Fall conference season is in full swing and no topic seems to be more popular than customer experience. Business and information technology professionals from all industries and management levels are interested in how they can access and analyze Big Data to better attract, serve, and retain customers, and ultimately growth their business. At Strata + Hadoop World and Gartner Symposium, which took place over the last couple of weeks, attendees and analysts discussed a range of topics related to how data management can support customer experience improvement.
Here are three themes of customer experience that seemed to rise above the rest during sessions and informal conversations:
“Quality is the foundation of good customer experiences:” Gartner analyst Gene Alvarez summed up a crucial element of customer experience with this quote during his Symposium session, “Creating Value through the Customer Experience.” His point, supported with survey data from consumers, was that high-quality, products and services are what ultimately drive outstanding customer experiences. As companies strive to digitize their business operations, products, and services, they can’t lose sight of the importance of being able to quickly respond to their customers’ individual needs. A dynamic new user interface or virtual in-store experience can’t overcome an organization’s inability to accurately identify their customers and deliver personalized service.
Managing Small Data within Big Data: The most common use cases for Big Data and Hadoop relate to marketing and customer experience improvement. But how much of Big Data is really needed to uncover the necessary customer insights to support those business objectives? A popular comment from professionals working with Big Data is that they’re often trying to unify a few specific disparate data sets, not necessarily all of the data within their organization. Their struggles arise not so much with the volume of Big Data, but with their ability (or inability) to access those data sets from different business units and legacy systems, and match and manipulate that data with new tools such as Hadoop and data preparation tools.
Location, Location, Location: If there is one category of data that companies are increasingly interested in gathering and exploiting to improve customer experience, it is location data. In order to connect with customers better in real-time, there’s a movement among businesses to better understand where their customers live, work, and shop. This information drives more accurate digital and mobile offers, and also helps organizations understand shopping behavior in stores and across cities, states and even countries. Additionally, companies are also finding location data critical to supporting more efficient customer service, fraud detection, and supply chain management, all of which can have a major impact on business performance when optimized.
It’s clear that customers are business’s top focus, and they’re investing significant time and money in making the most of their customer data. To succeed in the age of customer experience, they’ll need to pair the basics of customer data management with innovate new approaches to marketing, communication and service.