As important as breaking down organizational barriers and acquiring the requisite skills for customer data gathering and analysis is putting in place a technology foundation that’s capable of delivering a single source of customer truth. Even companies that are committed to customer experience improvement and innovation struggle to integrate data in legacy systems with new sources of customer data in a streamlined and meaningful way.
Leading companies have invested in databases and data warehouses that can ingest both internal and external sources of data across applications and channels, but many have found that alone does not solve the problem.
“It’s a struggle. We’ve got more data than we can handle coming in from different systems and sources, ” said the CEO of a credit union, which uses a data warehouse to pull in data from various internal and third-party sources. “Just because you pour it all into the same container doesn’t mean you can draw connections between disparate data. There’s more than enough information, but getting it all to mean something—and then doing something with it that’s valuable to customers—is the real challenge.”
Similarly, the global financial services company houses all of its own customer related data in a centralized data warehouse but has not yet been able to easily integrate behavioral data from websites or social media. “We have to go to several systems to get the whole picture, and that can be tiresome,” said the bank’s customer experience leader. “In the future, we’d like to have all that information in one place where we can easily access it and cross-reference data in various streams.”
The most important sources of customer experience data are customer relationship management systems (75%), customer satisfaction surveys (53%), social media tools (43%), feedback from sales and retail staff (40%), email or SMS (37%), and transaction data (34%). The sources of data that are actually used for customer experience are CRM (54%), customer satisfaction surveys (52%), websites (50%), contact center managers (41%), and feedback from sales and retail staff (31%). Very few companies are yet using data coming in newer sources such as mobile apps, internet-connected devices, or wearables.