Using Data & Data Analytics To Improve Customer Experience

Learn why using data generated from transactions, communications, and other engagements can help enterprises create better customer experiences, improve ROI, and increase customer lifetime value.

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Using Data & Data Analytics To Improve Customer Experience

It always helps to understand how new technologies can benefit your business before deciding which technology you might need. If you're questioning why you should use data, data analytics, and data-driven tools to improve customer experience (CX) in your business, the answer is easy: customer lifetime value.

Customers are the lifeblood of your company, and a smart CX will keep them engaged and happy. But your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), the sum total of all the revenue you make from a customer over the span of their relationship with you, is what’s really important. You spend a lot of time and money to acquire customers, retain them, and grow their accounts.

Protecting and Growing Your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Profitability is only achievable when customer lifetime value is greater than the investment you made to get them in the first place. Healthy retention rates drive positive CLV: if you can keep more customers longer, they will generate more revenue, higher returns, and more profit. So how do you protect and grow CLV? By improving the customer experience with data analytics.

Data powers the agile, automated, personalized, omnichannel experience customers want. It helps you 1) understand who your customers are, how they shop, what they buy, and how they prefer to engage; and 2) build better, more intelligent tools to serve and retain them.

Better data security can also elevate the customer experience for new and existing clients. If you haven’t already thought about the best ways to keep customers’ accounts and data protected, you should. It stands to reason that secure customers are happy customers, who in turn are loyal customers. And loyal customers are typically the most profitable.

Data Analytics Drives the Customer Experience

A recent Forbes Magazine article reports that market leaders share a common approach to using data to improve customer experience: they focus on “personalization at scale starting from customer touchpoints back.” Great customer-centric brands recognize that when employees and systems know everything about every customer interaction over time, they can provide better service and support.

CX innovators start by gathering and unifying data from every possible source — websites, in-app browsing, marketing interactions, chat, social media, customer support, and in-store — to build a holistic 360-degree view of each customer. Some companies will collect that information in customer-focused dashboards that all departments can access when attending to a customer's needs. Others will apply machine learning and train intuitive interfaces to respond to customer inquiries using natural language within the context of typical business interactions.

An intelligent Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, for example, can easily revamp a restaurant chain’s automated reservations systems, enabling customers to quickly confirm or change a reservation, and providing the business with valuable information along the way. A real estate mobile app applies data insights to drive quick, meaningful connections between buyers and sellers. And an online international money transfer service has learned that delivering real-time transaction status notifications to customers, complete with all transaction data, has improved the CX and kept customers happy and loyal.

More Convenient, Responsive Support

Once trained, data-driven systems can work with all existing channels including voice, email, SMS, chat, Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, Slack, and more, often without human oversight. Customers get more convenient, responsive support across preferred platforms without the need for businesses to increase support staff. Interactions are faster when technology correctly interprets what customers are saying and responds appropriately the first time. If like most modern companies, you handle the majority of your incoming calls with technology before human agents, data-driven natural language interfaces can mitigate a lot of the frustration customers often experience when they attempt to “talk” to machines.

Sometimes even the smartest interface doesn’t get to the right answer on the first try. Personal, human interaction with live customer service or sales reps is often the best way to recover after a less-than-satisfactory technology interaction. Real-time customer and transaction data can help funnel live inquiries to the right agents at the beginning of each customer contact, which minimizes hand-offs between departments. And agents armed with context and accurate account information can answer questions knowledgeably and solve problems quickly.

With a modern customer engagement platform, your staff is empowered by a dashboard that displays data from various channels; a customer who emails tech support doesn’t have to explain their issue a second time if a live agent already has their account information. This level of personalized service humanizes your brand and makes customers feel like you know them (because you do).

Contextualize the Customer Journey

Finally, real-time contextualized interactions personalize the entire customer journey from marketing to selling to service channels. Marketing campaigns based on robust customer profiles become infinitely flexible, instantly responsive, and easy to replicate across multiple channels. Data-driven software agents can analyze interests and preferences based on behaviors and make recommendations accordingly, providing helpful suggestions and presenting product information through websites, apps, and SMS to dramatically increase return visits. Retention models can be used to identify which of your customers are most likely to churn, and why, so you can strategize about what to do to keep your most profitable segments.

It’s clear that real-time analytics and elevated CX directly impacts higher brand preference, revenue and cost improvements, and lasting competitive advantages. In fact, the Harvard Business Review recently reported that 44% of enterprises are acquiring new customers and increasing revenue as a result of adopting and integrating customer analytics, while 58% are seeing a significant increase in customer retention and loyalty.

Why Focus on Big Data when Small Data Will Do?

Recent attention on Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, and algorithms has started a gold rush for huge digital datasets. But experts suggest that you start small and think strategically about the job you’re trying to do and the information that will benefit you (and your customers) most before investing in low-value data. Companies like Uber generate enormous amounts of digital data, but knowing just a few simple things – like who needs a ride and which drivers are nearby – is what disrupted the global taxi industry. Likewise, eBay has upended the unregulated ticket scalping industry via it’s StubHub subsidiary who rely on data and a streamlined customer experience to quickly and effortlessly connect buyers who want to see a live event with sellers who have extra tickets.

Amassing data and analyzing it to address a business puzzle is one thing, but working with data is not like waving a magic wand; there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead of overspending on technology and investing time thinking about how to use information that you may not need, focus first on figuring out what is the right data to solve your most challenging business problems. Working with a cloud-based communications company like Twilio can help.

Optimizing Customer Experiences With Twilio

Many businesses are evaluating how technologies and cloud-based communication solutions can connect the dots when it comes to fixing siloed customer engagement experiences. And they’re finding that improving CX can also improve ROI for marketing and sales, increase customer loyalty, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

Take the next step in exploring what an improved customer experience can do for your enterprise. Learn how Twilio Flex delivers the data you need to improve agent, supervisor, and administrator performance.