The last time I visited the U.S., my credit card was swiped from my pocket. Upon getting back to London and calling the bank, an excruciating number of hours were spent being transferred between reps and repeating my account number every time a new person came on the line.
Many consumers – like me – are ready to take action, but when customer service breaks down or isn’t executed in a hyper-personalized way, they can’t.
This frustration isn’t limited to the customer service channel. For example, customers may enjoy a brand’s e-newsletter, but an irrelevant, unwanted marketing email from the same company will push people to unsubscribe.
Put simply, the ability to achieve market-differentiating personalization across channels remains elusive for many brands. The technology challenges have been too costly and too resource intensive to overcome…until now.
The power of personalization, powered for business: Customer data platform solutions
With recent advances in customer data platform (CDP) solutions, brands can build on a foundation of insights to impact every customer interaction. This solution can enhance a company’s agility, provide a holistic source of customer data across the organization, and reduce costs.
It then becomes a question of not “Why”, but “How?”.
To drive repeat business rather than one-off sales, enterprises need to bring the customer to the heart of every engagement. They must deliver rich, personalized, and outcome-focused interactions across any channel the customer ultimately chooses.
To do this, they need to understand a unified vision of the customer.
— Qualtrics (@Qualtrics) August 17, 2017
However, three major challenges are preventing enterprises from gaining this unified understanding:
- Too many data silos: If several data sources each store part of known customer data, it becomes difficult and costly to unify these sources into a single profile. Without that view, customer engagement strategies will miss critical opportunities.
- The evolving data privacy climate: Customers around the globe have lost trust in businesses when it comes to protecting their personal data. As a result, regional governments have stepped in to apply tough regulations regarding data collection and processing practices. Now, companies face severe legal and brand reputation risks if caught out of compliance.
- An inability to manage data scale and complexity: DIY solutions or stitched-together legacy systems cannot keep up with the amount of customer data generated by today’s plethora of touch points. Many organizations do not possess the flexibility and agility necessary to manage the volume, variety, and velocity of data and deliver market-differentiating customer experiences.
Meeting the challenge with a CDP
A customer data platform (CDP) is a solution to bring together disparate customer data into one system, and to allow for the easy sharing of this information across the organization.
Until recently, CDPs were limited to marketing use cases. Now, data–centric CDPs can help deliver personalized experiences that nurture anonymous users into known, loyal customers using the customer’s preferred channels.
To achieve this objective, these new CDPs focus on four key areas:
CDPs can connect every customer data source in an organization into unified customer profiles. Updated in real time, these profiles can contain a true 360-degree view made up of 1st party CRM data, 2nd party, 3rd party, offline data, event and activity streams along with transactional, behavioral, experience, and back-office data.
The solution enables deep understanding and insight into your customers to provide a foundation for relevant, personalized engagements whenever the customer interacts with a brand. Dynamic segmentation and audience management capabilities can combine with machine learning models to provide insight from the vast amount of data volumes ingested.
How, when, and where can customer data can be used? New CDPs connect Enterprise Consent and Preference Management with other data purposes to create a holistic data privacy and governance foundation. This helps to ensure a brand is operating within the applicable consumer privacy and data protection regulation and bolster trust with customers about the brand’s data practices.
Through a CDP, an enterprise can provide a customer insight foundation for its engagement solutions in real time. The end result: Meeting the expectations of the customer at each engagement instead of creating journeys that just don’t fit with their lifestyles or needs.
Give customers the freedom to choose their own path with customer data platform solutions
In the end, an exceptional customer experience isn’t a deliverable a brand can orchestrate with technology. There are too many variables: How’s the customer feeling on the day in question? Where is the customer during the engagement?
At its most basic level, the customer is in charge of a large majority of the experience.
Brands are in charge of the environment presented to the customer. And the goal of this environment is to create the best possible chance for positive emotional reactions, no matter where, when, or how customer engagements occur. And with the new CDP solutions, businesses will be able to use the power of personalization to enable experiences that strengthen customer loyalty.