How to build a better customer data management strategy

Comprehensive and easily accessible customer data is a big part of your company's competitive advantage. It helps your team craft better customer experiences and streamlines their ability to work effectively with one another.

It's important to keep these things in mind when you're thinking about building a customer data management strategy.

A good strategy will help your team understand the data-gathering process—defining the kind of information to collect, data storage and security and individual responsibilities. A bad strategy will lead to disorganization and a lack of buy-in from the team.

We've put together an overview of how to move forward with creating your own data management strategy.

Figure out what data you really need

With the wealth of customer data that's available in today's market, the impulse is to collect every single piece of information possible. But relying on the quantity of data as opposed to the quality will never be as effective. It's important to define the specific kind of customer data that will be useful.

If you're not careful, it's easy to fall into the trap of many enterprise businesses, where 60% to 73% of all data isn't actually being used.

This is why the first step towards a customer data management strategy is deciding what is useful and what is not. Work with your team to figure out what kind of data is the most helpful and why.

brainstorming customer support

For customer service teams, the most important data should focus on improving the customer experience. This will likely include metrics like Net Promoter Scores (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES), as well as other more granular data found in customer interaction histories.

Define why this data is valuable for the team:

  • Net Promoter Scores (NPS)—This helps you understand the customer's general feeling towards the company and opens up communication for additional feedback. That feedback can be used to improve the product as well as team training.

  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)—This gives contact center managers a way to track how well their team is supporting the customer. It helps you track the long-term loyalty and growth of a customer over time.

  • Customer Effort Score (CES)—This helps you understand how difficult or frustrating it is for a customer to work with your product. It can be used as evidence for future product updates or feature releases.

  • Interaction history—This is the most valuable information for your agents. It helps them personalize the customer experience and streamline their daily tasks by eliminating unnecessary back and forth with the customer.

Each piece of information you collect on the customer will help build a picture of experience and brand loyalty in the long run. This gives you the ability to provide better customer experiences, create new products to keep them happy and validate the success of your team to the entire company. Having the right customer data on hand helps you understand the best path forward for long-term company growth.

Define best practices for data collection and security

Once your team has come to a consensus about the most useful types of customer data, it's time to lay out best practices for the collection, storage and usage. Develop a well-defined process for each of these steps to allow agents a way to compile information without being distracting from daily tasks. It's important to strike a balance between mining for data and creating an exceptional customer experience.

The first thing you'll need is a place to store this data. Creating a single and standard source for every bit of important customer data makes it easier to digest and analyze.

With UJET, you'll have real-time access to interaction histories and customer feedback, but it can also be helpful to use a documentation platform like Confluence or Slab. This boosts awareness of customer data to the entire team, who may not have direct access to your contact support software.

It’s important to ensure that every piece of customer information being stored is 100% secure. Part of having a customer data management strategy is ensuring that any information you collect is kept safe and private at all times. Your customers are increasingly concerned about this:

customer data privacy big data made simple

Customer data privacy concerns via Big Data Made Simple.

Being able to alleviate privacy concerns is a big part of the customer experience. It is also a way to use that information to verify account usage with specific customer information such as credit card number or security question.

At this point, it's important to remember that all of this customer information will not be collected right away. It's much easier to collect small bits of information over time to build a more complete customer profile. Your team should understand how to ask these questions during the course of an interaction to either validate current information or bring in new data.

When your team understands why data is important to the business and how to collect and store it effectively, that will help you build  better customer profiles. Having a deep understanding of the customer is the easiest way to provide them with experiences that will meet and exceed their expectations. A solid customer data management strategy will define these processes clearly.

Ensure that your team is using customer data effectively

To make your customer data management strategy truly effective, your team needs to be on board. When everyone understands the high-level insights that can be pulled from this data, it makes it easier for them to go out and use it.

Customer interaction with your contact center is a big part of the overall experience with your company. Your agents may be amazing at their jobs, but if the act of calling or chatting is subpar, that's all that customers will remember.

Use customer data to build better onboarding, identify bottlenecks and reveal common pain points. Agents should document these issues to ensure that changes will be made. The data they collect acts as the evidence.

brainstorming customer service

Customer data can be a big part of your competitive advantage—with a 360-degree view of the customer, it's easier to provide them with an experience that not only solves their problem, but delights and educates them as well.

By creating a strategy that outlines the types of information that are important, how to gather it, and how to use it, you'll build a team that understands why data management is so important.

A customer data management strategy will only be effective if the team finds value in it. When you provide agents with the context they need to provide a better experience and the process they need to find out more about customers, it builds to a more consistent customer experience and longer customer retention.

A great customer data management strategy helps build a better experience

When you know more about your customers, preferences, past experiences, and general feeling towards your company, it gives your team the ability to provide a better customer experience.

Having this data on hand also makes it easier for you to track team performance and optimize the agent experience to make your contact center one of the best practices to work.

In short, customer data is your competitive advantage. Understanding it will help you grow as a company and as a team.