it, aligning business success and analytics initiatives. One of the main outputs here is a roadmap for data consolidation and analysis, which considers business maturity and objectives.
This is where we view all of the data and organise it; looking at data from all sources, including both internal and third-party information, and starting to piece it together. This step makes data accessible for all members within the business and can take into account factors such as the maturity and readiness of the business.
Once the data is accessible, it’s easy to use our expertise to analyse and generate reports, creating working results or predictions for the future. Here, the aim is to use statistical techniques to determine the value and provide actionable insights for the business.
Presenting data in the best way possible is important. This stage might involve collaboration between designers and data scientists, but visualising data enables different stakeholders to understand how data impacts the business as a whole.
So, why is data so powerful? And what impact can it have within a business?
Generating customer insight
Understanding customer behaviour by collecting data at different touchpoints – such as their navigation behaviour, likes and dislikes, and conversation on social media – helps create a more relevant service, product or content, and deliver a better customer experience.
For example, a social media monitoring system, like Gauge’s Perceptool, is a great way of collecting and quantifying qualitative data, meaning it can be analysed alongside quantitative results. Evaluating how the business is performing on social media by looking at the volume of shares, likes and reach a post achieves provides quantitative data, while positive or negative comments or mentions provide qualitative insight. When we put this data together, it’s easier to understand what services or products perform best, and what customers perceive as better. This enables organisations to identify opportunities for creating new and elaborating on existing content.
Investing in digital performance
The cycle of investment and analysis depends entirely on the justification of spending. Data also enables organisations to review and justify their investment in customer experience by understanding how it can drive sales and benefits the business in other ways.
Using data, businesses are able to understand how best to invest their available budget. When evaluating integrated data, it’s possible to see where business results are affected by investment and identify those which are more important. For example, a company looking to increase its sales results might find out that customers with a specific behaviour pattern, like watching a brand video on Facebook, are most likely to purchase. As a result, the company might choose to prioritise this within the customer journey.
Gathering different data sets from customer touchpoints enables a business to look closer at customers as individuals. In fact, this can even be refined down to a one-to-one relationship. Imagine, for instance, if a customer interacts with a business via ecommerce or social media, and then visits a physical shop where staff can access the individual’s profile to see what products they like or have purchased previously. This then allows them to make tailored recommendations of other products they might also enjoy. This close relationship can also be automated through the use of AI, such as our own tool, Sophie, ensuring that customers have a smooth, tailored experience.
Benefiting from data privacy
While the introduction of GDPR has had a considerable impact on how businesses store and use the data that belongs to their customers, it also has a positive effect on customer experience. GDPR has given people power over the ownership of their data, requiring companies to show customers what they will do with it. Instead of being a hindrance to businesses, the introduction of GDPR has provided an opportunity to develop more meaningful relationships with the public. Businesses must now offer added value in return for their customers’ data, and in many cases, this value takes the form of an improved, more personalised customer experience.
Data is vital to all parts of the customer journey, from helping to plan it, to analysing its success. With the development of digital technology leading to increased numbers of customer touchpoints, data is more accessible and relevant than ever, and can be integrated to add great value to customer experience.
In a world where measuring and collecting data is becoming effortless, the value lies in interweaving digital data from different touchpoints, and using it to understand how to improve the customer experience as a whole.
Curious to know more about data integration?