5 principles to drive better customer experiences

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What does it take to get customer experience right? We can probably all agree that it starts with data, and that means good data. Data holds clues about what your customers want, how they feel, how they like to engage with your brand, how often they want to be in touch with you and how they react to what you do. All of us now generate a significant digital footprint, and research shows that plenty of customers are willing to allow access to their digital history as a price for better personalisation. At a recent event, we heard a number of perspectives that validated some views, and challenged some myths, around the science of unique customer experiences.

1. Discovery and automation are the big wins

Data, even good data, is only the start. It is not information, and it is certainly not insights. If you want to move forward, you have to be able to analyse that data in the right way to provide useful insights.

The good news, however, is that by doing so, you can significantly affect your customer retention and loyalty. Companies everywhere are starting to see that data-driven marketing is much more powerful than marketing using instinct alone. A recent Harvard Business Review survey of 560 business leaders around the globe found that 58 percent of respondents said that their companies have seen a significant increase in customer retention and loyalty as a result of the use of customer analytics.

In other words, data and analytics will help you to discover and understand your customers’ needs, and then automate the actions needed to respond. This is easy to say, but what does it mean?

2. Contextual relevance is a thing

Why, though, do you need such a complete picture of your customers? The only reason is so that you can react effectively and create a contextual and relevant response to your customers’ activity. In other words, you can get the response right and provide it at the right time.

Identifying the “next-best offer” means understanding what your customer is likely to need and want in the moment.

3. Speed sometimes means real-time

Real-time analytics has made it possible to respond extremely rapidly, and sometimes even before the customers themselves have identified a need. Making the right decision at speed is crucial to delivering a good customer experience.

4. Be as holistic as possible

One of the biggest benefits of using data and analytics is that you can get a better (and here, that means more complete) picture of each customer.

It is therefore possible to build a very effective holistic view of the customer, including both online and offline behaviour, and using multiple channels. Customers, after all, do not think in channels. Becoming customer-centric means focusing on customers, not products, and reacting to them when they want, not when you want.

Getting the right information about each customer means that you can map out an ideal customer journey. This is ideal in that it is not only satisfying for the customer, but also valuable to the organisation. A richer experience for customers is also likely to mean better quality marketing efforts, improved revenues and reduced costs for your organisation, so it is very much a win-win.

5. Barriers to customer centricity come in many shapes and sizes

This sounds easy when put like this, but of course if it were that easy, everyone would already be doing it. There are plenty of reasons why moving towards customer centricity is hard, and different organisations find particular aspects more challenging. Many organisations are struggling to find a way to manage effectively in a post-GDPR world, although in many ways, knowing more about the information you hold should be a great help.

The longer view

Other organisations have simply found it difficult to move to the new mindset required of customer centricity. Siloed thinking is unhelpful when it comes to bringing data together to generate insights, and many struggle with the speed of reaction required. Technological issues can also hold some companies back. Many of these, however, sound more like excuses than reasons. Successful companies are already showing the way with the use of data and analytics to improve customer experience. Those who do not follow soon are likely to fall a long way behind.

What does it take to get customer experience right? Get views validated and myths challenged in this blog by @augustalonghi #customerexperience Click To Tweet
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Augusta Longhi

Regional Content Marketer

Passionate about my job, I am happy to contribute as Regional Content Marketer spreading the SAS voice to the market.

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