In today’s marketplace, nearly every organization has been putting Customer Experience (CX) at the core of its strategy, with the aim of delivering products and services that meet customers at every touch point. In a market, crowded with products and inundated with channels, companies have come to realize that an outstanding customer experience – consistently providing what customers want, when they want it, while making every encounter or interaction memorable – is the key brand differentiator.
According to Gartner, “Customer Experience is the practice of designing for and reacting to customer interactions to meet and exceed customer expectations to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy”. Which means it is more than just faster deliveries, great customer service or quickly answered queries. It encapsulates the entire life-cycle of your customer. It’s about knowing and understanding your customers so thoroughly that you can craft and facilitate personalized experiences and customer journeys that will captivate them enough to not only stay loyal to your brand, but also to advocate and sway others towards you – which is as invaluable as advertising can get.
Getting to know your customers this completely is not something that just happens. It comes from developing actionable insights. Companies already harness and have access to mountains of customer data – from all customer touch points, online and social media. Valuable insights from that data need to be extracted with speed and precision. And Analytics is integral to developing these actionable insights for deployment to a strategic and definitive customer experience. Research shows that “90% of business managers believe analytics has the ability to improve sales, and another 62% report they believe analytics can increase sales by more than 20%.”
Without Analytics, it is tedious and time-consuming to learn what you did right and what needs more attention. You are only left with the hope that your actions should make an impact. Analytics takes the guesswork out of the equation and helps you mitigate all unnecessary risks. Integrating analytics into your strategy will help improve and optimize the customer experience at full scale and significantly boost marketing effectiveness. Here are four ways how it does this:
1. Gain Better Insights
Analytics helps your business gain valuable insight into your customers’ needs. A number of sophisticated Analytics tools and platforms transform cumbersome customer data into actionable information. These tools analyse data from all channels to give you feature-rich reports, modelled with intelligible metrics and data visualization, that are highly customizable. This will help track KPIs, easily identify trends and understand root causes. These tools help marketers gain immediate insight to go from query to decision in minutes, shifting resources and taking the actions required to better the Customer Experience. Companies can use these insights about customers to customize and personalize products and services. They can improve the sales processes to align with customers’ expectations and enhance after-sales customer services.
2. Orchestrate A Refined Customer Journey
Formerly, the way a customer interacted with a brand was understood mostly through surveys and feedback forms. But nowadays, customers interact with your brand in many ways, across multiple touchpoints, media and platforms. Analytics can help to track the unique and complex journey of every customer. It aggregates all of your customer interactions, transactions, feedback and agent data to provide an end-to-end picture of the customer journey. It uses technologies such as Journey Mapping- which tracks where your customers began and ended their interactions, connects the dots to identify a single customer on multiple channels and generates a chronological timeline of engagement. Another technology is Predictive Analytics- which detects and analyses cross-channel behaviour patterns, allowing you to predict future customer behaviour and present yourself exactly when your customer needs you. Analytics provides not just the analysis, but the solution to redefining an enhanced Customer Journey experience.
3. Connect Across Customer Touchpoints
Analytics helps to integrate the customer experience across all customer interaction points – new channels, devices, applications, and more. It enhances consistency of service and experience throughout these channels, since it can map the entire customer journey, and not just individual touch points. It will help companies create a continuity through which customers can freely move from channel to channel in an omni-channel experience. This provides new opportunities to make customers happy. For instance, by letting them start a loan application on their phone before bed and finish it at a branch the next day after asking a few questions via the call centre.
4. Alleviate Pain-points
Analytics helps you see at what points the customers dropped off the journey map and give you the information to get to the root of the problem. You can literally relive customer experiences – Zoom in to see where customers struggled and pinpoint trouble spots; Replay any session to see exactly what your customer experienced; Identify new opportunities to improve the customer experience; Refine the journey to deliver more conversions. Alternative technologies such as Text Analytics give you a holistic perspective of the customer experience by capturing comments from numerous feedback sources such as call centres, surveys, and Social Media networks. Listening to Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter provide companies with an immediate channel for addressing questions and resolving problems. You can actively listen to customers, and respond with prompt, personal attention to provide solutions that will create a really positive impression. Customers often forgive the negatives and take to these Social Networks again to praise their feel-good interactions with your company.
The key objectives in all the instances described above are to develop a customer-for-life proposition and fulfill it by in some ways knowing the customer better than the customer knows himself or herself. Analytics will provide you with the acumen to help reach this level of designing an unparalleled Customer Experience.
Harvard Business Review. (2016, August 9). Marketing Analytics Can Improve the Customer Experience. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/sponsored/2016/08/marketing-analytics-can-improve-the-customer-experience
IBM Corp. (n.d.). Understand every step of the journey with IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics. Retrieved March 24, 2017, from https://www.ibm.com/watson/marketing/campaigns/customer-experience-analytics/
Mor, Y. (n.d.). Why Customer Experience is the Ultimate Marketing Tool. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from http://www.convinceandconvert.com/customer-experience/why-customer-experience/
Price, S. (n.d.). Where Does Analytics Fit Into Your Customer Experience? Retrieved March 26, 2016, from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/analytics-fit-into-customer-experience/
Ramirez, S. (2014, May 19). Use Predictive Analytics to Improve the Customer Experience. Retrieved from http://data-informed.com/use-predictive-analytics-improve-customer-experience/
SAS Institute Inc. (n.d.). Customer Experience Management. Retrieved March 25, 2016, from https://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/marketing/customer-experience-management.html