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This is what happens when we favor data over humans...

When looking to enhance customer experience (CX), companies throw a lot of effort at getting to the point where they can track a customer’s engagement. That’s understandable, as having real-time access to data is essential to producing the right offers at the right time. 

Everyone is really focused on how to access the quantitative information,  which resides in various sources of customer data. But, organizations can easily lose touch with what their customers really want, when they favor data over humans… 

Too often, a ‘single customer view’ becomes the holy grail for customer experience initiatives. 

‘Single customer view’ projects tend to be long, expensive, complex and challenging, so it’s logical that significant resources get thrown at them. 

But once you’ve successfully achieved a single view of the customer, the ongoing data mostly tells you what the customer does

You can track what web pages they visit, what they purchase, which emails they opened – all valuable information. But, data can only tell you so much. Something is missing.

If customer experience is the main competitive advantage for organizations today, the question is:

Why aren’t companies getting insights directly from customers?

Our expert says:

Let’s face it, customers are way better positioned to design the ideal customer experience than literally, anyone else. 

And don’t forget that employees deal directly with customers on a daily basis – they are well primed to give valuable input in terms of customer requirements.  

Putting the customer back in the center of customer experience requires more than aligning disparate sources of data. It requires a dual focus: 

  1. Getting a single view via the data to identify what the customer does. 
  2. Consulting with customers and employees directly to identify what the customer really wants.  

Taking this dual approach enables the organization to combine preference and engagement data, with input obtained directly from customers (and employees). 

Let customers co-create your communication strategy

While technology makes it easier for organizations to gather and interpret customer data, they will fall short of providing a great CX if they favor data over humans. 

Speaking directly to customers is especially important when designing a customer communication strategy that supports and enhances the customer experience. Asking customers what content they want to receive, when and how, is invaluable to the design process. 

These insights are a vital input into creating individualized communications that contain personally relevant content and sending them via the customer’s preferred channel, at the optimal time.  

The result is a CX and communication strategy that really speaks to what the customer wants.

Nicola Els

Nicola Els

Commercial Strategist, Africa

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