A Customer Experience that Reaps Rewards Requires a Marriage of Marketing and IT

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Customer Engagement
Customer Experience
Customer experience is no longer a "nice to have," it's a "must have." But marketers' customer experience delivery efforts are constantly challenged due to constant pressures to deliver a consistent and relevant customer experience across all channels. With the continuous explosion of data threatening to hamper marketers' customer experience efforts, as well as emerging social and mobile channels, organizations are frustrated with how and where to drive customer engagement throughout customers' lifecycle.

Customer experience is no longer a "nice to have," it's a "must have." But marketers' customer engagement efforts are constantly challenged due to constant pressures to deliver a consistent and relevant customer experience across all channels. With the continuous explosion of data threatening to hamper marketers' customer experience efforts, as well as emerging social and mobile channels, organizations are frustrated with how and where to drive customer engagement throughout customers' lifecycle.

This was a theme at a regional event of the Colorado chapter of the Business Marketing Association last week, where Louise Clements, president of MRM Canada, gave the keynote presentation about the evolution of marketing and advertising in the age of interactive technology.

In her presentation, she discussed how marketers and IT must create a symbiotic relationship in order to understand how to design and deliver consistent interactions across all channels in their organizations.

To crystallize the message, Clements gave five action items to help marketers and IT lessen the digital divide. They were; 1. Understand their audience, 2. Discover what customers want, 3. Use analytics, 4. Understand how they're changing, and 5. Work with an agency.

That message rings true in two article that appear on 1to1 Media today. The article, "Real-Time Analytics: Reality Versus Fiction," by Anna Papacristos, discusses how the influx of customer data represents opportunity in disguise for marketers. Big Data, Papacristos says, opens businesses up to a new world of customer sentiment that can fuel future improvements. "For most companies, the challenge doesn't always stem from Big Data's overwhelming nature in terms of volume, but from whether or not the companies are collecting the right data in order to generate constructive information to drive action across all touchpoints. For this to work, companies must also be willing to embrace available technologies in order to streamline the process."

In another article by Cynthia Clark, Philadelphia Insurance Companies developed a platform to aggregate and analyze all external customer feedback to strengthen its VOC program and provide a mechanism for its employees to more readily listen to customer feedback and remedy situations on the spot. Seth Hall, the company's vice president of operations, said about the new and improved VOC efforts, "This data was instrumental in us changing the metrics/goals and thus not hiring the additional staff we thought we needed."

The impact of listening to customers has been noticeable and Philadelphia Insurance Companies has seen an increase in NPS scores, from the mid to upper 40s before implementing the VOC program to 51 at the end of last year.

As Philadelphia Insurance demonstrates, getting a handle on Big Data can reap rewards. But as MRM's Clements' message iterates, for companies to witness any progress around carefully collecting and acting on customer data from across the enterprise requires a careful collaboration and symbiotic relationship between marketing and IT.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION