Start Here: Your Guide to Competing on Great Customer Experiences

To me, there’s nothing more personal and emotional than air travel. Think about your last flight disruption.

Who hasn’t been on a delayed flight with a tight connection. This happened to me where the connection was also the last flight out that day. Each minute after our scheduled arrival (and there were plenty of them) added to my anxiety. My seatmate, however, was calm. She turned to me and said, “I’m not worried. The airline knows I’m on this flight and they always take care of me.”

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Think about that. She was talking about an airline.

Before it was acquired, this airline had diligently carried out a strategy to move from Worst to First. Once achieved, the company focused on moving from First to Favorite. They weren’t always perfect, but the traveling public noticed; and the airline was rewarded with multiple industry awards and increased profitability.

At the heart of these internal initiatives was data. Lots of it. Detailed data about customers, operations, revenue, demand, employees, schedules, maintenance. Somewhere between 80% to 90% of their data was captured, cleansed, integrated, perfected, analyzed, and shared.

It took time, but the airline became customer-centric at all levels of the organization. They differentiated themselves with great customer experiences by fueling customer, operations, and product decisions at the front line, in the back office, and on the executive floor with great data.

This data not only fulfilled their daily promises to over a million passengers, but helped them to exceed those promises with other programs whenever possible. An example might be a complimentary day pass to the airport lounge or an upgrade. Something that would cement travelers’ loyalty.

That kind of engagement requires building a relationship with each customer (and each employee). What the final relationship looks like depends on your strategy.

There may be relationships you want to hold on to. While others you’d gladly see end. But they all require a total view into the customer relationship to understand which to keep, which to grow, which to turn around, and which to let go of. And that requires data.

Let’s face it, many products are commodities. Customers can easily switch companies or find substitutions. In a commoditized market, differentiating on customer experience is an enormous opportunity to stand out in a crowded playing field.

It’s about humanizing the transaction, creating emotional bonds, and building trust. And often, it’s about decreasing risk (especially in a B2B environment).

Creating great customer experiences requires giving valuable customer insight to employees and executives so they can confidently understand customers’ value, preferences, relationships, and journeys to fuel decisions that deliver consistent interactions across your business.

For the past year, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that great customer experiences start with great customer data; and great customer data fuels great customer experiences. But it’s not always easy to know where to begin on the journey from product-centricity or channel-centricity to customer-centricity.

That’s the idea behind this workbook, Building a View of Your Total Customer Relationship. Think of it as your comprehensive primer for smarter customer data management.

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The workbook reviews four lessons to bulletproof your customer initiative, lays out three core components of a total customer relationship, and walks you through the seven steps most companies use to create great customer data.

Because once you master the data, you can then begin to master the experiences. And if there’s anything else you need to know before you get started, just know we’re happy to help.

PS – In case you’re wondering, the airline held our connecting flights so my seatmate and I were able to make our flight connections that day.

To learn more about the role Master Data Management and Enterprise Information Management solutions play in transforming customer relationships, download a complimentary copy of the Gartner research note, Powering Customer Experience with the Trusted 360-Degree View.

 

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