Want to provide a better customer experience? Then start by getting your data ducks in a row!
A staggering 73% of business leaders say that delivering a relevant and reliable customer experience is critical to their company’s overall business performance. 93% agreeing that this will definitely be the case within the next two years. But more startling – only 23% say they are able to act on the customer data they collect!
SMEs are no longer talking about why they need to use their data better. They know; and now want to get in the game. But in reality, very few SMEs have the broader technology strategies and vision in place to support a genuine pivot towards customer-centricity, much less the actual systems, processes or resources ready to roll-out.
Both the concept and the reality of Big Data is overwhelming and how to channel it in a way to streamline the customer experience even more baffling. The SME’s existing database content is possibly highly unstructured or even still heavily siloed. New streams of data available via the business’s online interactions, website and social channels, as well as IoT developments, are appealing and look useful, but the volume and constancy of the data input from these channels can be paralysing.
What ends up happening is that many SMEs, desperate to generate some CX cred and not miss the boat, either start dabbling by focusing little bits of their attention on the top layers of the data they have available to them, prematurely building apps without polished backend technology and systems in place to support them, or even perhaps without having properly explored the user experience their customers actually want! The result? CX projects that fail to generate buy-in of any kind.
With limited time, resources, and the potential for very visible customer-facing failures, what path should be SME take? This is where the IT and business partnership is central in driving forward the SME’s customer experience journey.
Businesses need to start small and move fast, whilst keeping their eye on the bigger prize. Working with a business technology partner that will bring expertise, insight and agility to the table is key as a tactical approach to leveraging your data, stage by stage, to design and replicate a customer experience that will deliver real outcomes.
The Tactical Approach to Using Data to Drive CX
Listen to what’s going on right now
Forget about jumping to the future predictions. Use the data you have to build up a clearer picture about what is going on right now – in your business, with your customers, and with your competitors. Work with your business technology partner to look at the data you already hold and have access to right now to build up a set of clear metrics that will reveal the customers that are most relevant, most likely to buy, and hold the greatest market influence, and who and what those customers are interested in now instead of you!
Analyse the metrics
Once you have established a stream of metric-based insights from data streams that are actually relevant to your business, your business technology partner will be key in helping you analyse those metrics and identify patterns in the way customers engage with you and your competitors. What works and what doesn’t? What did your customers engage with or not?
Enter the strategy
This is the critical and most often overlooked part of the process. How are you going to translate the metrics into meaningful insights? And then how are you going to put those insights to work in actually winning customers and generating revenue in the real world? And how do you plan to continue to surprise and delight them so that they not only remain your customer, but starting advocating for you too?
And at last…here comes the tech!
Now we talk tech…Have you already built a fancy app that’s not doing too well for you without really thinking about steps 1-3? You have to know what your customers are actually doing, using, and wanting, so that you can choose from the vast and ever increasing array of tech options on offer that will actually serve your strategy!
The process and the pivot!
Digital transformation waits for no-one, and you will need to regularly and consistently cycle back to step 1 to notice new trends and changes that maybe your customers aren’t even aware of yet – rebuild your metrics and your strategy and pivot your offering so that you stay relevant and are ready to offer your customer the CX they want and you need.
- Got lots of cool stats but not doing anything with them?
- Rolled out an app that doesn’t do much for you and wondering where you went wrong?
- Launched a big rebrand or CX-focused marketing initiative without metrics to match?
- Gone gung-ho with cool tech, but realized it doesn’t integrate well with your systems or is not seamless enough customer-side?
Go back to basics. Get your ducks in a row: focus on data, metrics, strategy, tech and the process – and work with a business technology partner for CX success.
Want to read more about customer experience?
Building a Better Customer Experience | The 3 Human Touches to Inspire Customer Loyalty in the Digital Age | Are You Feeling the Love?