The fuel that powers this new technology and is the fundamental driver of growth in this digital world is customer insight and data. Leveraging data as a corporate financial asset has long been a preoccupation for companies, but now statistical techniques give the opportunity for computers to learn, analyze data, discover patterns, and make predictions about the outcomes of decisions. This is enabling companies to finally monetize this under-utilized asset.
The new technology can help answer critical questions not only about what happened in the past but also predict what will happen in the future. Questions such as “how profitable will this customer be to me over time?” “What campaigns will drive the best customer decisions?” “Which leads should our sales team spend time on?” “Which customers are likely to churn this year?”
Tech stacks that enable the layering of new technologies as a series of connected micro apps means once tested and understood algorithmic based technologies can be deployed rapidly and at scale. Creating an environment (culture, data, analytics, infrastructure) where new technologies can be successfully deployed across customer journeys has become critical competence for our leading organizations.
In the front office it is enabling marketing to focus on demand generation and the optimization of marketing investments. In sales it enables the optimization of coverage models and improvements in sales effectiveness and in service it supports enhanced customer interaction processes, and all of these reduces acquisition costs and costs to serve.
In the back-office functions, such as supply chain and administration it is enabling accurate demand predictions, optimization of staff deployment and more effective purchasing, reducing waste and lowering costs.
When coupled with the Voice of the Customer, the data provides a unique insight as to what is working or not working from a customer’s point of view. It helps surfaces new opportunities, as poorly addressed or hitherto unarticulated needs are identified. It converts data into actionable insight. Starling Bank in the UK has harnessed insight to create an environment of constant innovation based on surfacing newly identified needs. The number one company in the Czech Republic Zasilkovna drives its business decisioning based on real time data and customer feedback
For Tokyo Disney, Disney’s operations team already uses data to dynamically improve customer experience. The app provides real time insight on wait times and directs guests to the rides with lower queues. Guests can also book fast passes, shop online in the resort to bypass retail queues and access information about the park.
Happy guests tend to spend more time and ultimately money on a single experience than those who are not. Disney has discovered that when a journey is easier, smoother, and more convenient, you will enjoy increased revenues1.
Never have companies had such insight at their fingertips and for our leading companies this enhanced understanding is driving new growth opportunities.
For example, if our number one ranked company in the US, USAA has a customer call the contact center because a toy store declined an attempted purchase with the company’s credit card, the Member Service Representative (MSR) can answer the phone with, “Are you calling because your card’s not working?”
USAA has real-time capabilities that let MSRs know the customer is having a problem. During the call, the customer may mention the toy is intended for a baby on the way, and the MSR can add that information to USAA’s system and potentially offer product recommendations. When that customer calls back, the next MSR is going to know that the customer is expecting a baby and can now dig deeper into that conversation.
In addition, USAA has developed its predictive capability, knowing that it is customer life events that precipitate purchase of its products. It wants to be present when the life event occurs, offering advice, support and suitable products. Historically it would know some time after the life event had occurred, but by then it was too late, but now using predictive technologies it can more accurately predict when a customer is entering a life event and be there for the customer if needed.
There is a phrase, “knowledge is power, and data is money”, a deep understanding of the customer, linked to data driven insight is making this a reality. Our leading companies are orchestrating experiences dynamically using a constant stream of real-time data. The net result is highly satisfied customers.