In a crowded marketplace characterised by empowered consumers and multiple channels for communication and purchase, improving customer experience is increasingly seen as a powerful way to gain competitive advantage.
Delivering excellent and memorable experiences demands more than random acts of thoughtfulness. To truly meet your customers’ needs, analysing and acting on available data is a crucial first step.
Challenges with managing customer experience
Delivering consistent omni-channel brand experiences:
Marketers now have to contend with multiple touch points which customers are using to communicate, research, make buying decisions and make purchases. Customers are looking for the same brand experience irrespective of the channel they use to engage a brand. A great example of a company that truly understands this is Apple.
Aggregating data to provide a unitary view of the customer:
In a highly competitive and even compartmentalised digital marketplace, having a unified view of the customer can put you a few steps ahead in terms of understanding and anticipating their needs and meeting them on time. However, a proliferation of channels combined with fragmented data can make it difficult to have this single view of customer behaviour.
Using Analytics to Improve Customer Experience
Develop comprehensive customer profiles
To deliver relevant offers to your customers at every touch point and across multiple channels, you must have a deeper understanding of your customers characteristics, user behaviour and pain points.
Developing complete profiles of your customers allows you to build trust and loyalty and more importantly retain them.
While demographic data serves as a good first step from which to launch your analysis of customer attributes it is no longer enough. Today, customers are leaving a trail of even more important digital data from their interactions on social media, transactions on e-commerce stores, app usage and more.
These new data sources can be mined and used to build profiles that reflect customers’ social media usage, buying cycle, estimated customer value, device usage and more.
When this data is aggregated, you will be able to make decisions regarding your customers’ needs much faster and therefore provide them with first class experiences at all touch points.
Integrate data from different departments to offer a seamless experience
Brands that are supported by multiple departments often risk operating in silos and when this occurs, it can have a significant effect on the way customers experience the brand.
Customer experience should not be viewed as an issue to be left to the customer service department. To really provide customers with memorable experiences that foster loyalty, all departments need to be involved.
Remember, consumers are interacting with your brand at different touch points and the experience they gain from one of these touch points will affect their overall perception of your brand.
For example, if a customer has a great experience with the customer service representatives, they are more likely to take the time to engage with a sales representative of the same brand at a different time. The opposite is true.
All departments supporting your brand should be empowered to gather and analyse customer data and then continuously bring this data together to determine how best you can provide customers with seamless engagement.
Studies have found that brands with robust omni-channel strategies for engaging customers have up to an 89% rate of customer retention. Customer retention rates definitely have significant implications for revenue.
Eliminate friction points
Convenience is at the heart of providing stellar customer experience. This is why it’s important to gather information on user behaviour and use this data to remove any frustrating barriers.
Data collected using heat maps for example, can tell you how visitors are interacting with your site and whether the website is serving specific business goals and meeting customers’ needs.
Mobile customer experience has become increasingly vital. Studies reveal that in the UK alone, the average consumer spends up to sixty-six hours a month on their smartphone.
Being able to reach your customers through their mobile devices and in turn allowing them to effortlessly engage with your brand has implications for brand perception, loyalty, customer retention and inevitably, revenue.
Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights says, “The implications are clear – if you’re not able to reach your audience through mobile search or display, or you’re not providing a satisfactory mobile experience you will miss out compared to competitors who are.”
Mobile analytics will help you see whether your content is findable, your app is easy to open and use, how users are interacting with your content from their devices and what changes need to be made to improve their mobile experience.
Analytics Improves Customer Experience
Gone are the days when customers would remain loyal to a brand just because its products are cheaper. Today’s consumers are demanding more from brands including a seamless experience across multiple channels and prioritising customer service. Winning brands are those that are dynamically using data to anticipate customers’ needs and meeting them across diverse points of contact.