There’s a data gold rush on. Businesses that can find the value in customer data will be the future winners.
Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions store lots of customer data – as do the systems used in accounts and billing, digital marketing and contact centres. But few organisations make good use of their structured data for decision making— and often unstructured data is hardly used at all.
This is where customer data management (CDM) systems come in. Customer data management systems take customer data from sources such as website analytics, digital marketing reporting and in-store systems – as well from the core relationship management solution. Analysis of this data reveals insights into customers’ actions and preferences.
Steps to integrated customer data
There are several steps to getting useful insights from customer data. The first is to collect the data in multiple systems. Before integrating with other systems, the data must be clean, consistent, up-to-date and compliant with data protection regulations.
Before you know it, you’ll be drowning in data, so it’s a good idea to plan for more storage capacity than you can dream of using right now. Cloud-based systems help with this. With clean and consistent data all in one big data lake, it’s much easier to manage.
When your data is gathered together, the magic happens. You can anonymise data to give you insights about groups of customers. Conversely, centralised data management can help with identity resolution, discovering and combining data that reveals the same customer carrying out interactions in different places.
If data is the new oil, the data warehouse is the refinery. The result is better marketing, personalisation and tailoring to serve your customers.
Where customer data management adds value
Customer data management can add so much to CRM to enhance customer experience. Here’s how:
1. CRM solutions help you get to know your customers. Customer data management goes beyond this, using data to make predictions, so that your sales team can offer appropriate offers, products and services.
Combining data from multiple sources builds a detailed picture of each account. Customer interactions can then be highly personalised – offering them a solution they need, at the time they need it.
2. Combining data from customer experience silos – ranging from digital channels to real life stories, website journeys to social media – provides a single view of the customer that is beyond the capacity of the CRM system alone.
3. If customers are marketed to in a sensitive, personalised and relevant way, they’ll begin to feel they can trust you with their data. They’ll feel more inclined to provide feedback, deepening the relationship further.
Customer data management fits into a broad ecosystem of multiple tools that capture data about the customer experience.