Data-Driven Customer Experience: The Organizational Challenge


Hugo Moreno

June 8, 2016

Today’s customer experience requires a combination of individualized insights, connected interactions and an agile approach to meet customers in the channel of their choosing. This means more than simply doing the same things over in the new channels. It requires new ways of exploring customer trends and preferences, and being smarter about responding to these factors.

Data-driven customer experience is critical to the future growth and development of organizations, particularly in today’s hyper-competitive economy. A recent Forbes Insights report, “Data Elevates the Customer Experience: New Ways of Discovering and Applying Customer insights,”—sponsored by SAS and based on a survey of 357 executives of large organizations—finds that the benefits of evolving to data-driven customer experiences (data-driven CX) are wide-ranging, including enhancing revenue generation and enabling cost reduction, as well as accelerating process efficiencies and quality improvements. Data-driven CX also enables organizations to better target and optimize for specific customers, as well as to deliver consistency and context across various channels. To achieve this, however, there needs to be greater alignment of people, processes and technology across enterprises—involving not only sales and marketing teams, but also other key players behind customer experience, including information technology, purchasing and production.

The survey measures organizations’ data-driven CX progress based on three key pillars—organization (people), openness (data) and orchestration (process). These represent the key components on the journey to deliver more compelling and rewarding customer experiences. We will explore these three pillars in a series of three blog posts.

When it comes to organization, the following key findings came to light:

  • Delivering a superior customer experience doesn’t happen overnight—it requires a mix of activities and competencies, from data integration to technology implementations to training to rethinking processes.
  • To meet the challenges of delivering superior customer experiences, organizations are turning to analytics to better understand customer trends and preferences. For three in 10 enterprises, data-driven CX is already delivering a significant shift in elevating customer experiences. Many more executives who are still in the early stages of development anticipate results over the next two years.
  • For the most part, business leaders grasp the importance of enterprise-level data analytics for supporting brand- and customer-focused initiatives.
  • Data-driven customer experience delivers just as much of a positive experience to organizations as it does to customers. For a majority of enterprises, their data-driven CX efforts are already delivering benefits in two key areas: decision making, and stepped-up insights and engagement with customers.

In the quest for better customer experiences, many enterprises dive headlong into technology, but without organizational readiness, technology alone won’t provide a satisfying customer experience.

Among challenges seen in the survey, the leading area of concern to executives is the fact that customer service requests require a chain of activities across enterprises to deliver. The second-ranked concern is that processes required to deliver superior customer experiences are not fully covered by enterprises’ existing IT systems. In addition, executives report the ability to leverage their customer experiences consistently across multiple channels as another challenge.

The survey also asked executives if they are actively measuring the impact of their data analytics as applied to customer experience. The phrase “if you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing” makes a difference when it comes to measuring the success of customer experiences. A majority of enterprises, 58%, have taken this to heart. These metrics take on many forms across the data being generated as it relates to transactions—from conversions to revenues to social media responses. An organization may have tens of thousands of metrics associated with customer experiences, but what ultimately matters is being able to capture and understand the key metrics that relate to customer satisfaction, engagement and buying decisions.

This article was written by Hugo Moreno from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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