The importance of data-driven customer experience

woman holding phone and pushing shopping trolley

philip piletic

My primary focus is a fusion of technology, small business and marketing. I’m a freelancer, writer and traveller who loves to share his experiences with others by contributing to online communities and helping others achieve success. I’d like to thank LockedOn for their assistance with this article.

Customers are a highly sensitive group of people. One unresolved bad experience with a store or a product will take twelve positive experiences to overcome. And with the popularity of Yelp, Facebook, and a host of other social media channels, that one bad experience can be communicated very quickly and very broadly. Not only do you lose an existing customer, but you also run the risk of losing potential customers.


In order to compete in this environment, organisations must be able to deliver a great customer experience. That means positively impacting customer satisfaction, customer engagement, and customer processes when making buying decisions. What’s more, if you keep a customer satisfied, the customer is likely to recommend you to others. The question is: how do you know when you are keeping the customer happy?

This requires the capture, understanding, and use of customer data, to modify or improve approaches. They must establish key metrics, understand the meaning of the metrics captured, and be able to make valid decisions based on those metrics. This is the Data-Driven Customer Experience (DDCX) approach, which comprises three pillars. 

Pillar 1: Organisation

No organisation should walk into the DDCX world with the idea that their process will be up and running in a day, or that a single individual will be able to accomplish it. The move to DDCX requires the use of many different individuals, with a wide range of competencies. These range from marketing and IT, to database design and others. Implementation is likely to take a minimum of two years.

Pillar 2: Openness

How is the data used? If the organisation has limited IT resources, are they able to share data between entities within the company? Do they have the necessary backend integration to take advantage of captured data? Do they have access to the analytic capabilities even to begin to understand the meaning of the data they have collected?

You may have the data, but a successful implementation of DDCX depends on where you keep it and how you analyse it. Data should be handled in a central location, with sufficient integration. This is so that each part of an organisation can establish and benefit from data collected specifically for their segment. And of course, this also needs sufficient personnel committed to data collection, analysis and management. For example, survey questions, email queries, the capture of products purchased, and determining products to display for future digital purchases.

Pillar 3: Orchestration

The third challenge to a successful DDCX is orchestrating the activities resulting from the analysis. It’s one thing to know what made a customer happy. It’s quite another to let the world know they were happy, why they were happy, and that they came back because they were happy with your service.

How does the company use Yelp? Does it have and maintain a Facebook presence? Does it make use of emails and when is best to send them? How about surveys, or browser pop-ups? If not, there will be a failure to leverage the information and the insights within the data. The coordination and infrastructure required for DDCX is not cheap. If an organisation is willing to expend resources on data collection, they should also be willing to spend resources (such as funds, people, and time).

Wherever possible, collect information about the customer. Find out what pleased them. Determine what types of products they are interested in. Make sure they are satisfied. Then use the power of digital media to remind them and to invite them back to you.