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Data is at the core of any customer experience strategy — it informs every decision you make about how to deliver the best possible experience and build lasting relationships with your customers. But not all customer data capturing processes are created equal.
While most organizations would love to have one golden customer record and a single system where all their data is gathered and continuously updated, more often than not, customer data is siloed in a variety of non-integrated technologies. Disparate systems make data analysis fairly complicated. But there are answers. The best data gathering process gives you access to a 360° view of your customers.
What Is a 360° View?
A 360° view of your customers is the full picture of their needs and preferences — this level of understanding is developed from relevant data that’s integrated across the customer journey.
When you have all the customer data you need in one centralized place, you’re empowered to analyze that data more effectively, and glean actionable insights that enable stronger decision making.
How Do You Gain a 360° View?
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, your starting point here should actually not be your data.
If we look at data as the building blocks of your home, for example, you wouldn’t start building without having a blueprint to reference throughout the process — that method would likely lead to a lot of tearing down and rebuilding of the rooms you’ve built incorrectly! Instead, you should envision the completed house and draft a plan to get there.
Your customer experience strategy is the blueprint for your end goal — you start with the details of that goal and work backward, laying out the steps for achieving it. Only once you have this plan mapped out, will data come into play.
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When planning your strategy, there are two exercises that will help you clarify your smaller goals and understand what’s at stake:
- Map your customer journey
Assess your current customer experience across every channel of interaction with your organization, throughout and beyond the sales funnel. Note where you lose your customer’s interest, where you might have integration gaps, and where customers seem most compelled to continue their relationship with your business.
- Map your employee journey
Do the same assessment from the employee perspective. Note where your employees are missing crucial information that would better enable them to serve your customers, where communication could be improved, and where the agent-customer relationship is working well.
Performing these two exercises will help you understand aspirational best practices and determine where you’re meeting them or falling short. You’ll be able to identify your maturity gap – the space between your current state and where you want to be when it comes to customer experience.
Once you have your customer experience blueprint, you can move on to data inventory. Here are some steps you can take to build a complete picture of the current state and future goals of your data:
- Assemble the pieces
Gather all your data from the various sources you use, putting it all in front of you at once so you can see and analyze it holistically.
- Understand what data you have
Where are you collecting your strongest data? What questions about your customers are answered by your current data?
- Understand what data you need
What holes exist in your current data? What questions do you have about your customers that are currently going unanswered?
- Assess your data technology
Where does your data currently come from? Do you have a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM)? Is your Contact Center providing data? Do you use Enterprise Resource Planning software? Look at the technology you use and figure out where it fits in your data collection strategy.
After data inventory is complete, you’re ready to build your actionable data plan. Remember to think about your end goals. How do you want your data to be presented? Who needs access to your data? How frequently will you be monitoring your data? Answering these questions will help guide you in mapping out your plan of action.
Leveraging Microsoft Customer Insights to Get a 360° View
There’s a shortcut to integrating your data: Microsoft has been weaving their powerful AI capability, Insights, through all their applications, which enables it to aggregate data from multiple sources and show it to you in one centralized location. This lets you surface the data, reason over it, glean valuable insights from it, and make actionable decisions based on those insights.
For example, if you want to run a marketing campaign for particular segments of your audience, Insights can pull customer data on those segments from across all your channels to help you understand these customers and tailor your campaign to their specific needs. This kind of hyper-personalization increases customer engagement, which can boost revenue by 5-10%.
Avtex is a global leader in this kind of customer insight implementation. Recently, we helped Chipotle leverage customer data to improve their relationships with their customers, and the result was a tremendous improvement in their brand loyalty.
Avtex helped Chipotle merge over 400 million records, and as a result, Chipotle projects as much as $280 million in annual sales revenue growth as a result of activating as much as 34% in newly uncovered customers and cross-sales opportunities.
Developing a better understanding of your customers is key to delivering better customer experiences — and that starts with data. With a strong data collection plan and the right technology to help you analyze your customer data set, you’ll be well positioned to deliver memorable, valuable customer experiences.