As the famous adage goes, “the customer is always right.” For businesses that subscribe to that mantra, the critical next step is to identify the investments that satisfy customer needs, wants, and preferences—investments that sustain customer loyalty and, ultimately, bottom-line business growth.
One compelling answer to this challenge can be found with data and analytics—specifically, by equipping business leaders with the real-time insights that they need to make business decisions.
To address this issue, we recently joined up with our partner Tableau and hosted a panel-style event “How Data Powers Leaders in Customer Experience.”
The result? A compelling dialogue—and emerging insights—around the enabling role of analytics in Customer Experience (CX) efforts.
To spark the discussion, our Data & Analytics and Technology Lead, Dwight Specht, facilitated a panel of business leaders across CX and analytics including a director of business intelligence at a global beverage company, a director of CX strategy at an international hotel conglomerate, and a senior vice president of Data & Analytics (D&A) at a global payments solutions company.
What did we take away from the dialogue at the event?
Takeaway 1: Analytics, in the hands of business users, has direct revenue impact.
Our panelist representing the global beverage company spoke about the use of analytics to predict, and grow, the revenue impact from product placement. He regularly applies it to help the company’s bottlers advise retailers about what to place in their stores—and when and where. Ultimately, D&A can help the company make a strong case to earn more space on retailers’ shelves, helping to drive sales. To get there, our panelist advocated for the importance of equipping business users (not just IT) with a single source of data truth and visualization tools, like Tableau, which provide insights at the speed of business to inform smarter, revenue-generating decisions.
Takeaway 2: Gauging customer sentiment is less invasive with the right tools in place.
In industries like hospitality, where customers have deeply personal connections, surveys can offer insight into customer sentiment, but it’s easy to run the risk of survey exhaustion. Similarly, it can be challenging to collect, normalize, and compare datasets across multiple sub-brands with a wide range of variation. Through tools like Tableau, our panelist has empowered teams to use social review data from travel websites—like Trip Advisor and Booking—to unlock insights around customer sentiment at the sub-brand level in a much less invasive, yet more cost-effective, way than surveys. Better yet, social scraping allows business leaders to identify the leading indicators of customer sentiment—as opposed to waiting for (and reacting to) negative results in a customer satisfaction survey (lagging indicators).
Takeaway 3: Culture eats (analytics) strategy for breakfast.
Forrester reports that insights-driven firms are growing at an average of more than 30 percent annually—eight times faster than GDP—and are on track to earn $1.8 trillion by 2021. To capitalize on the bottom-line value of analytics and insights, an organizational culture that trusts analytics across the entire value chain, from data collection to data-driven decision-making, is a foundational element. Several event attendees mentioned that their analytics strategies are sound yet fail to harness the value of analytics because the wider organization isn’t on board. Our global payments company panelist described his success in training fraud teams to use data to minimize fraudulent activity while also maintaining an eye for the customer’s experience. While incorrectly identified fraud (and resulting credit card declines) are never a pleasant experience, they can be a necessary step to prevent larger scale breaches. Analytics, and increased data sharing across the payments ecosystem, has helped our panelist isolate actual cases of fraud versus those that are merely speculative—ultimately yielding a better CX for those flagged incorrectly in a fraud detection system.
Why it matters
According to our proprietary research, 70 percent of business leaders strongly believe that their CX efforts impact enterprise financial performance. Analytics—powered by visualization tools like Tableau that equip business decision-makers with real-time insight—is key to helping organizations deliver a compelling CX. Ultimately, businesses have an opportunity to consider integrating multiple data and analytics inputs – from social scraping to customer satisfaction surveys—to inform the CX investments and initiatives that can maximize bottom-line impact.