How Data Drives Next-Generation Customer Experiences
Customer experience management and digitization has been transforming customer interactions for well over a decade, but the recent pandemic has dramatically accelerated that trend, driving significant new investments in integration and setting a new standard for customer expectations globally.
Today, it’s more important than ever before that enterprises deliver a world-class customer experience for their target audiences. A great CX builds brand loyalty, adding significantly to total customer lifetime value and turning casual customers into word-of-mouth evangelists.
The challenge is that many businesses still struggle to make effective use of their data to help them understand their customers and deliver a highly personalized, interactive experience based on that knowledge.
Earlier this year, analyst firm Corinium Intelligence surveyed data-focused executives from 100 global enterprises about their efforts to create world-class digital customer experiences. The resulting report, entitled How Data is Driving Next Generation Customer Experiences, revealed the top challenges facing global CX brand managers and how the world’s most innovative business leaders are working to overcome them.
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Here’s a summary of some of the key findings from that report.
Macroeconomic Challenges Hamper Efforts to Improve CX
The past several years have been volatile, to say the least. The COVID pandemic had massive implications for the global economy, prompting the closure of many brick-and-mortar stores and accelerating digital transformation and cloud adoption in the retail space. US eCommerce sales grew by 50.5% between 2019 and 2021, as shoppers abandoned traditional retail numbers en masse.
As companies shift into post-pandemic recovery mode, many of the broader economic challenges that originated during the pandemic persist. Supply chain performance has improved, yet the availability of many products and raw materials remains uncertain. Costs are rising. Many companies find it difficult to hire and retain skilled workers.
As a result, automation and cost savings have been key areas of focus, eclipsing efforts to improve overall CX. The Corinium study found that 79% of global CX leaders viewed cost savings as the highest priority, and 74% were focused on a return to “business as usual” in the wake of the pandemic and its aftermath. Many CX leaders feel as if they are merely treading water, rather than moving forward with initiatives that lend strategic value to their organizations.
Harnessing Data for Next-Gen Customer Experiences
The solution is the intelligent application of data. The Corinium study found that only 37% of organizations surveyed have a well-developed enterprise data architecture capable of supporting high-quality, data-driven, and personalized CX.
The companies surveyed by Corinium rated the quality of their CX at an average of 6.7 out of 10. That means most organizations see plenty of room for improvement. Using data to drive a personalized CX is an obvious winning strategy, but many are still poorly equipped to turn that potential into a reality. Greg Van den Heuvel, EVP and GM at Precisely explained why: “A lot of organizations aren’t prepared structurally to handle the incoming avalanche of data. Many organizations have very siloed teams when it comes to managing data, and don’t have powerful enough data organizations to analyze incoming information and translate it into actionable insights.”
The Corinium report outlined seven key business benefits of a data-driven approach to CX. Better targeting and personalization capabilities, for example, deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time. When companies communicate relevant, timely information, their messages are simply more likely to get through. A holistic data-driven approach increases conversion rates as well, and it improves the customer journey across multiple channels within a company’s omnichannel landscape.
Data Quality and Data Governance Are Key
The authors of the Corinium report noted that problems with data quality and data governance hamper efforts to move forward aggressively and effectively with key initiatives aimed at improving CX. Data accessibility is the number one barrier to creating data-driven customer experiences. Lack of relevant or current data comes in second place.
Legacy systems and a lack of integration are frequent root causes of these problems. Many organizations also lack the kind of current, high-quality data for enrichment, including mobility and geospatial information that add powerful context alongside existing customer data.
Great CX is dependent on a unified and coherent approach to customer communications, yet 56% of respondents in the Corinium study agreed or strongly agreed that siloed, uncoordinated communications prevent their companies from delivering seamless digital experiences for their customers.
Proactive programs to manage data quality at scale are a necessary precursor to personalized, targeted digital CX. Data governance ensures information can be effectively accessed across the internal organizational boundaries that often stand in the way of effective data access.
Outdated customer communications technology is also a major factor, harming the quality of customer interactions and making interdepartmental collaboration even more difficult. Old technology tends to exacerbate the problem of data silos and organizational inertia. Poor interoperability renders such systems ineffective and leads to inefficiencies.
CX Investments Are on the Rise
According to the CX leaders who responded to Corinium, most have made significant investments in customer communications over the past two years, or they plan to do so in the near future. The most popular initiatives include text messaging technology, customer relationship management software, and omnichannel communications platforms. Data integrity is also a high priority for top global brands, incorporating enterprise integration to eliminate silos, data quality to ensure accuracy and completeness, and data enrichment to provide richer, more valuable context.
Companies of all sizes use Precisely’s technology to deliver excellence in digital CX. That includes our EngageOne platform for streamlining and managing communications, as well as our Data Integrity Suite for powering a truly data-driven approach to omnichannel CX.
To learn more about trends in customer experience management and next-generation CX, download the full Corinium report today.