The Evolved Customer Experience
How about we play the Let’s Pretend Game. Let’s pretend you are your customer for a day. You’re now Cus T. Mer. Cus may be making $300K a year. Or maybe Cus oversees the family finances.
Whoever your ideal customer is, go about the next 24 hours being them as Cus. Call up your company’s 800 number. Order from the website. Make an in-person appointment for services.
Your purpose of going undercover is to get a feel for what it is like for your customers to interact with your company. This is what we call the customer experience. It encompasses every interaction a customer has with your business.
Some insights can be achieved from this little experiment. But it does take going a step further to get a more holistic view of the experience you are providing. You must take a 360 approach and look at your customers from all angles, and dive into things like data and information to make sure you’re at the top of your game.
By providing a prime experience, your business will be rewarded with increased customer loyalty and satisfaction which leads to—more revenue! Want proof? 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue. Achieving this means making sure every stage of your customers’ journey is met with perfection.
Customer experience isn’t some new funky trend that just popped up. It’s been around for years. But what has changed is keeping a pulse on it and making sure the customer experience you’re providing has evolved with your business.
Having a reasonable picture versus a strategic approach
You are presented with two options for a glass of milk. Glass #1 comes from a carton long past its expiration date. It’s from cows but, beyond that, its origins are a bit fuzzy. Glass #2 has fresh milk picked up directly from the local farm and there’s proof it came from Bessie the Cow.
Which glass are you going to pick? We’re guessing it’s Glass #2. It’s not outdated, and you know exactly who has had their hands on it along the way. It’s the same thought system when it comes to the new way of thinking about customer experience. You must know all the current customer touchpoints of your product or service.
The old way was using customer data aggregated from disparate applications to obtain a somewhat reasonable picture of preferences and interactions with an organization’s products or services. The present approach is much more strategic. It enables businesses to have a unified view of all touchpoints, departments and channels, and how they are involved in customer relationships.
This shift in thinking is due to changing consumer demands. Customers are increasingly expecting personalized experiences and marketing tailored exclusively to them. They aren’t being high maintenance. They are just being more discerning since the acceleration of the digitization of products and services—AI, blockchain, big data, predictive analytics—plus growing competition.
And that digital footprint continues to expand as customers are interacting with companies through a growing number of channels, leaving behind a massive amount of data to be aggregated and analyzed.
Layer on top of that the increasing regulatory and compliance pressures such as CCPA and GDPR, and you’ve got businesses who are, well, crying over spilled milk.
Why provide a unified customer experience for your customers?
Despite all these challenges, delivering an optimal customer experience is a solvable problem. To give customers the positive experience they are craving, it starts with the data and the information your company holds. An optimized Business Intelligence function must leverage its myriad of data sources in order to discover those hidden customer insights. This flow of relevant customer information relies on having excellent Data Governance and Data Management to support various areas and deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Kenway Consulting works with leading companies to deliver Data Governance, Data Management, and Business Intelligence and Analytics services. We’ve seen firsthand how data and information can be leveraged to extract real-time insights to enable an outstanding customer experience. This holistic approach not only provides improved insights, but also more effective processes and better points of service for customers and employees. Employees can better serve customers when they have all the information readily available.
Here are some benefits of taking a 360 degree view of customers that have worked for Kenway’s clients:
- Increased revenue and pipeline: By predicting customer behavior and identifying opportunities for up- and cross-selling, companies can reduce their sales cycles and replenish pipelines more quickly. Kenway has helped with analyzing customer trends, detecting new markets, and understanding buying patterns to reduce time-to-market.
- Reduced risks and costs: Decrease the risk of regulatory penalties and reputational damage with a better understanding of your customers’ profiles such as the services they use or when and how they’ve interacted with the company. This alleviates misaligned or inconsistent messaging to customers and expands the overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
- Enhanced customer loyalty and value: Think about how you can offer personalized customer experiences and tailored products and services. Kenway has seen this facilitate deeper relationships and more impactful interactions, plus extend customer lifetime values.
- Improved customer data privacy: Protect customer data by making sure you understand the data you store, and that your customers and employees have the appropriate access and permissions. A strong understanding of your data lineage will ensure it complies with customers’ personal information rights and regulations.
Achieving success by putting insights into action
In a study, 90% of CEOs said they believe the customer has the greatest impact on their business. Kenway Consulting’s own CEO, Matt Kueker, agrees. “We use a combination of versatility and creative problem solving to help our clients identify the root causes of their customer experience issues. We then work with them to create, clarify and communicate a clear vision for how they can up-level to better serve their customers.”
There are various strategic methodologies to solve for your customer experience, regulatory and other operational challenges. These are some of the services that Kenway uses across its core categories of business to achieve a holistic view of the client:
- Data Governance: We frequently hear something like this from our clients: “Our customer data is a mess, making it difficult to understand the breadth and depth of our relationships.” Manage your corporate data more effectively through the establishment of an appropriate Data Governance framework. This framework will allow you to understand what data you have, how effective it is, and where the gaps are. This framework will likewise allow you to set the required rules.
- Data Management: Managing your customer data is more than just having the right technology or tool. You also need to look at the entire ecosystem of people and processes to effectively capture, share, store and manage the data. Check that accurate, real-time data is being shared across your sales, finance and other internal departments. Together, the technology and processes support the policies established by Data Governance.
- Business Intelligence: By properly governing and managing data, you’ll be able to get a clear line of sight on actionable insights to benefit your business. These insights are gleaned from analyzing the data to discover new opportunities to scale your business. This improved insight can also help with developing new products, predicting churn rates, visualizing trends, and replenishing pipelines more quickly.
By having a strong grasp of the 360 view of your customers, you’ll be able to evolve your business to exceed your customers’ expectations in a modern world. And that view will be looking pretty sweet as you reap the benefits of improved insights, all powered by properly governed and managed data, and an effective Business Intelligence and Analytics platform.
Soon you won’t have to go undercover as Cus, because you’ll already know customers’ perceptions of your business. However, you’ll never look at a glass of milk the same.
If you’re interested in learning more about our experience and approach in this area, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.