From the first time they land on your website to the moment they make a purchase, you need to deliver a smooth and cohesive customer experience — or risk losing out. With CX leaders securing returns three times higher than those lagging behind, neglecting your customer experience isn’t an option.
Of course, the challenges of building an industry-leading customer experience (CX) are significant, and we won’t pretend to cover it all here. But at its heart is a single question: what do your customers want?
To help you answer that question, you’ll need a careful, balanced engagement with your customer data.
Your organization will have access to enormous quantities of data that can help you understand your customers’ needs and expectations. With the right tools and processes in place to draw actionable insights, you’ll be in a position to deliver an impactful customer experience.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the four steps your organization needs to take in order to build a truly data-driven customer experience.
1. Understand what data you’re gathering
It’s a simple point, but a fundamental one: if you don’t know what data you have, you won’t be able to use it. So, your first step is to establish visibility over the customer-related data you gather, and who in your organization is responsible for it.
The likelihood is that many different teams will be gathering customer data. You may have:
- Product usage data. Your product team may gather this to understand user behaviour and identify improvements
- Website analytics. Your marketing team may use this to understand what kind of content your customers engage with
- Support ticket statistics. Your support team may collate these to identify recurring problems
- Sales data. Your sales team may use this to map out the path from prospects to customers
- Third-party data. Social media engagement and review websites provide direct feedback and insights from your customers.
All of this data has value for understanding your customers and optimizing your CX. Reach out to these teams to develop a sense of the data they have and how they make use of it. This will allow you to begin to map out points of overlap and identify gaps.
2. Provide business-wide access to key data
Customers engage with your brand in a holistic way, and you need to approach your CX with this in mind. Everything from your marketing strategy to your product development and support processes should be in alignment. But to achieve this, your teams need to be able to work collaboratively with data.
For instance, knowing what product features users engage with most can help your marketing team refine their campaigns and your sales team tighten up their pitches. But if they need to request the data from your product team each time they need it — or if they don’t know it exists in the first place — the chances are they won’t factor it into their strategies.
By allowing relevant teams to easily explore and engage with relevant data, you’ll encourage a truly collaborative approach to improving your CX. To begin, find out how frequently teams are sharing relevant data, and what processes they use. At this stage, you can identify obvious bottlenecks. For instance, incompatible systems may make sharing data difficult.
If teams haven’t made sharing data a priority, data silos may have emerged. Tackling these will be necessary to develop a full picture of your customer experience and identify areas for improvement.
3. Give teams the tools they need
Opening up access to key data is a vital step — but you need to make sure your teams can actually work with it.
CX relies on a deep understanding of customer motivations, not just broad-scale patterns or loose trends. This requires a granular view of customer behavior based on a full range of available data. But with multiple datasets to work with, each stored in different systems, non-technical users may struggle to generate these kinds of insights.
By adopting user-friendly tools for engaging with and analyzing data, you’ll generate more nuanced analyses from multiple perspectives. Instead of focusing on the touchpoints you’re most familiar with, you’ll get a true end-to-end picture of your CX.
4. Stay ahead of shifting expectations
Customer expectations aren’t static. The COVID-19 pandemic showed just how quickly nice-to-haves can become non-negotiables for customers. As lockdowns shaped buying habits, flexible online ordering experiences were suddenly essential.
Once you have a full range of customer data on hand and a stronger foundation for analytics, you need to keep your eyes on the future. As well as understanding your customers’ current behavior, you’ll also surface subtle shifts in how they engage with your services. These are shifts that could signal larger-scale changes.
A data-driven customer experience means you don’t have to be reactive to your customers’ evolving expectations. You can identify the initial signs and outpace your competition by adapting to them.
How CloverDX supports a data-driven customer experience
We’ve outlined four key steps to building a data-driven customer experience. We appreciate that taking those steps may seem daunting. You will likely need buy-in from senior leaders to drive the shift, and ongoing support from your IT team to make it a reality
Nevertheless, the investment is worth making. With a third of customers willing to abandon a brand they love after just one bad experience, even small adjustments to your CX can have an outsized impact on retention.
And you don’t need to go it alone. Powerful, feature-rich technologies can help make this transformation much smoother.
CloverDX is a data integration platform that helps you champion a collaborative and democratic approach to data. Here’s how it supports a data-driven customer experience:
- Access relevant, real-time data with a live data catalog. You’ll be able to see a single, centralized overview of all your organization’s data. This means finding and accessing the data you need only takes a few clicks.
- Engage in data preparation and analysis without the need for coding knowledge or IT support. And with the ability to automate repeated steps, users can focus on generating valuable CX insights rather than repetitive data tasks.
- Maintain IT oversight through centralized data management. Your IT team can apply rules to ensure consistency and automated validation checks to identify errors. Your customer data will be easier to use — and easier to trust.
If you’d like to get a more in-depth look at how CloverDX can help transform your approach to customer data, book a demo today.