The Role of Data; how to turn data into action and improve customer experiences

June 29, 2014

Someone once remarked “Data is the oil of the 21st Century”. And they weren’t wrong.

Data is a great resource, but only if it’s harnessed correctly and put to good use. The Role of Data, how to turn data into action and improve customer experiences.

These days, brands and organisations are often overwhelmed with data. From purchase history to behavioural data and everything in between – never before have we known so much about our customers.

There’s also an increasing appetite from customers to feedback on their experiences. Some of our recent Voice of the Customer research revealed that a staggering 75% of consumers surveyed expect to feedback on their experiences in the moment.

Our own client response rates also reflect this growing trend – we’re currently processing 40,000 responses a month for one of our telecoms clients, whilst we’ve managed to capture 60,000 responses from customers at SSP food outlets up and down the country in just six short months.

One Voice

But how do we use this data and feedback effectively to better our brand experiences?

At eDigitalResearch, we recommend running one Voice of the Customer programme. That means listening to your customers across channels – from website and in-store feedback to contact centre experiences – to understand how your brand is performing and what you need to do to improve.

It also means listening to the Voice of Social Customers – automatically monitoring the social media landscape for comments about your brand and analysing what they have to say.

Sophisticated Voice of the Customer programmes will provide you with the right tools for the job to effectively manage your customer experience.

First off, you need an accessible platform for people to provide feedback on their experiences anytime, anywhere and by using any device.

Secondly, you’ll need to monitor what your customers are saying. Real-time dashboards provide the perfect overview of your business’s performance and can be filtered by channel, brand or region – our dashboards even drill right down to individual store to give your teams on the front line a better view of how they are performing.

In the moment vs post journey

There’s a big debate currently underway in the research world on the importance and benefit of ‘in the moment’ vs post journey feedback.

At eDigitalResearch, we believe in doing both. ‘In the moment’ feedback is great for fixing the here and now – making those small incremental changes that will delight customers.

But to truly improve the customer experience, it’s important to look at post-journey feedback and data as well. Each customer journey is likely to have its up and downs, but by gathering data at the end of a journey, you’ll better understand the lasting impact of those experiences – has one particular part of the journey been so bad that customers will not shop with you again? Or has their experience been so positive that they could spend more on their next visit?

Turning data into actions

But now we’ve gathered all this data, how do we use it and turn it into actions to improve our customer experiences?

Start by fusing feedback with big data – in other words, fuse what customers are saying with what you already know about them.

For example, at eDigitalResearch, we fuse information such as loyalty card data, CRM data or behavioural data, with customer responses to give clients the bigger picture into how their brand is performing.

Once you’ve fused responses and additional information together, it’s time to dig deep into this data to find out exactly what improvements you need to make.

Analysis techniques, such as predictive analysis and key driver analysis, are key tools in understanding what changes need to be made when. They involve looking at the data at a granular level, studying where improvements need to be made and what effect these changes will have on customer satisfaction, retention and the bottom line.

Alongside this, a detailed and strategic business improvement plan will provide you with clear path to follow for change.

Brands cannot expect to improve by just sitting still. Instead, by harnessing data effectively and efficiently, you’ll be able to understand your customers and what you need to do to put your brand experience ahead of the competition.