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Use Data to Enhance the Customer Experience

This is a guest post by Savannah Marie, a writer and online marketing enthusiast. She is the editor of her blog, Mixios, which focuses on online marketing, social media, and business.   

Customer Experience and Big Data

It’s no secret that data can go a long way toward helping a brand get to know their customers. Gathering non-identifying information can be helpful in the creation of strategic marketing campaigns and in driving traffic to the right place, leading to higher conversions and overall success.

However, it can also play a key role in enhancing customer experiences with a specific brand. Better experiences mean increased conversions; customer perception is just as important as any other way in which data can be used.

Why It Matters

Big data, or data collected by digital sensors that read information from mobile devices, computers and other sources tracks basic user information, conversations on social networks, transactions, browsing patterns and search histories. Put simply, it provides a lot of insight that can be helpful for marketers looking to target a specific audience.

Because data offers a glimpse at deeper, otherwise personal information, without providing identifying information, it’s the perfect mix of security and detail. It’s the best way to get to know visitors without infringing upon any boundaries – when gathered correctly.

Enhancing Experiences

The data gleaned from user histories and activities is not just helpful to the company gathering it. It can be used to enhance overall brand experiences, leading to higher referral rates, return visits, loyal customers and an increase in sales. For this to happen, the right steps have to be taken from the start.

1. Look Back

As is the case with many marketing endeavors, sometimes the best information comes from what’s already available. Before embarking on any new data collection campaigns, look at the information that’s out there. What do you already know about your customers and their online habits? Consider this when moving forward.

2. Consider What Matters

Not all data matters to every business or initiative. Think about what matters most for your company’s purposes. If you’re a specialty medical equipment provider, you know who’s interested in your product, and there’s no need to try to reach a new demographic; instead, focus on what information you need about the audience you already target to be more effective. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.

3. Remember That Digital Data Doesn’t Show Everything

There are limits to big data marketing. The biggest thing missing? Real-life experience and interactions. In many cases, this matters just as much as the information that can be gained from looking at digital data and solutions. Think about your experience and conversations you’ve had with actual customers. Then, test this information against the additional data that you can gather from online behavior. This combination is critical for building solid customer experiences.

4. Customer Patterns and Journeys: They Matter

Recently, customer journey maps that document customer experiences from their perspectives, have become an integral part of identifying missing links in customer experiences and improving overall experiences. Is your company using them effectively?

By looking at what a customer’s experience is with your brand, you’ll be better prepared to anticipate needs while providing guidance in the right direction – the direction that ends in a conversion. Look at critical pain points and how each change or improvement could add or detract from the value of your brand. This is a key way to improve overall brand performance along with customer experience.

5. Empower Users Whenever Possible

We’re surrounded by information. From social networks to online distractions and necessary tools for getting specific tasks accomplished, adding one more thing to the list can become burdensome. Your visitors and users are no different.

When you can make your site or brand something that simplifies the chaos that surrounds their users while making it easy for them to accomplish their goals, you’re providing a great service. Use the data you gather to find out what your potential visitors value and offer it to them without clutter or distraction. This is a simple form of empowerment.

Big data is wonderful, but, when it’s gathered without action, it’s useless. Look for ways to use it to enhance customer experiences. By doing so, you’ll be aiding your customers and increasing your brand’s growth potential.