Using Data to Create the Ultimate Customer Experience

Top-performing brands often develop multi-year roadmaps that bring together business and IT processes to create more customer-centric digital experiences. The customer-first approach isn’t a new concept, but it’s getting easier with the plethora of new platforms available and the amount of data you can collect.

Digital transformation is a huge priority and challenge for many companies. Transformation starts with the customer, so how can we understand our customers better, improve our service levels and digitize our customer experience? The steps to answering these questions are:

  1. Focus on the customer to better understand them – Connecting the offline, online and multi-device customer experience.
  2. Make the product readily available – Mobilizing and virtually connecting your products and services.
  3. Improve the processes and systems – Agile execution of omni-channel, customer-focused interactive platforms.
  4. Streamline the organization – Digitizing enterprise functions both internally and externally.

Our goal as marketers is to build better customer relationships through high-quality content experiences. Data is key to optimizing the customer experience. Regardless of where your customers (both current and potential) interact with your brand, they are leaving breadcrumbs of data that are available for collection and integration. If there are gaps in your customer data strategy, then you’ll have a disconnected view of your customers and how they feel about your brand.

Here are some simple things your organization can start doing now to improve your data strategy that can have a huge impact on your customer’s experience.

Assess Your Variables

Every analytics system provides the ability to collect customized data. Google Analytics has custom dimensions, and Adobe Analytics has s.Props (traffic variables) and eVars (conversion variables). Regardless of what system you’re using, look at the data you’re collecting and consider how many variables are focused on the customer. More than 50 percent of your data should be focused on the customer rather than the business.

Implement a Data Layer

A data layer is code entered onto your website that collects and stores specified data that can be pulled into other systems whenever you choose. You can create sub-sections to your layer to collect data specific to the user, the page, the business, the product or whatever you choose. This data can be dynamically collected or it can be a static value. You can use tools like web analytics, marketing automation, CRM, etc. to pull information out of the data layer to use as you want. It’s a very quick, powerful and cost effective way to connect anonymous users to their behaviors.

Map Your Customer Journey

To fully understand if you’re collecting the right customer data, map out your full customer journey. At each stage in the journey write down the data that can be collected and how you can use it to improve the customer experience at that stage. Once the entire journey is mapped out, highlight the data that you currently collect. This will quickly show the gaps in your data collection strategy and help you better understand what needs to be collected. It can also show you whether you’re correctly using your current data.

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Before you can truly impact your company, you need to first understand your customer experience and how you can take steps to improve it. Better data will help build a better customer experience, which will ultimately lead to deeper relationships with your customers that create true loyalty and brand advocates.

 

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