How to Make the Best Use of Your Customer Data

September 23, 2015 Jiordan Castle

customer data

The first step to unlocking your organization’s potential to deliver an exceptional digital Customer Experience is figuring out what kind of Customer Experience your team is capable of delivering, as well as locating any pain points. Every business has different capabilities when it comes to customer interactions and personalizing different channels of customer service. Not every business has the strengths or means to ace every single type of communication (try as we might).

Being able to measure and increase the effectiveness of your customer data is an integral part of delivering a great Customer Experience. Here are 2 key questions to ask about your current customer interactions, and how customer data is stored and used:

  • How connected are your organization’s internal systems that store customer data?
  • Is the data from those systems accessible, and does it enable you to make informed, effective decisions about your organization’s Customer Experience?

Here we’ll go over a few simple ways to increase the effectiveness of your customer data.

The Customer Experience Matrix

You may think of these 2 things — your organization’s degree of interacting with customers and the effectiveness of your customer data — as having a kind of scale, on which your business may be highly proficient or less so. Your combined capabilities when it comes to interacting with and effectively interpreting customer data defines the kind of Customer Experience your business is capable of delivering.

Our Customer Experience Matrix outlines 4 different kinds of Customer Experience, based on a company’s capabilities:customerdataOn the far left of the x-axis, you have a company with disorderly customer data in which individual customers are essentially invisible. In this organization, customers are likely tracked in one system (e.g., a spreadsheet) and then when they place an order, they’re keyed into another system. This disconnected method of storing customer data renders it useless, as your Customer Experience team won’t be able to discern any actionable insights from a mess of data.

On the far right of the x-axis, you have a company that has reached the peak of customer data effectiveness. What does this look like? Imagine orders, service requests, social media posts, and employee data are all contained in a single, easily queried system. Any question asked of the customer data brings actionable insights and answers.

For help finding your company within the Customer Experience Matrix, read our ebook, The Digital Customer Experience Strategy Guide.

4 steps to increase your customer data effectiveness

Once you’ve figured out out what kind of Customer Experience your team is capable of delivering — and where there’s room to improve and innovate — here are some next steps to take in order to begin making the most of your customer data:

  1. Create a Customer Experience map to understand how customer data interacts with functions, teams, and systems within your organization. Simply plotting out your current structure can show you redundancies and disconnected areas within your organization.
  1. Assess your customer data flow to see where customer data resides across systems.
  1. Work with the various functional teams to understand what data they need to see in order to be most effective. This will establish your data integration requirements.
  1. Configure dashboards to easily expose the key customer metrics that truly matter to your team.

Customer data is useless if it’s inaccessible or stored in disconnected systems. By making your customers visible across the organization, you deliver a better Worker and Customer Experience.


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