Future Enterprise

Are You Listening?  Digital World Customers Depend Upon Technology

Learn how the digital world is reshaping how organizations build customer journeys using technology to gain competitive advantages & build positive customer experiences.
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Customers are a critical component to the business.  Without them there is little reason to pursue the services or products that are developed, built, and sold by organizations. Customers bring in the revenue needed to maintain and refuel the business, as well as to help it grow and scale. 

So, why is it that only 12% of enterprises connect customer data between departments, using it to make the customer journey better?  In many cases organizations just don’t understand several factors which can enlighten the organization to improve the customer’s experience:

  • What data is available
  • Value of the data
  • Insights the data can bring

Data is everywhere and that includes customer data. In the digital world there are many channels the customer may use to purchase the goods and services that will be provided.  In fact, IDC finds over 30+ (and growing) different customer channels may be used to bring a seamless, dynamic, and personal customer journey, enabling the customer’s purchase capabilities.  

Each of these channels holds customer data or moments that matter.  Each moment that matters means the customer is at a decision point from research and investigation of product and services, to comparison, selection, purchase, delight of the purchase, and the experience throughout the process. This includes the customer service that is experienced throughout the journey, and after the purchase and aftermarket services. 

The data comes in many forms from structured to unstructured. In the Voice of the Customer (VOC) 3.0 it is inferred data. In our IDC article, Voice of the Customer Programs: Where are they today? More Importantly, where are they going?, we defined inferred data as information where the insights like customer intention, sentiment and emotion are inferred from observed customer data. In other words, it is looking at a customer’s actions and being able to understand their satisfaction from those actions, without needing to do anything like fill out a survey or post a review.

Inferred data can come from written or visual data where the analytical tools provide insights into the customer’s sentiment.  Sentiment is captured by looking at user behavior such as rage clicks. Rage clicks are the fast clicks on multiple selections of one part of a web page indicating a user is not getting a response when they think they should.  Analytics can quickly determine a rage click, and action can almost immediately be taken today, to engage the user. In addition, body language, verbal tone, facial changes, and eye motions, also try to determine sentiment.

VOC programs must be where the customers are, listening to direct, indirect and inferred customer feedback. These programs need to listen, analyze and act on the customer feedback available. Customers want to know that not only are brands listening, but also acting on their feedback. This builds customer trust and loyalty.

Listening to the data and then analyzing it allows the organization to act on the customer data.  Customer data platforms (CDPs), generative AI, and low code/no code options are quickly becoming part of the VOC programs as they help analyze the data.  As the data is analyzed, the organization uncovers insights that can be converted to a plan to act differently, bringing more delightful and positive customer experiences to the critical moments that matter. 

Ensure that support, customer success, sales and customer service agents learn how to understand VOC sentiment data and customer engagement history to use them to improve their engagements with customers.

The digital world is reshaping the way organizations build the customer’s journey, using technology to compete and gain competitive advantage, while conditioning the customer moments that matter positively.  Moving beyond the 88% of organizations that do NOT use customer data means a shift is required. Organizations must shift how they use customer data with innovative technology to listen, analyze, and act upon the information. 

It is clear, one cannot wait to embark into the customer’s digital world as the organization’s customers, revenue, growth, and scale depend upon this data.  IDC suggests organizations capture, listen, analyze, and act now to bring out better customer experiences. 

Program Vice President, Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce