How Data Improves Customer Experience

In tightly competitive industries, the experiences you create for your customers can serve as a key differentiator. Of course, the phrase “customer experience” can cover a lot of ground, from your call centers to the online tools you provide to the way you secure your customer data. All these things play a role in shaping how the people you serve perceive your company.

But if you want to improve those perceptions, where should you begin? The answer lies in your data. Increasingly, organizations are building out service models that use data to put customers at the heart of every decision. This shift in approach is leading to a quiet revolution that has big implications for how businesses operate. Here’s what you need to know.

A Focus on Customer Experience Can Help Build Trust

Do your customers believe that you’ll be there when they need you? You’d certainly hope so, but evidence suggests only about half of them do. That’s a scary statistic when you consider how trust can make or break a business.

Customers who have difficulty getting information, finding answers to basic questions, or utilizing clunky digital tools lose faith in the companies they do business with. When you don’t create positive experiences at every touchpoint, it casts doubt on your whole operation.

By using the data you already have, you can analyze the way your customers interact with your company and begin working to improve their experience. For example, your customer experience teams can monitor the types of complaints being called in to suggest improvements in user manuals. Or your marketing teams can track where customers learn about your company to ensure you’re getting your name out in the right places. There’s no end to the possibilities, and the great result is that when each point of contact between you and your customers demonstrates thoughtfulness and intention, they will grow more confident that you’re watching out for them.

Digital Security Is Another Key to a Positive Customer Experience

Most companies collect information on the people they serve and some, like insurance companies, are especially entrusted with personal data about their customers. Beyond basic identifiers like birth dates and social security numbers, insurers also keep records on sensitive health information. When a data breach happens, as it did recently with Colonial Life, it can leave customers may feel especially harmed and vulnerable.

After a data breach occurs, it can be difficult—if not impossible—to rebuild trust with your customers. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure proper security measures are in place to prevent such incidents from happening in the first place. While it’s common to think of “customer experience” as a process of creating positive interactions, it’s just as important to avoid negative ones, and a proactive approach to data security goes a long way by drawing on practices like encrypting data, backing up data on secure cloud networks, and utilizing data governance practices that filter data access, to name a few.

A Well-Executed Customer Experience Plan Can Help Reduce Mistakes

A consistent and carefully followed process is one of the best ways your company can keep errors to a minimum when it comes to customer information. A standardized customer journey and a defined method for gathering data help your team find the information they need and provide better, faster service to customers. You can get there through tools like customer surveys, identifying trends in customer service calls, monitoring how your web resources perform, and using market research to shine a light on when and how your audiences might want to make a move.

This standardization also means that you have more reliable data for making decisions. If you’re dedicated to customer experience as a discipline, then you need to continually monitor how customers are interacting with your company. It’s the only way to know whether you’re driving toward the right outcomes or moving further away from your goals.

Once you’re on the right track, you’ll find yourself in a virtuous cycle: Better data drives a better customer experience, which in turn yields more valuable data. The effect over time can be a transformative one. But if you’re not sure how to get the ball rolling, finding the right partner can help.

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