Four steps to use CX data effectivelyby
Dan Arthur, EVP of Customer Research and Analytics at Andrew Reise, delves into the nuances of CX data and outlines four steps to integrate it into business strategies.
Customer experience (CX) is the beating heart of modern businesses. As competition rises, more and more companies need to stand out by delivering better CX. In fact, according to the CX Index, 86 percent of companies expect to compete solely on CX.
However, not all executives are treating CX data as the growth engine it is. To drive meaningful customer experiences, leaders need to use CX data to inform strategic planning. Here’s how to leverage CX data to drive growth—and use it to propel the company’s strategy.
Understand what CX data is
In order to use CX data to inform strategy, executives need to first pin down exactly what existing CX data is currently available. Chances are, most executives think of it as customer surveys or customer satisfaction data. However, CX data includes a much more holistic set of figures. Here are the general types of CX data executives should consider:
- Customer feedback data: Customer feedback data can be direct or indirect. For instance, a company may rely on surveys to draw in customer opinions straight from those consumers. There’s also the option of analytics—gleaning insights from customer interactions. In that second case, the organisation will want to look for customer friction points, unusually high call volumes, and other indications that touchpoints are hurting the customer’s experience.
- Market research data: Market research data is information about the organisation’s target market that reveals customer expectations, latent and emerging needs, and concerns. That may include things like brand trackers or in-depth qualitative research on specific audiences or topics.
- Operational data: Operational data tracks a team’s performance. It will vary based on the area or team that’s in the spotlight. For instance, if a leader focuses on the call centre, they may track first-call resolutions or average speed to answer. Combining feedback data with operational data will reveal richer insights.
- Financial data: When it comes to measuring CX, business leaders also need to monitor financial data. The exact area of focus for financial data depends on the organisation’s goals and “red flag” areas. For instance, if leaders have identified a customer churn problem, financial data should indicate how that issue is impacting the company’s bottom line. That way, when the organisation makes changes to fix these issues, there will be clear financial data to prove ROI.
How to use CX data to fuel strategic goals
To use CX data effectively, business leaders need to follow four key steps:
1. Pin down CX objectives
To link up CX data with strategic goals effectively, leaders need to first identify their objectives. Different objectives call for different CX strategies. Here are two common CX objectives that require different CX data and strategic planning:
- Eliminate customer churn: Does the company have a churn or retention issue? If so, executives need to identify why they're leaving and how to keep them onboard.
- Acquire new customers: Is the goal to track down new customers? In this case, the business needs to build a plan to use CX to attract new prospects, rather than just improve existing relationships.
Overall, business leaders can’t move forward without a clear north star guiding their plans.
Overall, business leaders can’t move forward without a clear north star guiding their plans. So be sure to identify goals, pick out objectives, and build alignment between the business’s CX plans and broader company strategy.
2. Identify key CX metrics
When data starts flooding in, it can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to narrow down the focus to hone in on a few key CX metrics—and more importantly, the specific experiences that are driving the key metrics up or down. Start by looking at what the team is already measuring and compare it to what the organisation still needs to track in order to accomplish goals. These gaps reveal where the business can insert listening posts or use other tools to beef up the CX transformation.
3. Connect cross-functional data
It’s important for many reasons to stream as much CX data as possible into a single source of truth. For instance, AI feeds off of data, and it’s only effective if it can access a broad pool of data across departments. That’s just one reason why business leaders need to use technology to connect as many different streams of CX data as possible.
Once the organisation has embedded listening posts in the right areas and data starts trickling in, pool it all together. The more connected data is, the easier it will be to see relationships between different parts of the organisation—and identify the simplest solutions.
4. Map out CX priorities
When CX data is at the centre of a business’s strategy, it will start shedding light on friction points and missed opportunities in the customer experience. Here’s where executives need to set clear priorities.
Whatever CX gaps pop up, decide where to focus time and money.
Is customer churn a problem? Is the business losing new customers at a specific stage or fielding extra calls about a specific touchpoint? Whatever CX gaps pop up, decide where to focus time and money—and always make sure those priorities line up neatly with the organisation’s broader objectives.
Start using CX data to surpass company goals
CX improvements are essential if companies want to gain an edge in an increasingly competitive business environment. Business leaders must partner with their peers in data analytics, IT, and other departments to access a more holistic view to fuel strategic plans.
To launch a successful CX transformation, business leaders need to set clear objectives, build a single connected source for CX data, identify key metrics, and use this data to nail down priorities. By following a few best practices, business leaders can centre the business on CX, proactively spark better customer experiences, and accelerate organisation-wide growth.
Dan Arthur is the EVP of customer research and analytics at Andrew Reise, a customer experience consulting firm recognized by CX analysts at Forrester and Gartner. He has 20+ years of management consulting experience, serving clients across multiple industries including retail, health...