“Customer Experience” is a wildly popular buzzword this year. And improving the customer experience tops every marketer’s agenda – or at least should be.  This is a concept we can all get behind. We all want a positive experience when shopping and interacting with our favorite brands. And when we get less than promised, we are not happy consumers. We head to the competition, cancel our services, and spread the word of our bad experiences on social media.

A recent report from Econsultancy found that 41% of marketers consider optimizing the customer experience as critical, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Here are the top ways marketers are thoroughly optimizing customer experiences:

  • Monitor website performance (47%)
  • Ensure complete customer privacy (47%)
  • Improve call center effectiveness (28%)
  • Execute website testing and optimization (25%)
  • Speed up web page load and responsiveness (23%)

According to the study, marketers use the following types of data:

  • Behavioral data (81%)
  • Transactional data (78%)

However, the study also revealed that marketers are having difficulties accessing all their customer data since it often sits in different systems and formats. Up to 45% of companies aren’t able to access a single customer view to optimize experiences.

How to Establish a 360-Degree Customer View
Delivering exceptional customer experiences means truly knowing your customers. To do so, multiple sources of customer data must be pulled together into one consolidated warehouse or database. With a better understanding of your customers’ preferences, lifestyles, and other key characteristics, you can deliver highly relevant and personalized offers.

Data Integration
Most companies have multiple sources of information about their customers. However, this data is often stored in separate siloes. The bigger the organization gets, the more data accumulates, with separate systems housing individual data sources. Without a single repository or data warehouse, marketing departments have no way to access a single customer view.

So for example, Mary, a valued customer, has placed multiple orders on-line over the course of several months. She also redeems print coupons at physical locations when they are mailed to her but has unsubscribed from several promotional email lists due to irrelevant content. Each of these interactions with Mary contains important details about her preferences.

However, if this information is stored in separate systems, such as POS, e-commerce, and email, the marketing department will have no way to understand what is driving Mary’s behavior across channels.

By establishing a single view of Mary, she can be emailed offers tailored to her unique needs and interests. Or by arming customer-service centers with integrated information, a service rep can determine that Mary is a high-value customer and can give her the proper attention if she calls customer service with a complaint. Personalized recommendations can also be presented to her when she shops on-line.

warehouse

Data Quality
A customer marketing database should also include controls to ensure the data is accurate and remains current. Customers expect that their information will be correct. When this doesn’t happen, they are forced to deal with these problems, diminishing customer satisfaction.

Data quality can degrade in many ways. Customers move, names are misspelled, and households split. Another common data quality error is duplicate records. Contacts may exist is several systems. If these duplicates aren’t identified before being fed into a marketing system, duplicate messages may be sent to the same person, not only wasting budget and resources, but also damaging your reputation with valuable customers.

In our example of Mary, she may be listed in one system as Mary Jones and in another system as M. Jones. She may have also moved and be listed under these same names with different addresses. If each of these records are then used for a direct mail campaign, Mary will receive numerous mail pieces.

A data solutions provider will perform the following functions to ensure important customer details are integrated and remain current:

You may have tons of customer data, but if it is sitting in various systems, you are very limited with what you can do with it. With an integrated database in place, analytics can be applied to deliver highly personalized experiences to customers across a range of channels.

 For more great tips and resources, download our Customer Experiences Solutions Guide.