Data has always been around, but the effort to understand data has only become the focus in the last five years. Businesses are starting to realize they need the freedom to adjust due to outside events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only then can they provide the first-rate customer experience that all organizations are reaching for.
In this takeover series episode, Amber Khan talks with Jason Foster, CEO at Cynozure, about the evolution of data, businesses focusing on becoming more adaptable, and building a customer experience that reflects the customer.
What we discuss:
- Data’s importance in today’s world
- Strategies to improve customer experience & outdated data ideas
- Balancing the value exchange
Data’s importance in today’s world
Imagine using a laptop for just its calculator function — that person would be leaving a lot on the table as far as capabilities go, right? The same thing has been happening with data.
The importance of data has always been around, but recent events such as the digital transformation and the COVID-19 pandemic have left companies scrambling to keep up with the constant changes like big data and artificial intelligence. The new responsibilities can be staggering:
- Pivot the organization
- React quickly to outside events
- Understand how their customers are feeling
- Know what’s happening with the supply chain
- Know what’s happening with their products or services
”People have woken up to the fact they need their hands at the wheels of their businesses, they need to understand what’s going on a bit more.” — Jason Foster
Some companies, however, are having an easier time due to their size. The smaller organizations are able to get ahead of this shift much quicker than the larger organizations that have to retrofit their processes to become data guided.
Strategies to improve customer experience & outdated data ideas
When data is changing so rapidly, it’s important to not only understand data, but squash out myths that could derail an organization’s ability to adapt or any lingering ideas that may no longer be relevant.
Debunking the biggest data myth
For most, it would seem counterintuitive to think data strategy is not all about data; despite the appearance, data strategy’s primary focus is about solving business challenges and problems — only focusing on the data is a misstep.
”You’re going after some new, big opportunities that an organization has — that’s what it’s about — data is the tool that helps you do it.” — Jason Foster
Digital & physical customer experiences aren’t blending well enough
In today’s marketplace, every organization has a different mix of digital and physical customer experiences — but even so, many are not effectively blending the two. But what strategies are there to improve the customer experience?
1. Know your customer: Without a strong understanding of your ideal customer’s wants, it’s difficult to hit the mark with a product or service.
2. Align the experience: Once you know your customer, you’ll have a clear idea of the kind of experience you’re looking to provide and how to improve that experience. Without the alignment, you’re leaving room for error.
The customer experience must be personalized and targeted in order to succeed — utilizing the data is how to pull it off. Otherwise customers will not interact with your organization in a meaningful way.
Balancing the value exchange
With the popularity of digital comes the need for an increase in security; a big part of the customer experience is fostering a feeling of safety. But what happens when there’s a loss of private information — is it tough to regain the loyalty? Incredibly.
Balancing the value exchange between an organization and customers is crucial. A misstep for businesses is when the exchange tips more in their favor and the risk falls on the customer.
Jason shares his feelings towards a popular social media website: in the beginning, he was comfortable sharing posts and information as the site was understood as a way to connect with friends and relatives; but, as the website shifted its focus to advertising revenues, the value wasn’t there for him anymore.
”I feel like I’m the product, now; I don’t find that value exchange there anymore. So,I’m not comfortable with sharing the information.” — Jason Foster
Data importance is here to stay. Understanding it and using the resource to its full potential is the only way to stay ahead of the fast-changing digital landscape. Only then can you provide a first-rate customer experience.
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