Organizations that fail to meet customer expectations at the right moment and in the right context, risk losing business to the competitor that does.
So how do you meet the requirements of the modern customer? And what role does customer data play in creating the right experiences?
Shifting customer expectations
As consumers, we are getting spoiled with increasing amounts of intuitive digital experiences. From entertainment services like Netflix to shopping and payment apps like Klarna, most of us are now used to everyday tasks being simple, swift and personalized.
A younger buyer audience of digital natives is driving the change forward, with increasing weekly mobile usage one of the biggest trends globally (PWC). These shifts in consumer behavior have had a huge effect on B2B companies, accelerating existing trends in B2B ecommerce, a market size which is now forecast to grow 18.7% to 2028 globally (CAGR).
Company leaders and executives are waking up to the changing landscape, trying to adapt and not only meet increasing requirements, but stay ahead of them. According to Adobe Digital Trends Report 2022:
- 87% of European company leaders consider their customers expectations to be primarily digital.
- 86% feel that customers will continue to expect more digitally driven experiences in the future.
- 76% of European companies also report an increase in digital channel usage with existing customers.
"Consumers expect digitally driven interactions from companies. Data-driven customer insights and the ability to rapidly adjust strategies will therefor be more important than ever."
Franck Attia, Managing Director, Adobe Nordic
Using customer data to improve experience
In order to personalize (or "companylize") a digital experience, you need accurate, up-to-date customer data.
Demographics, firmographics, identification, behavioral data such as application usage or attitudinal data. It can all be used to great effect in terms of creating valuable, timely and relevant customer experiences.
Normally, however, data is spread across an organization in different excel sheets, minds of people, systems and platforms, generating an incoherent customer view. Friction, churn and flawed experiences are the result.
In other words, as presented in the Adobe Digital Trends 2022 Report; obtaining clean, reliable, auditable, cohesive, contextual, and timely data is one thing. Organizations also need to ensure that it is accessible, easily and quickly accessed and activated to support real-time decision-making.
Ultimately, the aspiration should be to provide a "connective data tissue", allowing different business functions to access a single source of data truth on an as-a-service basis.
"Obtaining clean, reliable, auditable, cohesive, contextual, and timely data is one thing. Organizations also need to ensure that it is accessible, easily and quickly accessed and activated to support real-time decision-making."
Adobe Digital Trends 2022
Benefits of having a single customer data source of truth
So why is a single customer data source of truth important? And what are the benefits of having it? Here's our top reasons:
"Ultimately, the aspiration should be to provide a connective data tissue, allowing different business functions to access a single source of data truth on an as-a-service basis."
Adobe Digital Trends 2022
Avoiding data fragmentation
Having data spread across your organization is not un-common. Different data quality in different systems, access rights and restrictions, input from multiple sources and output that varies.
When different departments see different things, you lose alignment in customer communication, service, support. Ultimately leading to poor customer experience and less revenue.
All of this makes customer data management difficult and expensive. By gathering everything you need in one place, creating a cohesive customer view, you enable many opportunities to increase productivity and performance.
Improving customer experience
By having one true source of customer data available to everyone in your company, customer experience can become a world class ingredient to your business.
With a crystal clear image of your customers engagements and needs, life becomes a lot easier. Service, support, proactivity in offers and suggestions.
These are just some examples of how correct and accessible data can improve CX performance.
Besides the obvious cost reduction of having less systems and less providers of data input into your systems, there are multiple opportunities for revenue in customer data cohesion.
Let's take the example of an insurance company, providing services across all possible insurance types. Pets, homes, cars, boats, life, heath and so on. By having all the data accessible and cohesive for all departments, you can:
- Increase add-on sales. If your customer has their car insured with you, why not offer a complete package at a good rate? Win-win for you and your customer, right?
- Be proactive in what you offer your customers. If you know that a specific customer changes cars every two years or tends to move in certain time intervals, you can proactively engage and offer timely and relevant services.