Rethink how to break down data barriers and boost customer engagement
- Posted on March 15, 2022
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
This article was originally written by Avanade alum Brian Randrup.
In today’s omnichannel world, customers expect a continuous experience as they switch between platforms. Yet few businesses can deliver this service.
When a customer engages with customer service, the interaction is recorded, but the details may not be shared with sales or marketing departments. This forms an information barrier between teams, leading to incomplete customer journeys, frustration and low customer satisfaction.
Missing information about user activities and interactions could lead to lost opportunities including inability to produce lead scoring, converting leads to customers, or increasing engagement by turning a small customer into a VIP customer.
To break down these data barriers, organizations must create an environment where connected customer data is used to drive better experiences. A customer data platform (CDP) can do just that.
Using data to enrich experiences
Lots of businesses are very good at collecting lots of data, but it’s what happens next that matters. Sharing data between marketing, sales and customer service is how data becomes valuable to a business. These teams can use customer data to guide their interactions with the customer and enrich the customer experience.
For example, if the marketing team for a toy store know a customer purchased a toy for a one-year-old a year ago, they can assume the customer may be interested in offers on toys for toddlers. Having access to customer’s purchase history enables marketing to tailor the content creating a more direct, relevant and ultimately successful experience.
The importance of sharing customer data is highlighted in a survey carried out by Harvard Business Review. It found that companies with the greatest amount of customer loyalty had more frequent access to customer experience performance data, often in real time.
Connect your customer data
A customer data platform supports data sharing between teams, by bringing together known and anonymous customer data to create a centralized customer profile.
When all your customer data is in one place, employees can work more effectively. Data scientists can use tools such as Power BI to derive rich data insights, while marketers can use these insights to create more advanced customer segments and target customers with personalized promotions and messaging.
One of the advantages from using a CDP is that by storing your customer data in a central location an organization can achieve better results when adding artificial intelligence or machine learning. CDPs such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Adobe Experience Platform Real-time CDP bring features like these. The results and reliability of AI/ML models increase as the amount of data available grows. The outcome of utilising AI/ML means an organisation can unlock predictive recommendations and further intelligent insights, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Going back to the customer service example earlier, had the interaction been shared, the business would have been able to target with customer experiences that could lead to improved customer satisfaction, building a stronger relationship and brand value. The AI model could identify and provide recommendations detecting new trends and insight the marketing and sales teams could use to improve customer engagement.
Controlling CDP access
Encouraging a culture of data sharing, instead of data ownership, can have far-reaching business benefits. According to a Gartner survey, Data & Analytics teams that increased data sharing were 70% more effective at showing demonstrable and verifiable value to stakeholders, as they had higher engagement and influence among these stakeholders.
On top of this, sharing data allows employees to access the data they need themselves. This eliminates the need to request data from the IT department and add to their administrative workload.
Of course, providing data access should never mean sacrificing data control, especially when it comes to sensitive customer data. Access to data in a CDP can be highly controlled, with different access rights for different teams – for example data scientists may need more permissions than marketers.
Data governance is a key part of a customer data platform. Staying fully compliant with all the applicable data regulations, ensuring the safety of customers, and maintaining their trust in your services is vital. Through the configuration of data policies in a CDP, your organization and IT department can manage data security and usage policies, categorize data based on those policies, and stay ahead of potential policy violations. This ensures that your customer data is only ever seen by approved staff members while gaining the advantage of culture where data sharing is driven by business and customer needs.
Enhance customer experiences with Avanade
If you’re looking to get more value from your customer data to provide more responsive customer care, Avanade is here to help. As an Adobe Platinum Solution Partner and Microsoft Global Partner of the Year for Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, we’re consistently chosen to support CDP implementation projects. And we have a large team of experts, across multiple regions, who can help you leverage data to deliver more engaging customer experiences.