Study reveals wide ranging benefits to data-driven customer experience

According to a new study, the benefits of evolving a data driven approach to customer experience enhance revenue generation, enable cost reduction and accelerate improvements in efficiency.

The “Data Elevates the Customer Experience: New Ways of Discovering and Applying Customer Insights,” study, conducted by Forbes Insights and analytics giant SAS, found that data-driven customer experience also enables organizations to better target and optimize for specific customers, as well as to deliver consistency and context across various channels. To achieve this, however, there needs to be greater alignment of people, processes and technology across enterprises—involving not only sales and marketing teams, but also other key players behind customer experience, including information technology, purchasing and production.

“Winning at customer experience today requires a combination of individualized insights, contextualized interactions, and fluid processes to engage the customer in their channels of choice,” said Wilson Raj, Global Director of Customer Intelligence at SAS. “It requires new ways of exploring and exploiting data to create rich dialogues between customers and brands.”

Key findings

To meet the challenges of delivering superior customer experiences, organizations are turning to analytics to better understand customer trends and preferences. For three in ten enterprises, data-driven customer experience is already delivering a significant shift in elevating customer experiences. Many more executives who are still in the early stages of development anticipate results over the next two years.

For a majority of enterprises, their data-driven customer experience efforts are already delivering benefits in key areas: decision making, actionable insights and engagement with customers.

Only 36% of executives say they have attained real-time, highly integrated capabilities across all the customer channels within their enterprises. At this point, just half of even the most highly data-driven customer experience organizations consider themselves to be highly integrated.

There’s a prevailing understanding that opening up data and sharing it with customers will go a long way to advancing the customer experience. The ability to extend real-time offers as customers browse a site or to show the real-time status of order shipping are powerful examples. Two in five executives agree that sharing data with customers would be beneficial “in all cases.”

Visibility into customer activity is low, with only a handful of enterprises (6%) currently capable of seeing the entire breadth of their customers’ experiences.

Just under half of the executives in the survey report that the majority of their relevant enterprise information is easily accessible via a single, highly integrated presentation layer.

The most often-cited benefit of data-driven customer experience among executives is having a greater ability to target and optimize for specific customers (57%), as well as achieving consistency across various channels.