To improve your customer experience, free your data

Oceans of data

Successive waves of digital innovation are transforming daily life almost beyond recognition. From the consumer’s point of view, social networks, mobile devices and now smart objects are shaping purchasing behaviour and expectations including consistent services, quick responsiveness, choice and insightful personalisation.

Consumption is now based on information, assessments, comparisons and promotions, which can be accessed from any channel, physical or virtual.

The inevitable result of this innovation is an explosion of data. According to Forbes, by 2020, nearly 1.7 megabytes of new data for every person on the planet will be created every second. The total volume of digital data accumulated worldwide will reach 44 zettabytes (trillions of gigabytes) – ten times more than today.

>See also: Appealing to digital migrants and digital natives in the Omnichannel age

The Internet of Things alone is likely to have generated 2 zettabytes of data by 2025 and the monetisation value is estimated at 3 trillion dollars. These overwhelming figures demonstrate the magnitude of issues related to data and to businesses’ ability to master it. Organisations unable to make optimal use of this data will lose considerable ground to their more agile competitors.

Organisational and cultural transformation

Omnichannel service delivery has been the solution most commonly used by businesses in their attempts to meet customer expectation. The approach is designed to deliver the right data, at the right time, to the right person, via the right channel in order to offer the highest-quality, most engaging customer experience possible with appropriate products and services.

Companies hoped “omnichannel experiences” would enable them to anticipate customers’ needs to provide them with a personalised response, which meets or even exceeds their expectations. And this effort is based on the company’s ability to mobilise the necessary data to deliver.

Today, these same companies struggle to draw together all the information required to give them a unified view and appreciation of their customers’ needs. The result is a mixed bag of omnichannel initiatives, many of which result in failures. In the retail sector, for example, only 18% of retailers claim to have an engagement strategy, which covers all channels.

>See also: Why omnichannel retail is more than just a buzzword

One of the common mistakes organisations make is they underestimate the structural and cultural transformations needed for a customer-focused strategy. And yet digital disruption requires structural disruption; if not, companies’ best efforts will be in vain.

By definition, an omnichannel strategy – like any digital transformation – is unable to operate in a vacuum. If it fails to engage an ecosystem of users and partners, it will not provide the necessary insight into the customer path to create new services and encourage the development of new selling models.

CX networks: dare to go beyond the company horizon

To offer cutting-edge digital customer experiences, company leaders need to find a way to make better use of data collected from a wide variety of sources, both internal and external, including: your own system information, supplier and partner data and even public data sources such as weather or traffic, all via cloud services, smart objects, and social networks.

No longer can you afford to look only inward. It’s time to overcome the limits of the omnichannel approach, embrace innovative approaches beyond your own boundaries and unleash the imaginations of your own employees and supplier/partner ecosystems. The result is what is known as customer experience (CX) networks.

A network devoted to shop customers might include retailers, product manufacturers, retail banks, suppliers of consumer scoring systems, sales tax collectors and others.

>See also: Retailers struggle to meet omnichannel expectations

Similarly, a patient network might include hospitals, doctors, chemists, pharmaceutical manufacturers, health insurance providers, nutrition advisers, and maybe even meal delivery companies. The possibilities are endless!

By establishing this type of new relationship with players from these various ecosystems, an organisation will become better at retaining information and benefit from enriched data that helps it understand and anticipate the customer path.

This process genuinely promotes shared innovation and shared value creation between the various links of a single chain and facilitates the development of a more comprehensive view of customer requests, preferences and behaviour.

This strategy for providing access to the heart of a dynamic partner-based community will enable companies to adapt continuously to market changes, and to design and launch new products, services and sales models more quickly knowing they will be more closely in line with changing customer needs.


Sourced by Antoine Rizk, VP global supply chain solution marketing, Axway


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...