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Credit by Claire Sporton

Any company can become a data master, but few succeed in turning data into intelligence that drives better business decisions. With huge volumes of data sprawled across organisations, gaining real-time insights requires accurate, relevant and up-to-date information. Getting data in order shouldn’t be the goal in itself, though.

Companies should ask: is the data helping us make better decisions, every day, in a measurable way? Are customers an integral part of our business intelligence (BI) arsenal? And are there clear, tangible improvements to the business as a result of enabling a more customer-centric strategy? The secret is adding customer experience to the BI toolkit and empowering every person in the organisation, from the top to the bottom, to become more data and insights driven in how they carry out their daily tasks and make decisions.

Here are five tips for organisations that want to create a truly impactful customer experience and drive better business outcomes.

1. Let the data shine

BI solutions specialise in providing a comprehensive range of datapoints, aggregating information from a variety of sources. But business leaders are missing the point when these sources don’t include the perspective of the customer or the team member. A balanced score card with only a Net Promoter Score® (NPS)1 to represent the point of view of the customer simply doesn’t cut it anymore. So much more value can be derived from the combination of BI and customer experience data, when executed properly.

Tip: Bring financial and operational data to life by augmenting it with customer and employee insights. A quote from a customer about a painful, or delightful, experience from a customer experience programme will give far more weight to the recommendation for a process improvement based on operational data.

2. Focus on your performance

Both BI and customer experience often stop at the point of providing the data. Too many organisations see reports as a result per se. Leaders may discuss these reports and make decisions, but to really enhance the customer experience they need to go further. That means making decisions based on all the information at their disposal, taking the right action and constantly striving to operationalise this process across the organisation.

Tip: Don’t just make decisions and let that be the end of it; measure the action that follows and the impact of both on business results. By doing so, organisations can then optimise decision-making at scale and in a consistent, measurable, systematic way.

3. Share the joy

A great customer experience involves all team members in the creative and decision-making process, and there is a growing understanding within businesses that individuals across an organisation need to share ownership of this goal. This doesn’t in any way diminish the power that customer experience and BI teams hold as the guardians of their domains, but BI solutions that integrate customer experience data and disseminate the right information to the right people across the organisation represent a true differentiator.

Tip: Ensure team members in your organisation can visualise data that matters to them and are empowered to take action within their sphere of control. That way they will be able to see and quantify the impact of the actions they’ve taken.

4. Cover the whole journey

It’s easy to give credit to, or blame, the people who are front and centre. But the entire delivery ecosystem needs to be considered to drive tangible business change. Customer experience feedback needs to be captured alongside insights from employees, partners and suppliers to deliver the entire context behind better business decisions. The full experience ecosystem, integrated with financial and operational data, holds the greatest value.

Tip: Don’t forget to ask for feedback from key stakeholders about customer experience, and not just the customer. When customer experience data is combined with BI data, companies can make the right data-driven decisions.

5. Never rest on your laurels

Chief executives are often criticised for focusing on short-term revenue growth or the latest shiny technology. When used strategically, customer experience can help remedy this situation and prove to be a real asset in the BI toolkit, providing a clear link between business decisions and business outcomes. Customer experience also enables organisations to understand how to identify and embed the behaviours that drive good outcomes, and how to minimise or remove those that don’t. This way it supports a long-term customer-centric vision.

Tip: Innovation is key. BI and customer experience solutions are constantly bringing out new techniques, finding new ways to pull data together and bring it to life. Just make sure they drive action, not just create new reports.

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