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How To Use Connected Data To Improve Your Customers’ Experience

03/09/2015

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The past year has seen many buzzwords come to light, not least the term ‘big data’. This term, alongside ‘smart data’ and ‘small data’ are each becoming increasingly important in their own right, however, with so much data it can be easy to become overloaded.

What many tend to forget is that it’s not just about having the data but how the data is used to make improvements to the customer experience and also how it is used to improve business processes. It’s no good having all this data: big, small, smart or otherwise, if we don’t use it properly.

Using data to improve your customer experience is what data insight and analysis should be about. These days, customers expect nigh on perfection and the slightest downfall in their experience with a company can lead to them moving across to a competitor instead. Data is crucial to helping you stay ahead of your competition, keep one step ahead and ensure that you are giving your customers the most preferential customer service experience you can possibly give.

However, you will never be able to deliver the best customer experiences if you do not have the right data connections in place.

Earlier this year, research was released by Gartner which showed that poor mobile customer service is damaging customer engagement. The reality is many people still prefer to speak to a real person than deal with someone virtually, or an actual machine. Gartner’s research backed this view, predicting that by 2017, even though it’s more costly, one third of company interactions with customers would still need a human.

Customers expect the service they receive to be of a high standard and personalised wherever possible. It is therefore incredibly important for companies to keep in mind that they need to link up their online and offline data (multi-channel) in order to ensure that their customers’ needs are served in as accurate and linked up manner as possible.

Connected data allows you to recognise your customers, thus ensuring you can provide them with the personalisation they are after. People are not machines and they do not want to be treated as such. It may be easier for your company to set up mechanical processes and talk about customers in terms of segments, but this will not impress or help your customers.

To be the best you can be and provide your customers with the services they demand, you must connect all your data sources. 

However, customers won’t just give you all the data you require if they don’t trust you. Customers need to know why you require certain data, how the data is going to be treated and how the data is going to improve the services they receive. If they don’t have this information from you, why should they give you their data?

Your company, like many others, will have been collecting all kinds of customer data (online and offline) for many years, however, without being able to connect all of your offline and online data, you will not have been able to make full use of this information.

Fortunately, there are now a range of onboarding technologies available which allow you to connect the customer data you have from your offline and online channels, which means you can now more effectively integrate your offline knowledge into your digital marketing strategy.

Connecting your data in this way will ensure your company is more ‘on the ball’ and able to spot retail opportunities as and when they occur. You should find that connecting your data, no matter what channel it has come from, improves your customer service. Connected data will make your company more effective because you will be able to react to your customers in a timely and accurate manner and establish a combined view of all of your customers.

Arming yourself with this knowledge will allow you to better target your customers with offers and products that they will be interested in, thus increasing the chances of a sale. Being able to personalise your services in this manner will increase your customers’ satisfaction with your company and, as a result, increase the loyalty they feel to your brand.

To put it simply, connected data will give you a deeper understanding of your customers. This deeper understanding will allow you to enhance the services you deliver to your customers, which in turn, will make your customers happier and more likely to keep using your services and /or products. Thus the retail circle keeps on going.

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