One of the biggest challenges in customer experience management is also one of the biggest opportunities—data. The sheer amount of data that companies have amassed creates potential to transform buying experiences.
For that reason, the unification of data, artificial intelligence (AI), and analytics are the future of customer experience management. Companies are in a better position to achieve the highly sought-after goals of CX personalization and customer loyalty by avoiding the following strategic pitfalls.
Prioritizing profits above experiences
Shoppers have trusted businesses with a wealth of personal information in exchange for higher levels of service. A natural next step for a business involves tying this data back to revenue metrics—but this view ignores the higher-level business transitions that customer experience management professionals are navigating.
One way to de-clutter data is to synthesize information from the perspective of the buyer. That means optimizing user experience metrics, such as engagement and satisfaction, in tandem with revenue metrics. This dual approach has the potential to increase customer lifetime value over time.
“What I have found is that when customers perceive a value exchange, they are happy with that level of personalization. In other words, if they are getting more back from the brand than they perceive that they are giving up. And when that relationship is protected, customers stay engaged,” says Michael Krigsman, Industry Analyst, CXO Talk, in a previous interview with SmarterCX.
Deprioritizing immediate conversations
The heart of customer experience management is a company’s ability—and agility—to solve buyer pain points in near real-time. For this reason, companies can gain a data-driven advantage by focusing on front-line interactions.
“Potential customers have little patience and many alternatives,” explains user experience and CX consultant Ken Lonyai in an interview for this article. “They seek immediacy when [they] want product information and answers to questions. Delivering on that need will minimize customer confusion, disappointment, frustration, and ultimately anger.”
To start using data more strategically, one immediate pathway involves the use of chatbots or virtual assistants. These technologies are built on analyses of existing programs, categorizing support requests into different groups.
“Virtual assistants can provide meaningful first-level interactions, move the selling process forward comfortably, resolve product/delivery/return issues, and elicit meaningful feedback,” says Lonyai.
Ignoring external data
Customers have lives and interests outside of your business’s universe. That’s where third-party data sources can be helpful in establishing a comprehensive customer picture.
“Most paths to purchase or customer journeys start with an online search, with purchase decisions being near complete before the customer even contacts your business for more information,” explains customer experience management consultant Ashley Asue in an interview for this article. “The greater your presence is online via SEO, channel partners, chatbots, social media, etc., the better [chance] you have of gaining your target audience’s attention.”
Asue recommends that CX teams build an ideal customer profile, using external data, as soon as possible. Research outside of your business can help establish a more effective CX program, making first-party insights more valuable as a result.