Learn a Lesson in Customer Analytics from Mom and Pop

September 16, 2016 Sun Sneed

Your local locksmith or the corner dry cleaner that has been in business for 50 years or more is an excellent example of small-scale branding at its finest.

Successful Mom and Pop stores demonstrate authentic attention to the customer that results in undying customer loyalty.

And people like that. In fact, they expect it.

Welcome to The Age of the Customer.

The Empowered Consumer and Customer Analytics

Consumers are more empowered than ever before, and have high expectations.

They do not want to be treated simply as an entry in your database or an opportunity in your CRM.

They expect personalization, at increasing rates, at every interaction they have with your company, stretched across myriad touchpoints.

According to an April 2016 study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Persado, Inspire Customers With Emotionally Engaging Content, “most marketing professionals claim they have established a variety of techniques to help with personalization.”

However, according to the same study, only 18% of surveyed consumers are very satisfied with their brands’ ability to send them personalized offers or content on different channels.

The way to reconcile the inconsistency is through marketing data and customer analytics, but the problems with Big Data are still outpacing the promise it holds to provide the level of personalization needed to delight customers.

Customer analytics can help give your company more of a personal touch in interacting with your customers.  When technologies on your site can instantly capture everything from your user’s geographical location to their company size, you can better personalize the experience that they receive, better anticipate what they want.

You can operate more like the local diner where the host, server, cook and owner all know what a regular wants when they say, “The usual.”

Data properly collected through digital interfaces can help fill the informational gap between the customer’s experience and your company’s analysts, marketing department, sales reps, and customer success managers.

And not just when it comes to acquisition or conversion, but across the entire customer lifecycle and across multiple touchpoints for a more comprehensive interaction with the customer.

The technology is there. But the infrastructure to ensure its accuracy and performance is often not.

The State of Data Quality

“Data issues continue to abound. Data quality and management issues are the top two challenges [customer insights] pros face this year, just as they were in 2014. Why? Because to effectively adopt customer analytics, a company must have its data house in order, and this is a constant journey, not a destination. Effective customer data curation is a foundational step on the road to analytics maturity that requires considerable investment. Reconciling data from disparate sources also remains a key stumbling block for [customer insights] pros.” (The State Of Customer Analytics 2016, Forrester Research, July 2016)

This same report indicated that only 35% of surveyed analytics and measurement professionals from large North American organizations make decisions in analytics strategy, budget and priorities, with 42% influencing decisions and the remaining 23% delivering insights with limited influence.

Why only 35%?

That seems awfully low in the age of the empowered customer, where the most successful businesses must be customer-obsessed.

Satisfaction with analytics teams has gone down since 2014. Recent survey results have shown a decrease of 11 percentage points in satisfaction with analytics (The Customer Insights Center Of Excellence, Forrester Research, May 2016).

This distrust of data could be as a result of a lack of proper data governance, insufficient organization-wide documentation of an analytics implementation, and lack of regular validation of technology implementations.

Establishing a mom-and-pop level of customer experience hinges on good data management and data governance practices from the C-suite on down.

Key in governing customer analytics data is the ability to audit the technology implementations across your websites and mobile apps and know that they are performing properly and capturing accurate data points.

Case Study

Consider this recent audit of the Customer Help section of a Fortune 500 eCommerce company.

This data quality audit revealed that 50% of the Customer Help pages returned status 400 error messages (page not found) that were preventing users from continuing to the next page.

Further, the audit showed that these pages were not tagged with analytics, preventing the client from seeing the interruptions creating a poor customer experience and also failing to capture any insightful data.

Customer Help pages are high-traffic pages designed to better assist customers, but because of flawed technology implementations and JavaScript errors, the customer experience on these critical pages was crippled for countless frustrated users who may have moved on to receive help from competitors.

That’s the kind of customer neglect that would make Mom and Pop shudder.

Validate Your Customer Analytics

There are a lot of things to be done to make sure that your analytics implementations are on par with your goal of customer-obsession. Especially in the dynamic environment of your website, you need to make sure your implementation is feeding data to you and everyone else in your organization in a timely manner.

Regular, automated auditing of your critical paths, as well as point-in-time checks before and after the release of your mobile app and web implementations, can help you do that and help you do it consistently.

That way you can replicate the customer obsession that Mom and Pop have sworn by for years.

About the Author

Sun Sneed

Sun is currently the Senior Product Manager at ObservePoint. She is passionate about internet products and marketing. Sun conceptualizes and drives change in an impactful and sustainable way. Sun currently leads product innovation for AppAssurance, ObservePoint’s mobile app tag and data quality platform. In past roles, Sun has contributed to the product innovation of Deutsche Telekom, T-Online International AG, and Fast Multimedia AG.

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