Creating a customer-centric culture isn't an easy feat today. With ever-evolving customer channels, consumer devices, and multiple Web experiences, delivering a targeted customer experience is becoming more and more difficult.
Much of the challenge stems from companies' inability to centralize and analyze customer data from across the various Web and traditional channels to paint an accurate picture of customers' behavior and needs. Employees that can access relevant, contextual customer information at the point of interaction can provide service and assistance based on customers' immediate needs, thus boosting satisfaction and improving efficiencies.
Despite the obvious importance of employees having access to contextual data, a new study reveals that many executives still don't give credence to the benefits of contextual data. Coveo conducted a survey in April of more than 120 customer service and support executives at the 2012 Customer Care Leadership Forum in New York, and only 13 percent of those executives said that employees can effectively tap into the collective knowledge of the organization. An astounding 99 percent reported that access to contextually relevant information is at least "somewhat important" to their customers; and 79 percent said they can only sometimes or almost never get the information they need about their businesses and their customers to make informed business decisions quickly. And 8 percent said they couldn't get information at all.
These survey results help to shed light on the overwhelming challenges that many customer-facing organizations face today: having the ability to aggregate, analyze, and access customer data to develop a robust picture of customers and to make informed decisions as a result.
The sheer size of the data today seems to be the underlying issue, as many organizations that I speak to are saddled with an increased amount of data silos than just as few years ago. Also, a lack of robust analytics capabilities and a place to store the data centrally seem to also compound the problems.
The ability to provide a contextual view of customers' experiences is critical as customer needs and demands continue to evolve. Companies' decisions can't be made purely on observational level data forever; they have to be driven on insight that represents a complete view of the customers.