Excellence is a lofty goal. With that in mind, we’ve been publishing a series of blog posts on CX excellence. We started in January with The Path to CX Excellence (very aptly titled), and followed that in March with The Path to CX Excellence for B2B Marketers and The Path to CX Excellence for Sales Professionals.
In April, we featured The Path to CX Excellence for Field Service and The Path to CX Excellence for Service Organizations, and then May brought Path to CX Excellence for B2C Marketers and Path to CX Excellence – Commerce Edition.
These posts provide a roadmap for B2B and B2C companies of all sizes and industries to navigate the challenges and opportunities of providing great customer experiences. This blog builds upon all of the preceding ones and stands on its own.
Data proficiency will help a company excel across multiple functions of marketing, sales, service, and commerce. Brands that lack this can create embarrassing public relations disasters. Whether winners or losers, contenders or pretenders, every company has a chance to mine and refine their data to drive improvements in the speed and accuracy of doing business with their customers.
The Path to CX Excellence Requires a Solid Data Foundation
Per Gartner, 90% of CX leaders agree that if they don’t improve their customer experience, their organization will lose business to more customer-centric competitors! It was noted by Forrester that the brands most successful at differentiating on customer experience are seeing 5X revenue growth relative to their competitors.
Data is the foundation of CX effectiveness. This foundation is built upon solid data collection, management and activation capabilities that produce intelligence, enable better decision-making, drive better customer outcomes, reduce churn and maximize customer lifetime value.
Today, there’s more data customer data available than ever before, and it’s important for companies to try to get customer data management right. Customers expect more from your brand than ever before. They want consistent experiences across every touchpoint, while also expecting you to remember your past interactions with them. They demand that you respect their privacy… but also wish you would understand and treat them as unique individuals.
The traditional, linear customer journey is extinct. Therefore, the congruence of messages your customers receive is more important than ever because today’s consumers engage whenever and however they choose. They always expect a relevant and timely experience.
A single view of the customer is necessary to delivering a consistent, exemplary experience across the entire customer journey. This view is based upon a deep, meaningful understanding of the customer. However, every customer touchpoint – sales, service, marketing, commerce – produces siloed data that makes a single view of the customer impossible at the moment it’s created. What to do?
Convert Strangers into Friends
CX leaders can start building in-depth customers insights by understanding their priorities, needs and preferences. This begins when your audience is anonymous, well before they’ve developed a relationship with you as a brand. This relationship continually evolves as they engage across various channels throughout their customer journey.
To accomplish this, CX leaders need a data-first approach to unifying all customer data. After all, customers don’t care that you have various marketing, sales and service departments. These systems should be invisible to the customer while anticipating their needs. At the moment when the customer is about to engage with the brand, all these systems should be orchestrated to serve the customer whatever they need, whenever they engage with the brand – on their terms and channel of choice.
Just as with the other CX areas where we published a Path to Excellence post, the idea is that each company is at their own, unique spot and can make incremental progress. We want to help you demystify this path to excellence, identify where your company is and what can be done to make progress.
The path to data excellence in what Oracle calls “The Experience Economy” relates to a company’s actions in several areas of data maturity;
- Data collection and connections,
- Customer data management,
- Intelligence and decision-making, and
- Data utilization and activation.
Step 1: Different functions in an organization, especially large enterprises, are siloed. Different technologies work separately from each other and often draw on and potentially maintain their own separate data, assets, and other repositories.
CX professionals who operate at this level seek to improve results and move to the next stage.
On average, companies use 17 technology applications for customer data with an average of 28 different data sources for customer insights and engagement. – Deloitte
Step 2: The cross-channel stage key focus is data enrichment for better usage. This propels a company to a more accurate data set factoring in 2nd and 3rd party data. Customer data management is now an area of focus.
According to Gartner, the average annual cost to an organization due to poor data quality is ~$15M!
A move to the next stage of data maturity, the data-driven stage, means that a company is utilizing automation when working with data. This stage features segmentation and activation of data, typically across marketing and at least one other function of the company. An underlying concept is data being used to drive decision-making.
86% Of customers would pay up to 16% more for better customer experience. – PwC
Step 3: In this data-driven stage, data accuracy is no longer an issue. Decisions are based on historical as well as real-time data to understand what happened in the past and why it happened with diagnostic/casual/ad hoc analysis with some individualized data.
The next step toward data maturity, the intelligence-driven stage, means that a company has intelligence truly activated, with the data used to make predictions across the entire ecosystem. The data impacts all functions within the company, towards the goal of delivering a consistent and responsive brand experience at each customer touchpoint.
91% of customers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. – Accenture
Step 4: In this data-driven stage, data accuracy is rarely an issue to perform identity matching for centralized IDs across the enterprise. Decisions are based on historical and real-time data and intelligence to understand what happened, why it happened and what will happen in the future.
In the Experience Economy, a brand’s experiences matter more to customers than the products or services that are sold. Brands who collect real-time data signals, and use that to build the most authentic and relevant experiences, will be the ones creating emotional connections and lost-lasting relationships with consumers. Now is the time for CX leaders to position themselves at the forefront of the longer-term shifts in consumer behaviors that result from this crisis. Data is the foundation that can allow you to orchestrate a truly consistent, connected brand experience for customers and achieve the type of long-term hyper-growth that the elevated experience makes possible.
Click here to read about Oracle Unity, Oracle's customer intelligence platform for real-time customer experience.
We’ve developed an assessment tool to help companies determine where they’re at on the path to data excellence and we encourage you to check with your Oracle CX sales representative to discuss where you’re at on the path to data excellence and what steps could be taken to progress.