5 Ways to Use Data to Improve Your Customer Experience

October 5, 2023 Andrew Reiter

Customers enjoying a better customer experience backed by data

Gone are the days when customer buying journeys were a linear, straightforward process. In today's increasingly digital landscape where consumers interact with brands on multiple platforms and channels, customer needs, behaviors, and expectations are constantly evolving. With rapidly changing demands, more and more brands are turning to their customer data to help them keep up and even get ahead of the competition. Here’s everything you need to know about using data to improve your customer experience.   

What is Customer Data?  

Your customer data is the information that your customers provide while they engage and interact with your brand across each channel. Your customer data can be classified in four types:  

  • Personal data: This refers to any information used to identify an individual, such as their name, email, location, gender, age, and job position.  
  • Engagement data: How do your customers interact with your brand? Their engagement data tells everything from how they spend time on your website to email clickthrough rates to how often they like or share your social media posts.  
  • Behavioral data: While engagement data shares insights on how your audience interacts with your brand through your various channels, behavioral data helps you learn about how they interact with your product or service itself. (Think subscription rates, cart abandonment data, interactions with your customer support team, and average order value!) 
  • Attitudinal data: This data focuses on what your customers think of your brand, as well as their deeper motivations and pain points. A tried and true way to gather attitudinal data is through customer surveys and feedback.  

Why Data is Crucial to Your Customer Experience 

Envision this scenario: you’ve just released the perfect product or service. You’ve poured time, energy, and resources into creating a unique, compelling brand message. You’ve built the perfect customer support team...  
...only to find that no one is purchasing your service. Or, your customers are buying but your NPS or CSAT score is low. Or even worse, you’re losing your customer base... and you’re not sure why.  

Your customer data is there to help you gather information, make sense of patterns and trends, and create an experience that delights and retains your customers. The good news is that you don’t have to wait until a negative experience to use customer data to your advantage. Data can also be harnessed to turn a good CX into an amazing one.  

5 Ways Data Can Improve Your Customer Experience 

  1. Map the Customer Journey

Your customer journey details the interactions and touchpoints your audience has with your brand at various stages. For example, a journey map may follow a customer as they place a service request or open a support ticket with your team.  

By using data and analytics tools to track the customer journey, you can gain a deeper understanding of touchpoints that are crucial to your customer experience. The goal is to identify and improve upon your weaknesses (such as a slow support queues or low social media engagement) and make the most of your strengths! 

  1. Understand Your Customers’ Behaviors

Customer data not only helps you learn what your customers are doing but also the why behind their actions. While you can always utilize customer surveys to gather insights on how they behave, today’s digital tools can home in on behavioral patterns and preferences towards anything from brand messaging to your support team’s language and approach. A skilled customer support team can help you make sense of the data and appeal to your audience.  

  1. Home In On Your Target Audience

So, you may think you’ve nailed your target audience... but if there have been shifts in the marketplace or if you’ve released a new product or service, it may be time to make sure you’re targeting the right people.  

Your customer data will help you identify your customers’ best traits so that you can ensure you’re reaching and engaging the right audience. Additionally, your data will help you branch of your existing target base into new target audiences.  

  1. Incorporate Personalization

Personalization isn’t just about sending out an automated birthday email or even plugging in your customer’s name into subject lines and email greetings.   

When you tap into your customer data, you can learn more about their interests, issues, and pain points. This allows you to speak to their goals, make educated recommendations, and empower your support team to expedite their interactions and offer relevant, bespoke solutions. Your customer data is especially powerful when enabling your sales team and can even help you win more deals.   

  1. Predict Future Needs and Trends

One of the biggest shifts in CX strategy involves taking a proactive approach to the customer experience. Today, predictive analytics use customer data to forecast audience behavior and anticipate what consumers want, rather than reacting to their demands.  

Here’s an example: if you know exactly how long your product lasts, you’ll be able to nurture and engage your customer within that time period so that they’re ready to make a repeat purchase.  

Another example would be incentivizing a customer with a special offer or highly personalized outreach from your team during the final steps of the decision process. The goal of predicting future needs and trends is to get ahead of the game.   

How to Get Started Using Data to Improve Your Customer Experience 

Truthfully, there are so many ways to collect customer data, each with their own strengths and purposes. The first step to using data is to start with an objective in mind. What do you want to learn about your customers? What are you trying to achieve? Which aspect of your customer experience are you trying to improve?   

Next, begin by determining SMART goals. These should be kept by specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound metrics. For example, maybe your goal is to improve your CSAT score by a certain amount by the end of the year!  

Finally, determine what data you need to help inform your strategy and give you benchmarks of success. Customer surveys are excellent for collecting qualitative data, while website analytics will provide deep insights on behavioral and engagement activity.  

When you’re ready to dive deep into your customer data, CX analytics can seem like a huge undertaking, even for the most efficient of companies. Consider consulting a customer support expert and provider to help you lay the roadmap for improving your customer experience.  

Get the Insights You Need for Success 

Our team of experts is here to give you the insights and support you need to build a customer experience that drives engagement, retention, and ROI. Contact us today to learn more! 

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