Use Data to Improve Customer Experience

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Use Data to Improve Customer Experience

Disruption = Innovation

· Big Data Zone ·
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Great presentation by Fritz Lehman, EVP and Chief Customer Officer at SAS.

Given the diversity of structured and unstructured data, data integration has become a critical component of creating a great customer experience. To date, most companies have spent most of their time analyzing their data and being reactive.

Moving forward, companies will need to use data to proactively address customer concerns - ideally before the customer even has to express their concern.

Fritz recommends companies follow a six step process to earn "customers for life:"

  1. Roadmap - identify your goals and objectives. What are your customers' needs and wants? What problems are they having that you can solve? Have you identified the root causes of those problems so you can address them? If you do ask your customers what you can do to improve their customer experience, make sure you thank them for their feedback, let them know you heard them and what steps you are planning to take to address their concerns.

  2. Hiring - you need the right people and the right technology. The right people are inherently empathetic and customer-centric. They want to solve customers' problems. The right technology is the one that will empower your employees to provide the greatest value to your customers. Start by giving your employees a 360-degree view of the customer whereby your customer does not have to repeat the same information to multiple people in your company. 

  3. Collaboration - you must build a bridge between business, IT, and executives. It is incumbent that the vision, mission, and values of the firm be established, and reinforced, by the executive team. The firm's philosophy towards customer centricity needs to be clearly defined so every member of the team knows what's expected of them with regard to providing customer service and earning customers for life. Consistency across the organization gets more difficult as the company grows.

  4. Open Minds - go beyond the easy questions, ask the harder questions and get to the root cause of the problem or be open to the possibility. SAS had a client who wanted to offer brown belts to guys who bought brown pants. However, based on analytics, the best item to sell them next was an ax because many of the guys were buying brown pants in order to go camping.

  5. Training - the analytics team needs to have an appreciation for lifelong learning and an ability to train others and enroll them in their vision. Encourage non-linear thinking that will result in creative solutions to problems and lead to market disrupting innovations like Uber and Air BnB.

Today SAS monitors social, chat, tech support and customer surveys to ensure they are meeting customers' needs and wants.

It's incumbent upon all companies to get to know their customers better so they can become more relevant, establish an emotional connection, and fulfill their needs and wants. Any company that fails to do this should be prepared to lose their customers to companies that use data to provide an outstanding customer experience and earn customers for life.

analytics, big data, customers for life

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