• GUEST BLOG: Is your data the key to delivering a better customer experience?

    960 640 Stuart O'Brien

    By Geoff Land, MD, Infinity CCS

    When looking at the challenges of delivering the type of multi-channel, digital customer experiences that are being demanded of businesses today, most CX professionals cite the current limitations of their technology, people, or processes.

    While it’s true that those are the challenges most companies encounter, these are generally expensive and time-consuming problems to solve – if they can ever be truly solved at all. The business and technology landscapes change so quickly that as soon as a company has caught up on what customers want now, they are already on to the next thing.

    What often gets overlooked is that delivering great customer experiences is really about allowing information to flow as freely and as quickly as possible between the customer and company and back again. As important as they are, technology, people, and processes are just conduits for that information, and the much-hyped digital and automated channels just new ways for customers to access it.

    Efficiently storing, indexing, and processing the huge amounts of customer data that companies now hold can vastly improve customer experience.

    The joined-up business

    To deliver the customer experiences being demanded of you today, your contact centre’s processes, technologies, staff, and data must be all aligned to the same ends. Specifically, the right piece of technology or software, the most appropriate business process, and the relevant customer and transaction data all need to be made immediately available to the agent, or automated system such as a chatbot, that is interacting with a customer.

    Where there are limited budgets to invest in technology, lengthy internal processes, complex agent desktop tools, a lack of multichannel options, and a lack of understanding about customer behaviour this can be difficult to do. But a lot of the battle can be won with better quality data even without replacing legacy systems and processes.

    Single Customer View

    Having a single view of all your customer and transaction data essentially means that every piece of information about a given customer is accessible by everyone who needs it, when they need it. To accomplish this, either all data must be pulled together into a central location, or all the data that sits in different siloes should be tagged and linked together.

    The end result is the same: customer-facing people can see everything your whole company knows about a given customer or prospect.

    GDPR changes the game

    The problem with creating a single customer view has always been that it is difficult to identify every piece of data the company owns and then tag it correctly.

    The difference today is that this is exactly what companies that hold large amounts of data are being asked to do in order to maintain compliance with the EU’s new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations).

    Responding quickly to requests from data subjects – for example to share all the data you hold on them, or remove all their data – is time consuming and difficult without a central repository of all your personal customer data.

    This same inventory can also form the basis of the single customer view that your sales, marketing, and other customer engagement staff can use to improve service and better target offers.

    Data discovery and tagging

    As we have already said, you do not need to bring all your data together in one place to create the single customer view, or living data inventory.

    The first step is to scan all your structured databases, semi-structured XML files, unstructured file systems on individual workstations, and cloud-based file systems to find all the personal and sensitive data the company holds.

    Data discovery software – basically deep-dive data mining tools – can find all this information and search against it simultaneously, instantly finding and collating everything from siloed data sources. An automatic metadata tagging process can tie all the pieces of data together so that you can quickly understand, for example, which bits of data relate to customer John Smith.

    Living data inventory

    The goal is to end up with an indexed copy of all your data. Now, no matter where data is held across your IT infrastructure it can be accessed as if from a single location.

    This gives you a portal for accessing all your data about any individual customer which can be kept up to date by regularly running the discovery and cataloguing processes on newly acquired data.

    Even without updating your legacy systems or existing processes, customer-facing staff have the ability to pull all the relevant data on a customer and their transactions into whatever tool or workflow they are currently using.

    This enables your contact centre to manage multi-channel interactions without asking the customer to repeat information; route customers to the right team or person; proactively head off service issues; personalise upsell, cross-sell, and renewals offers; and identify the best customers to find more like them.

    The addition of desktop workflow tools that can front legacy systems and integrate them with the new digital channels can add an additional layer of efficiency, again without ripping and replacing any expensive technology.

    For more information on how to create a Single Customer View download Infinity CCS’s new e-Guide here.

    Or visit www.infinityccs.com.

    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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