When looking at the challenges of delivering the type of multi-channel, digital customer experiences that are being demanded of businesses today, most CX professionals cite the current limitations of their technology, people, or processes.
These are generally expensive and time-consuming problems to solve. The business and technology landscapes change so quickly that as soon as a company has caught up on what customers want now, they are already on to the next thing.
What often gets overlooked is that delivering great customer experiences is about allowing information to flow as freely and as quickly as possible between the customer and company and back again. As important as they are, technology, people, and processes are just conduits for that information, and the much-hyped digital and automated channels just new ways for customers to access it.
Efficiently storing, indexing, and processing the huge amounts of customer data that companies hold can vastly improve customer experience.
The joined-up business
To deliver the customer experiences being demanded of you today, your contact centre’s processes, technologies, staff, and data must be all aligned. Specifically, the right piece of technology or software, the most appropriate business process, and the relevant customer and transaction data all need to be made immediately available to the agent, or automated system that is interacting with a customer.
Where there are limited budgets to invest in technology, lengthy internal processes, complex agent desktop tools, a lack of multichannel options, and a lack of understanding about customer behaviour this can be difficult to do. But a lot of the battle can be won with better quality data even without replacing legacy systems and processes.
Single customer view
Having a single view of all your customer data means that every piece of information about a given customer is accessible by everyone who needs it, when they need it. To accomplish this, all data must be pulled together into a central location, or all the data that sits in different siloes should be tagged and linked together. The result is the same: customer-facing people can see everything your whole company knows about a given customer or prospect.
Data discovery and tagging
The first step is to scan all your structured databases, semi-structured XML files, unstructured file systems on individual workstations, and cloud-based file systems to find all the personal and sensitive data the company holds.
Data discovery software can find this information and search against it simultaneously, instantly finding and collating everything from siloed data sources. An automatic metadata tagging process can tie all the pieces of data together so that you can quickly understand, for example, which bits of data relate to customer John Smith.
Living data inventory
The goal is to end up with an indexed copy of all your data, so no matter where data is held across your IT infrastructure, it can be accessed as if from a single location.
This gives you a portal for accessing all your data about any individual customer which can be kept up to date by regularly running the discovery and cataloguing processes on newly acquired data.
Even without updating your legacy systems or existing processes, customer-facing staff can pull all the relevant data on a customer and their transactions into whatever tool or workflow they are currently using.
This enables your contact centre to manage multi-channel interactions without asking the customer to repeat information; route customers to the right team or person; proactively head off service issues; personalise upsell, cross-sell, and renewals offers; and identify the best customers to find more like them.
Geoff Land is Managing Director of Infinity CCS. He previously held senior positions at Bright Star Communications (Saudi Arabia), founded Inspire FZE in the United Arab Emirates and has held a number of local and international positions at Nortel Networks. When Geoff is not travelling around the world he lives in Monmouthshire with his family and enjoys walking and working on his property.