Data Quality and Integration Key to the Customer Experience

Data Quality and Integration Key to the Customer Experience

Customer experience has been and will continue to be top of mind for marketers these days. And for good reason. Positive experiences generate more revenue, brand loyalty, and repeat purchases. On the other hand, a poor experience can have extremely negative ramifications, damaging brand reputation and causing customers to quickly flock to the competition.

Econsultancy and Ensighten surveyed more than 600 companies worldwide, finding that “Nearly all (96 percent) surveyed companies deem customer experience optimization important, with more than two in five companies (41 percent) claiming that this is now a high priority for their organization.”

The top 3 benefits of a superior customer experience included:

  • Higher engagement and  conversion rates
  • Better brand perception and loyalty
  • Renewal, cross-sell and upsell

customer experience optimization

According to a study released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU):

Overall, 71% of respondents said their typical response to a bad experience is to stop doing business with the company. A slight majority (55%) typically tell friends and family about it in person or by email, while 42% said they complain to the company and 26% post a comment on social media.

Meanwhile, consumers typically respond to an outstanding experience by making a mental note to buy from the company again (69%), telling friends and family (51%) and posting a comment on a social media site (23%).”

As marketers, we often tend to think of customer experience as good customer service, quick response times to customer complaints or inquiries, and the availability of product and service information across multiple channels. These of course are all imperative to the customer experience but a key component is often overlooked – accurate customer data and a complete 360-degree customer view.

The EIU report revealed that 36% of respondents pointed to data siloes within the organization as the biggest obstacle standing in the way of improving the organization’s customer experience. This is various data sitting in systems such as email, billing, customer service, POS, and other systems containing customer data. Each system has important information on the customer – but only bits and pieces of the complete customer picture. As long as this data continues to sit in separate siloes, an organization has no way to access the complete customer view to understand preferences, likes and dislikes, and what will drive the most optimal customer experience.

Consumers are feeling the impact of those companies who lack this 360-degree view. According to Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), “Asked about companies they already buy from regularly, consumers said that the most important improvements that could be made to the overall quality experience were to provide better links between in-store and online services (32%) and provide better coordination across different parts of the business, such as marketing and customer service (30%).”

According to another study by Forrester, “Garbage in/garbage out erodes customer satisfaction. Customer service agents need the right data about their customers, purchases, and prior service history at the right point in the service cycle to deliver the right answers. But when their tool sets pull data from low-quality data sources, agents don’t have the right information to answer their customers. An international bank, for example, could not meet its customer satisfaction goals because agents in its 23 contact centers all followed different operational processes, using up to 18 different apps — many of which contained duplicate data — to serve a single customer.”

The Econsultancy study provides further validation to the importance of an integrated customer view. 51% of respondents strongly agree a single customer view is critical to long-term success.

single customer view

However, only 70% of companies are just starting the process of data integration to get to a single customer profile and only 1 in 5 companies are using a single customer profile for most of their marketing applications.

Ultimately, delivering on a customer’s needs and preferences begins with high quality and integrated data. Armed with the correct insights about a consumer’s preferences, likes, dislikes, past purchases, and current behaviors can have a significant impact on whether your business enjoys a profitable and long-term relationship with your customers.

To learn more about data driven practices can improve your customer experiences download our free customer experience marketing guide.

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