Customer analytics: how to boost it with digital

Customer analytics: how to boost it with digital

by Ashley Kessler Posted on Jun 15, 2020

As the ways customers can interact with your brand have grown, and the data these channels generate has exploded, organizations across sectors are investing in customer analytics solutions at a huge rate. According to Gartner, customer experience is the highest technology investment priority for organizations right now. 

Between customer relationship management (CRM) systems, customer data platforms (CDPs), voice of the customer (VoC) solutions, marketing automation tools, customer service tech (like ticketing systems, speech and text analytics, etc.) and customer journey mapping tools, enterprises are absolutely inundated with data. 

In this post, we’ll look at the growth of customer data and where you can fit digital into the larger customer analytics landscape.

The Rise of Digital and Changing Buying Behaviors

Since the first online order in 1995 (a book ordered from Amazon), the ecommerce industry has made over $2 trillion in sales worldwide. Retail, followed by every other industry, have been revolutionized, and online sales are projected to reach 4.5 trillion transactions in 2021. 

With the vast majority of customers managing their experience with a brand via digital channels, the revenue potential from digital is huge. According to Aberdeen Group, omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel. Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement see larger annual revenues and lower costs. For mobile apps alone, total revenue is projected to pass $188 billion in 2020. So it’s critical to the bottom line for companies to get digital right. 

However, when a brand misses the mark with digital channels, the costs are high. Consumers don’t think about the impact these digital channels have on their customer experience until there’s a failure. And when there is a problem, it can have a negative impact. Consumers are much less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. 

The same applies for mobile, where statistics show that 40% of users will go to a competitor after a bad mobile experience. Yet an alarming 84% of consumers have experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction. 

Digital as a Growing Piece of the CX Tech Landscape 

Companies know they aren’t doing a good job with digital channels. When asked to rate themselves, a third say they’re doing well on mobile, and only 28% say they’re good at web and digital self-service channels. The growth of channels, followed by the explosion of data they produce, has created a huge challenge for organizations trying to keep up with customer demand. 

New channels bring supporting technologies and the need to analyze all the data they produce. Then comes the challenge of training existing staff to use them or to hire for new skills. For 60% of employees, it takes hours or days to get the information they need from their system and databases, while only 3% can find information in seconds. When those who aren’t adept at customer analytics need to make a data-driven decision, most have to ask IT, which slows down decision-making and puts further strain on an already stretched IT team. 

The reliance on IT slows down decision making (which is debilitating in today’s digital world), contributes to poor collaboration across teams and reduces quality of data. The biggest impact is to the customer experience—which suffers from the organization’s inability to see the end-to-end customer journey.  

With data in silos, organizations are struggling to aggregate a view of the customer journey across channels and use it to effectively meet consumer demand. In fact, according to research by Econsultancy and Ensighten, only 10 percent of marketers have successfully aggregated data from social, web analytics, customer purchase history and in-store visits and sales.

How to Get the Most from Digital Customer Analytics

So how can companies start using digital customer analytics to improve the customer experience and boost their revenues? Start with these three tips.

Connect digital channels to other touch points

Multi-channel and omnichannel are now a regular part of the CX lexicon, and organizations are struggling to provide a seamless experience across channels to meet customer expectations.

And customers are feeling the impact in the form of a disjointed customer experience, with many finding it difficult to switch from digital channels to customer service. The second something goes wrong on your website or mobile app, your customers want to talk to a human, stat. They’re already frustrated by being made to switch channels, and waiting on hold to fix their problem compounds the issue. Often agents have to transfer the customer to another department, causing even more frustration. Customers often blame their bad customer service interaction on having to explain their problem to multiple people. 

By ensuring that your call center agents have access to callers’ web and mobile app activities, you can resolve issues faster, reducing average handle times (AHT) and increasing first call resolution (FCR). Customers expect customer service reps to have access to a full history of their past interactions and purchases. When choosing digital customer analytics tools, make sure they can integrate with your CRM so your agents don’t spend precious time switching between systems or digging up the information your customers expect them to have. 

Create a digital customer journey map 

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the way your customers and prospects use a combination of channels to interact with your brand. It should cover physical touch points (like in-store experiences), human touch points (like calls to customer service) and digital touch points (like website and mobile app interactions).

Most customers today choose to conduct their journey entirely via digital channels. Sophisticated digital customer journey mapping solutions can automatically (that means no tagging needed) create a visual map of all the steps your customers take on your website while on their path to purchase. The best tools give you access to abandonment, performance and struggle metrics for every element of your site. See where UX issues or technical problems are causing customers to call into customer service or switch to another channel, so you can fix these snags and prevent channel deflection. You can even use this map to identify places to trigger personalized offers based on real-time experiences to optimize conversion rates.

Break down barriers between teams

Digital customer data can be used to create customer-centric strategies and connect departments across your organization. By sharing this data internally, IT, sales, marketing, customer support, product and compliance departments can deepen their understanding of users and audiences and align around KPIs.

Look for customer analytics solutions for your digital platforms that have an open API approach so you can easily connect with other systems. Tools with real-time capabilities, built on Lambda or Kafka architectures, let you export digital customer experience data into business intelligence (BI) systems and data lakes. From there, you can marry your data sources for a 360-degree view of your customer experience.

By democratizing digital customer analytics data across your organization, you can create a customer-centric organization. Investing in a digital customer analytics solution will help you make key business decisions based on real customer behavior. 

Learn more about customer analytics technology by reading Gartner’s report, Competitive Landscape: Customer Analytics

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