A lack of strategy for how to apply the volumes of omnichannel data collected often prevents companies from reaping the benefits of improving their customers’ experience and their own bottom line.

Big Data and Customer Experience are two of the top trends that will drive business in 2016. For many companies though, a lack of strategy for one or both often creates inaction. Knowing how to bridge the gap between big data and CX can lead to better relationships with clients and improved client retention. 75% of worldwide CxOs surveyed by IBM see technology as a way of adding value vs cutting costs, and a way to develop stronger customer relationships.

The right combination of qualitative and quantitative data can reveal how to improve the customer journey within any organization. A good start is to break down that big data into small manageable chunks to create a framework for results.

Very often, the best place to gain perspective is to review the data within the journey of satisfied clients to create a blueprint for future success. By contrast, look to data to answer specific questions regarding unsatisfied customers: Why do customers leave? Is it product driven or service driven? How can customer service be improved? What customer experience does your corporation provide throughout the buying experience?

Since customer expectations have shifted towards immediate, friendly, customized products and services across all channels, the need for understanding their current thinking has grown exponentially. What makes prospects buy, and when? What is your ideal customer profile? What keeps customers coming back? Which marketing campaigns have been most successful? Tracking and analyzing information can answer these questions and provide critical insight on next steps for improving CX and keeping clients.

Create a “No Silo Zone.” Marketing and IT departments must become closer partners, to harness data and extract the most useful facts. Vast quantities of data without analyzing and then applying it, is useless. Understanding how the data can improve each customer’s journey is the key to acquiring more new clients and retaining current ones.

According to current trends, marketing executives are using big data to:

1) Better communicate with prospects and customers by giving them relevant information they need quickly. Most companies track data that centers around the customer and provides information on customer satisfaction and service, customer behavior, engagement, and digital interaction.

2) Evaluate the success or failure of campaigns and marketing efforts across all platforms. Marketers now know that now a key to success is to add greater personalization wherever possible. 92% of execs surveyed by Teradata stated that individualized marketing is a high priority goal. (2014 Data-Driven Marketing Survey)

87% of those surveyed by Teradata believe that using data to tailor messaging to customer needs results in better brand communication and a more positive customer experience. Additional benefits of data-driven marketing are: the ability to make decisions faster, and a more strategic, accurate and consistent approach in marketing efforts. This combination allows companies to better, and more quickly meet customer expectations. Companies with slow response times or those that miss customer expectations will lose customers to competitors who consistently deliver.

The same survey also noted the top 5 challenges for marketers. Top on the list was how to better acquire and retain customers. In fifth place was how to improve their customers’ experience and satisfaction. Graziano Associates’ research shows that by prioritizing and committing to providing an excellent customer experience during all points of contact with the client usually lead to increases in acquiring and retaining new customers. It also helps create brand advocates. Graziano Associates created two CX Assessment Quizzes to evaluate their clients’ CX at various stages in the business relationship. Once clients see where they should improve their CX, analyzing the data at these touchpoints can go a long way towards providing better CX, retaining clients and creating brand ambassadors.