Data is one of your company’s most valuable assets. It influences everything from current and future sales to your marketing initiatives – and is a key driver of customer service excellence across all operations.

While many businesses collect data, without a strategic vision to manage, share and leverage what you have collected, it is entirely meaningless. In fact, according to Forrester, up to 73% of all data obtained by a company goes unused, wasting huge potential to improve the experience and boost the company’s bottom line. 

The importance of a data strategy for customer service excellence

Designing a strategic vision is a fundamental aspect of achieving customer service excellence. But it can only produce meaningful results if properly aligned with your overarching business strategy. Many companies prioritise new data opportunities or invest in new data-storage and management technologies. While these can be considered good practices, they represent a problem if not properly leveraged. Unless fully integrated into an existing strategy, they may only provide partial insights or improve various aspects of an otherwise incomplete customer experience.

How data strategy can benefit your customer service

Before we talk about developing a strategy, it is important to understand the areas where data can improve your customer service experience – and the downfalls of not implementing a strategy.

Customer insights

The best way to help your customers is by understanding them, and a well-designed data strategy is a goldmine for gaining insights. By gathering more data on your customers and what they want from your service now and in the future, you can provide a more seamless, personalised and targeted service.

However, data silos, which are a common feature of poor data planning, show the limitations of data insights without planning. The sales or marketing department may have the answer to your customer’s query, but unless there is an efficient, globalised data strategy in place the query can remain unanswered. All the technology to collect the data is there but bad planning has failed the customer.

Omnichannel experience

The customer’s omnichannel experience is another key area where data can provide customer service excellence. An in-depth, cross-channel service, where customers are always able to continue where they left off, is key to a streamlined omnichannel experience. But the more channels you expand your customer service to, the more complex the customer journey becomes. They may contact you by email, then switch to a phone call, before following up by talking with a chatbot. Any lags where they have to reenter information or unnecessarily repeat their query can result in a negative or frustrating experience.

Innovative technology is of course a fundamental aspect of controlling this highly dynamic digital environment. For example, Zendesk’s Smooch Technology can simplify the data control in a quick, easy-to-use manner. The platform pulls in ‘all customer conversations across web, mobile, and social messaging into a cohesive interface no matter what the channel is,’ helping provide a more personalised omnichannel experience. But the fact remains that all technology should fit into an overarching strategy. Without this, you will end up with a handful of isolated best practices that will result in an uneven customer service. 

How to develop a data strategy that enhances your customer service experience

Developing a fail-proof strategy to draw on the information you have is crucial to achieve customer service excellence. The benefits are simply too wide ranging to ignore. It will help you improve internal processes, secure your data sets and optimise your data to provide a bespoke, seamless customer experience.

  1. Set your data goals

What do you want to achieve with your data? Establish specific, measurable short- and long-term goals as well as overarching objectives. Align them with your business goals and corporate strategy. For example, if your business goals are focused on acquiring new customers, your data goals could be related to increasing new web traffic. 

Monitor and measure your data goals across departments. Keep in mind that different departments may have different strategies for using data.

  1. Identify the data you want and where to source it

Establishing your data goals will help determine the types of data you need. One way to clarify this is by collecting demographic data from returning customers. Or, you could track page-clicks from visitors from specific geographical locations. Purchasing second- or third-party data that matches your target customer may be another alternative that is more aligned with your data goals.

  1. Create a data strategy roadmap

Once you have set your data goals, it is time to create a data strategy roadmap. This should clearly detail how your company will accomplish each goal. Each goal should be assigned to a team, and costs, timeframes and intended outcomes should be specified, as well as processes or technology required.

  1. Create a data-storage and organisation plan with the aim to drive CX

This final step is crucial to data management. It will determine the actionability and shareability of data. The most efficient way to do this is by using a CRM program like SugarCRM. The aim is to optimise the storage and organisation section of your data strategy. It should make data accessible, shareable and executable for the teams and departments that need it.

The right CRM platform will boost the efficiency of your company. It will enable you to operate within a secure environment, optimise internal processes and extract valuable customer insights. The outcome will enhance customer experience throughout the customer journey.

Designing an effective strategy that produces results is a challenging task. redk is a team of technical and consultancy CRM experts with over 15 years’ experience. Our goal is to provide your company with the most reliable software to help you reach your objectives. We aim to fuel your company’s digital journey and help you to streamline your omnichannel approach.

Our CRM service will provide you with the resources needed to optimise your customer service excellence so that you can attract, convert and retain customers.