The challenge of creating meaningful relationships is complicated by an abundance of data from both online and offline sources, as well as a multitude of communication channels to contend with.
A big issue is how to consolidate customer information to drive consistent communications across channels. By taking a unified approach, marketers can better shape interactions with their organization to create outstanding customer experiences.
What should we think through?
- How to collect and manage online and offline data in order to truly understand our customers
- Why a unified experience is essential for growth
- Common inconsistencies and gaps in the customer experience, and how to handle them
- How to use data to track customer interactions, and use this information to improve communications across multiple channels
Here are the key ideas:
- This is an ecosystem built for data, insight and action – Resist the temptation to focus and organize around silos. While silos can maximize a part of the system, they sub-optimize the whole. We are building a customer (digital) ecosystem.
- What we should collect – We probably shouldn’t try to collect everything. We also should be collecting the “right” data. We should consider enhancing the data we collect to make it more valuable. Several suggested priorities are all online transaction detail and insight, most offline transaction detail and insight, social media data and insights and finally, call center transactions and insights.
- The value of offline data – Not all data is as valuable as others. The human resources to manually enter offline data can be daunting and so many times it is the last priority. There are great services that automate the collection of offline data at a reasonable cost. The first step in the automation process is to create a data value strategy. That will help justify the cost of capturing the offline data and integrating it into your customer systems.
- Understanding the customer – Data is very useful if it allows us to understand our customers better. Collecting data is of no value if it doesn’t lead to insight. Think data, insight and action.
- Unifying the data – Even 2 pieces of unified data is more powerful than one. Having a plan for the most valuable sources and at least integrating some of the data will move insight ahead.
- Unifying the experience – This is not all about data. At the end of the day, customers will expect a great (unified) experience across multiple channels.
- Doing something about the gaps – Knowing you have a gap in the data and the experience is one thing. Doing something that improves the experience is another. Insight is very useful but it must lead to action.
- Creating a value framework – Not all data is of equal value and not every customer is either. Part of the framework that leads from insight to action is understanding which customers are of more value and those that will lead to greater levels of renewal.
- An “Omni-Channel” approach – Unified data and a unified experience is created by an Omni-Channel approach. Omni-Channel creates a unified approach seamlessly across channels. All channels need to be fused into a single approach.