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5 ways to use your data more effectively to optimise customer experience

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dataWe all know that data is pivotal to a great customer experience. But getting your data and subsequent processes right is sometimes overwhelming. It’s the biggest problem that Blue Star Direct solve for our clients. Almost all brands now have the customer data available to create seamless, intuitive and memorable customer experiences. They can very effectively analyse and segment the data so that they know their customers better than ever before.

The problem they face is effectively using that data in processes that are efficient, repeatable and measurable. We’ve often heard clients say that they’re “drowning in data”. So what are the steps you need to follow to ensure the coveted seamless customer experience? Here’s our checklist:

1. Clean up your data and keep it clean

Before you do anything else, clean up your data. This is a project in itself and an ongoing one that requires dedicated resources. Everything starts with the data, every campaign, every interaction and every brand experience. It has to be accurate and it has to be ready for processing. This could include merging multiple bases into one master base, de-duping, removing invalid records, populating blank fields and updating customer information. This process never ends. For this you need to ensure sufficient import / export functionality that updates regularly. When it comes to collecting new data, put validation measures in place to ensure that the data collected is high quality and reduce the need for data cleansing down the track. One such measure might be having data entry operators select values from pre-defined options rather than free-typing text.

2. Ensure secure and private data integration and processing

More than ever, because of laws in place around consumer’s personal data, you must ensure that the systems used need to be 100% secure when processing consumer data. This is even more important when using a third party supplier. As we all know, breaches in security can have massive implications on your brand, as well as your bottom line. It goes without saying that this needs to be avoided at all cost. You need to ensure that the right quality controls exist in and around the movement and processing of data, ensure that at all times access to the data is protected, guaranteeing the integrity of the data as it becomes part of the communication you are sending to your customer.

3. Ensure Real time responsiveness

Once data is cleansed and security is ensured, processes need to be put in place to ensure real time responsiveness. In other words, speed to market. Data can change quickly and keeping data up to date is one of the most significant challenges of working with highly personalised messages. Once you have the data prepared you must be able to quickly post or blast the message. With intricately segmented data and electronic channels often marketers are required to produce a greater number of highly personalised but smaller campaigns. The production processes must be, whenever possible, automated and integrated to your CRM.

4. Enable single customer view (SCV)

A single customer view provides businesses with the ability to track customer communications and response across every touch point, significantly improving the end customer experience. The benefits to an organisation are extensive: improved customer service, increased customer loyalty and retention and improved customer lifetime value. How a brand handles the move to a SCV requires a paradigm shift to a customer-centric approach that factors the customer into every operational element of how the business runs. Getting the infrastructure in place to gain a single customer view is a significant investment for most businesses but because of the benefits already listed there will certainly be a positive impact on the bottom line.

5. Insightful reporting

It’s not just about data going in but what comes out too. The data, or insights that flow from customer interactions are invaluable and shape the experience moving forward. Custom your report building to your brand and the insights that will ensure ROI for your business, rather than using off-the-shelf reporting functionality. Once you have selected your own report parameters, make sure that they are displayed in a way that’s meaningful to you. Some people love data bars while others are all about trend lines. It doesn’t matter as long as you can glean the insights you need for continuous improvement.

 

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