Don’t miss the forest for the trees.
The above idiom perfectly describes the trap of being surrounded by trees of collecting, cleansing, reporting, and analyzing analytics data, while simultaneously missing the forest of building quality, long-standing relationships with customers.
In a perfect world, building relationships with customers would consistently remain at the forefront of digital analytics, but all too often there is a disconnect between the two. This disconnect results in missed opportunities, sub-par customer interactions, and a smaller bottom line.
How can you avoid the aforementioned pitfalls and ensure you are keeping your analytics practices on point with what really matters?
The answer is surprisingly simple.
Just ask “Why?”
Why Are You Collecting and Analyzing Data?
“Why?” is a fundamental and somewhat simple question, but consistently getting clarity on the “why” behind your digital analytics practices is what will allow you to make good business decisions and ensure amazing customer relationships and experiences.
The type of customer relationships you want to build are relationships that exceed customer expectations. You want customer relationships that make you the go-to provider for whatever customer need you serve. You want customer relationships that enable you to connect with and reward your most loyal customers.
Solid customer relationships and amazing customer experiences don’t just happen. Creating meaningful relationships and experiences takes a substantial amount of effort combined with a laser-like focus on your “why” and the essential elements involved in building those customer relationships and experiences.
A preliminary piece of understanding your “why” is recognizing that as a digital analytics professional (or as someone who manages digital analytics professionals and processes), the power to create amazing customer relationships and experiences is in your hands.
You are the one with the power to make rich customer relationships and experiences a reality.
The details of the “why” behind your digital analytics strategy will vary, but at a high level your “why” will revolve around creating better connections with your audience in order to gain their loyalty and drive revenue.
Creating these connections requires the following steps:
1. Make your “why” visible
2. Collect and maintain accurate data
3. Analyze data with a focus on customer needs
4. Continually test and validate your ideas
5. Make decisions based on customer insights
Keeping the customer experience in mind during each step of your analytics process is the critical component that will make or break your effectiveness.
Step 1: Make Your “Why” Visible
Since the key goal in building great customer relationships is remembering to stay customer-focused throughout your entire data analysis process, making your goal visible can be helpful.
Create an environment that reminds you and your team to continually stay focused on the customer. This will be an endeavor that should be catered specifically to you and your team.
Here are some ideas on how to create a customer-focused environment:
- Utilize custom dashboards to create a profile of your customers and their interests, challenges, and needs
- Focus a portion of your regular meetings on highlighting how you’re working to address your customers’ needs
- Use automated digital alerts within team projects to remind them to ask if they’re addressing the “why”
- Set up meet-and-greets between your team and customers to give your “why” a face
- Put up some cheesy posters
Don’t be afraid to get creative and find a method for staying customer-focused that works for your team.
The point here is that simply articulating your “why” upfront and then allowing that “why” to slowly fade into the background as you move forward will not do you any good. You need to maintain your goal of creating exceptional customer experiences across all teams and all projects moving forward.
Step 2: Collect and Maintain Accurate Data
In any relationship, understanding the individual you are communicating with is essential, and in the digital marketing world, a core way of gaining customer understanding comes from your analytics data.
A crucial element to building quality customer relationships is ensuring the data you are basing your decisions on is accurate.
In the absence of accurate data, attempting to build quality relationships quickly becomes a guessing game filled with setbacks, sub-par decisions, and failing to meet customer needs. You need to be able to trust your data without questioning your analytics team around every corner.
The reality here is that data collection is not a static process. Websites and apps are constantly changing, and with each iteration there are adjustments that need to be made to your marketing analytics implementation to ensure accurate data collection.
Due to the ever-changing nature of websites and apps, you can’t simply set and forget your implementations and expect accurate data. Instead, you must vigilantly validate and monitor your digital analytics on a regular basis.
Furthermore, managing data accuracy can be a labor-intensive task, especially when done in the absence of automation. Without an automated tag governance solution (like ObservePoint), ensuring proper tag firings must be done manually, which is cumbersome, time-consuming, and plagued by human error.
Automation can save your team from the headaches and uncertainty associated with questionable data.
Ensure Accurate Data With Automation
A great way to obtain peace of mind in regards to your data is through an automated tag governance solution like ObservePoint.
With ObservePoint you can automate analytics validation and monitoring, through features like Web Audits and Web Journeys, to make sure your analytics tags are firing correctly and are consistently collecting sound data.
These automated monitoring features will alert you when things go awry in your analytics implementation and consequently will provide you with the ability to confidently make decisions based on your verified analytics data.
A great example of a company using ObservePoint to ensure accurate data and maintain positive customer relationships is Suncorp.
Suncorp Uses Automation to Ensure Positive Customer Relationships
Suncorp, a banking and insurance company, has a number of important conversion paths on their site that allow their customers to set up bank accounts, get insurance quotes, and more. In order to deliver the best possible experience to their customers, Suncorp needs to make sure these paths operate as efficiently as possible.
When Suncorp needed to assess the effectiveness of their conversion paths, they initially did so by setting up and testing their analytics tagging implementation manually. However, as their site changed with each new release, the required resources Suncorp would have needed to manually track and update the tags associated with those paths were extensive, putting Suncorp at risk of missing site malfunctions and site inefficiencies that would negatively impact their customer relationships.
This challenge to manually keep their analytics implementation up-to-date with their changing website led Suncorp to adopt ObservePoint, which allowed them to automate their analytics testing. Through ObservePoint’s automated Web Journeys, Suncorp was able to regularly test their critical customer journey paths and ensure the associated tags were present and firing effectively, giving them peace of mind that their customers were getting a positive experience on the Suncorp website.
Feature Highlight: Web Journeys
The Web Journeys feature makes it possible for companies like Suncorp to test their most important web experiences. Web Journeys replicate a site’s customer journeys, such as shopping carts or customer logins, from start to finish, and send alerts if anything prevents the path from completing or if the analytics are not tracking the activity.
An effective tag governance solution can save you time and money, while also saving you from making ill-informed decisions that provide poor customer experiences.
Step 3: Analyze Data with a Focus on Customer Needs
Once you’ve ensured your data is accurate, you will need to bridge the gap between data and customer needs. Bridging this gap means analyzing data with a focus on improving customer experiences, which will require you to dig up data insights that indicate true customer needs.
The needs of your specific customers will vary depending on your business, but you can rest assured the insights you need reside in your analytics data, as long as that data remains accurate.
Analyzing your data with a focus on customer needs will be an ongoing process that will ultimately help you gain and retain loyal customers and drive revenue.
Step 4: Continually Test and Validate Your Ideas
Once you are collecting and analyzing accurate data with a focus on customer needs, continue testing and validating both your data and your customer insights on a consistent basis.
Engaging in regular testing and data validation will allow you to stay up-to-date with your customers through accurate and actionable data and will give you the peace of mind that comes with being able to automatically identify tagging errors before they hinder your business objectives.
Remember that the process of maintaining accurate data will be much more efficient if you utilize automation software that will allow you to efficiently run recurring, automated tests to ensure your implementation is collecting validated data.
In addition to regularly testing and validating your data, you will also want to continually test and validate the insights you are extracting from said data. Ask yourself, “Are the customer patterns and trends I have observed in the past holding true now?” If not, how are they changing, and what do those changes indicate about your customers?
Another way to further verify your insights is by speaking with real customers. Reaching out and interviewing some of your existing customers about their experience with your business will help you obtain qualitative data to further clarify the insights indicated in your quantitative data. These real-world customer interactions will allow you to have more confidence in your business decisions.
Step 5: Make Decisions Based on Customer Insights
The combination of remembering your “why” and maintaining accurate data is a powerful place to be, as this combination allows you to make decisions based on accurate customer insights, giving you the ability to deliver higher levels of customization and greater experience to your customers.
This customization (which is essentially automated decision-making) can be applied to many factors. In a 2016 keynote speech, while in her position as product manager for Google Analytics, Krista Seiden spoke at length about how accurate data and greater insights allow you to customize by customer location, customer traffic sources, and even specific actions that customers engage in on your site.
For example, if a customer indicates an interest in a particular product or service you offer on your website (such as by clicking/searching or placing an item in a shopping cart), you can customize the subsequent pages the customer views to further build context around the customer’s interaction with the previously clicked product or service.
Additionally, a more full understanding of your customers will allow you to successfully retarget those who have previously visited your site in a way that builds trust and loyalty. (But of course, only if you have accurate data.)
Customization is also becoming increasingly more important for maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace. If another company can better serve your customers through customization, those customers will become loyal to your competitor instead.
In other words, well-crafted customization will allow you to better serve the specific needs of your customers, which will result in greater customer loyalty now and into the future.
Create Customer Loyalty with Data Accuracy and a Clear “Why”
If you’re working on building better customer relationships, as you should be, remember that goal whenever conducting data analysis. Doing so will provide you with critical insights for creating the experiences your customers crave.
But in order to create these great digital experiences, you need to ensure the data you’re working with is accurate. Maintaining accurate data is made much simpler and more consistent when you implement a tag governance solution like ObservePoint to establish an automated process that validates marketing technologies and restores confidence to your data-driven decisions.
When you consistently remember why you’re collecting data, and you maintain accurate data, you put yourself in a position to successfully create unparalleled customer experiences and build loyal customer relationships.
See how ObservePoint can help you maintain trustworthy analytics data by scheduling a free audit.
About the AuthorLinkedIn More Content by Chris Baird