Operational data is exactly what it sounds like… data generated from day-to-day business operations. This includes data generated from your finance department, sales department, call center operations, marketing team, or CRM system. This is all the data that gets collected as a result of your business processes and actions.
Your operational data holds the secret to understanding your customer and customer accounts at a holistic level, as it combines data from every dimension and generates a detailed customer 360 view. This data can be leveraged to effectively connect customer touchpoints, understand their unique needs, and help you deliver a more personalized customer experience.
Let’s see how operational data benefits your CX strategy:
1. Bridging the Gaps:
After every customer engagement, may that be a purchase or a customer support encounter, you may collect information about the quality of the experience you delivered. But that’s just your point-of-view. The customer may have a completely different one.
For example, let’s say a customer received their package via your ‘speedy’ service. You may think that the customer has had a good experience with your e-commerce platform. Perhaps it took them a long time to figure out how to order, pay, and receive a confirmation. This interaction caused frustration and pain. If asked after the purchase on how their online purchase went, you may receive a low satisfaction rating. Other UX metrics such as time on page, heat map page monitoring, or other UX metrics could be included as part of your overall CX strategy.
That’s why it is important to combine customer experience data (the X) with operational data (the O), to bridge such gaps in understanding the overall customer experience.
2. Real-time Engagement
Operational data is being generated constantly in your business database. Using this data, you can create an automated real-time engagement workflow to keep showing your customers that you care for them at all times.
Let’s take an example: When you ship a package to your customer, this package will go through different steps/milestones before it reaches him/her. You can keep this customer in the loop by sending them real-time updates using the operational data being generated. Many companies are using this type of data to stay transparent and provide continuous updates that provide the customer with a sense of security and trust.
You can also send personalized notifications and updates to customers based on their previous activities so that they feel a genuine sense of care and support.
Merging all operational data sets into one centralized system allows you to build detailed customer personas. These personas can be centralized and updated in real-time.
The benefit of using personas can not only give your CX program team a proper context for understanding the customer’s needs or problems at a given moment, but can be leveraged for improved engagement during the pre-sale and post-sale process. It also can provide information that can help you better serve and solve customer inquires and questions more efficiently and intelligently.
Operational data gives you complete transparency into a customer’s purchase patterns. When you have complete transparency, you have a better grasp of various intricate financial details.
This data can be used for purchase and satisfaction correlation studies to determine more accurate forecasting of propensity to buy a product from you. By having the ability to also have more meaningful conversations in context with the insights received from operational data, you build more personal relationships and can increase loyalty.
Monitoring this data can help define more accurate customer-facing metrics such as customer retention, customer acquisition costs, product or service profitability, along with overall ROI. The more transparency you have, the more intelligently your sales and operational support teams can interact with customers.
5. Tracking ROI
With data-driven CX, your ROI can now be measured on various CX efforts, continuous improvement efforts, and marketing campaigns. This allows for quantifiable operational measures that can then be tied to improvements driven by CX.
How to leverage operational data?
There are multiple ways to leverage operational data. Your imagination (and your budget!) is the only limit here.
Here are some ways to leverage operational data in your business:
- Improved forecasting: The data helps in refining your forecasting process, as it brings real-time data on the table. It helps you gauge how dependent customers are on your products and understand future demand trends.
- Accurate CX KPI impact: Operational data empowers you to deliver holistic customer experiences, creating dynamic CX interactions. Therefore, it becomes easier to accurately gauge the impact on every KPI and reach a better ROI through effective process iterations.
- Meaningful conversations: Armed with valuable information, your CX, operational team, and sales reps can drive an emotional connect with customers.
What are the challenges in using operational data for CX?
- Leadership Support: When it comes to implementing something new, resistance, and apathy are the major risks. Therefore, it’s important to have leadership support on this to establish a cross-functional buy-in. The operational database needs to be updated and nurtured by every department. Cross-functional teams should be included in building out the overall vision and use of the data to have a better understanding of the “what’s in it for me” question.
- Siloed or Legacy Systems: Operational databases require a central repository. Moving old data from legacy systems or siloed systems can be a challenge, making it difficult to merge data from various departments.
- Focusing on the right datasets: The database needs to continuously identify new datasets that need to be managed, and discard invalid data so that you always work with the most updated information.
- Analytic strategy: Operational databases don’t work on their own. It requires a machine-learning algorithm to drive an in-depth analysis of the stored information and to create a proper relationship between various datasets. Without this, your data will be useless.
What does it take to set up an effective operational database?
Setting up an effective, holistic CX program that incorporates both X and O data starts with the migration of existing data from all legacy systems into a centralized cloud-based repository. This can be done by an expert data solutions provider and integrator, like Suyati.
This is followed by structuring the data, setting a hierarchy, and creating relationships between data sets. Once this is done, machine learning algorithms need to be programmed to provide in-depth analytic reports using the stored data. These reports are updated in real-time, as the algorithm continuously feeds on new raw data.
If you’re looking for an expert data analytics platform provider who can help in setting up your entire data framework, connect with Suyati. Suyati helps in implementing cutting-edge ERP solutions, data analytics tools, and CX database solutions, offering both stand-alone and integrated packages. Suyati is your answer in bringing all data together to solve your CX ROI questions.
Roberta O’Keith, a passionate Customer Experience Expert, has joined hands with Suyati as a CX Advisor. She is an expert in designing CX programs with a purpose to see businesses grow revenues and profits, retain customers longer, and also thrive in an uncertain economy. She helps organizations in all aspects of their business and brings the customer voice to every discussion and decision. She is also an expert when it comes to identifying the right systems, processes, and people to drive an organization’s customer-centric culture and growth.