No matter what industry you’re in, emerging technologies are adding more digital touchpoints for potential and returning customers alike. The first instinct of a business owner may be to get their hands on that new piece of technology as soon as possible. However, it’s essential to keep in mind the huge influx of data that comes with a new website, app, kiosk, tablet, or other smart device.
Many companies don’t plan for the influx of new customer data when developing their strategies for new technologies. How that data will be collected and organized in an efficient way needs to be part of the strategy and architecture of that new customer experience. The real work comes when you realize you have to account for all the different nuances, platforms, and operating systems. When you implement a digital experience for desktop, mobile, iOS, Android, etc, you’ll need additional overhead, time, and investment to support and improve upon these customer experiences.
If a business doesn’t have a data-driven culture and doesn’t make informed decisions from their analysis, this can make the data collecting process extremely difficult. As a result, the customer experience can go quickly downhill. By lacking data collection strategies for these new touchpoints, data scientists, C-suite executives, designers, project managers, and others within a business will feel overwhelmed every time a new piece of technology is introduced to the world. So the real question is, how can you adapt to new technology while still gaining a holistic view of your customer?
Here are four key tips that can help your organization adapt to this new influx of data and ensure you’re providing the best customer experience possible:
- Remember that not every user journey is the same for all your digital properties. A mobile experience is different than a desktop experience. A native app is different than a mobile experience. A mobile experience is different from a tablet experience, and so on. You can’t lump each user journey into one experience. It’s not a one-size-fits-all implementation because each flow is different. Depending on the complexity of your business and how integrated your product development teams are, you need to spend the time and resources to create digital experiences that maximize device usability to gain a holistic view. The larger goal is to develop a user journey that crosses all devices so that the experience is seamless, regardless of the device being used.
- Don’t deploy tools without proper due diligence. There are many tools out there today that claim to give you a holistic view of your audience, but do they work? Yes and no. Various data management platforms (DMPs) and customer data platforms (CDPs) promise to do a good job at integrating customer data across all digital touchpoints and platforms. By using these tools, you can create 360-degree customer profiles, manage different channels of incoming data, stitch that data together into a unified view, and leverage that information for marketing purposes. So what’s the catch? Many organizations are sold on the fact that a tool can solve all of their data collection issues, but these tools usually aren’t easy to implement. Organizations need to take into account not only the cost of the tool, but also any onboarding, training, ongoing maintenance, and staff-related costs. Since these tools require customization and an intricate architecture, you’ll also need a team with the right skill set to make the tool successful.
- Break off internal silos. You’ve heard the phrase, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” This also stands true for your analytics practice. To keep up with all these new digital touchpoints and the data that comes from them, you’ll need everyone in your organization working in sync. There are two approaches you can take in getting this accomplished: the bottom-up approach and the top-down approach. With the bottom-up approach, teams come to realize they need to start sharing the data they have to achieve business outcomes. It’s essential to break down those silos and make the data usable for multiple people in their organization, which can include proper data governance and cataloging. It needs to be structured so that analysts and data services can use that data. With the top-down approach, you need to secure executive sponsorship. Build your case on why you need the support and resources to make change. When presenting to executives, try leading with why adapting to new technologies provides value to your business. If you’re thinking about choosing one of these approaches over the other, the bottom-up approach can give you strong results, but using both approaches together is the best way to pull off adapting to new technology and gaining the customer view you need.
- Look at the customer journey from end to end. Even some of the most mature organizations can have a narrow view of their customer journey, especially if there is an overwhelming amount of data from various technologies. If you focus on optimizing only one digital touchpoint, you’ll miss gaining the insights you need to optimize the entire customer experience. For example, by analyzing just your checkout process, you may have data that reflects your conversation rate, but that won’t give you any answers on why those numbers might fluctuate. Instead, you need to understand how customers get to checkout in the first place and any pain points they may experience. Start by working backward and analyzing the user journey from start to finish. If you focus on tracing a unified thread through an analysis of acquisition, behavior, and outcomes, you’ll be on the path toward eliminating isolated product analyses. The data from these digital experiences, combined with the proper analysis, can give you the whole story of the customer journey from end to end.
Our lives are increasingly digital, and the trend of new technology being used by businesses around the world isn’t slowing down any time soon. Some industries are ahead of the game when incorporating new technology, but that doesn’t mean organizations are properly collecting data from their digital touchpoints. If data integrity is lacking, so will the quality of your insights.
That is why it is critical to adapt and implement data management strategies that ensure an optimal customer experience for your digital properties. However, this endeavour is not easy. You have to invest in resources, infrastructures, and new processes to get a holistic customer view of the data coming from your digital touchpoints.
If you’re even remotely thinking about how to keep up with this influx of data from new technologies, chances are, your competitors are thinking about it too. In fact, they may be ten steps ahead of you. Urgency is high here. Companies have realized the importance of data and how using data can optimize customer experiences for their digital properties. If you want to keep up with the competition, and eventually surpass them, it’s time to start using the power of data to your advantage to build a better user experience. And with that better user experience, uncovering additional revenue is on the horizon.