Your Customers Want to Be Data-Driven Too

BrandPost By Bryan Kirschner
Aug 18, 2020
Technology Industry

The need to continuously improve the customer experience through data.

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Credit: istock

By Bryan Kirschner, Vice President, Strategy at DataStax

Every digital interaction produces data. And data is what economists call “non-rival”: It can be used simultaneously, without being diminished, by any number of consumers.

It’s understandable that teams aiming to drive top-line growth might be tempted to focus the lion’s share of their attention on how widely and profitably data can be sold. Monetizable data generated as a matter of course doing digital business may feel like being handed the proverbial “golden egg.” But there’s another question that is a litmus test for whether they’ve mastered “feeding the goose,” so to speak:  What data about their interactions with you are your customers asking for?

If they can’t answer this consistently and well, your data strategy’s long-term success is at risk.

Meeting expectations for continuously improving the customer experience through data and insights is table stakes for defending the volume of those digital interactions against churn. Half of consumers and nearly two-thirds of business buyers say they are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t anticipate their needs, for example. And nine out of 10 consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations.

Whether we’re interacting with companies for work or pleasure, we are all taught to raise our expectations for personalization, prediction, and helpful insights through multiple channels every day.

It should only become someone’s job to explore ways to sell data for cash if it is already someone’s job to know the organization is using data to stay on the right side of thresholds for satisfaction and loyalty.

And once you’re sure you can use data effectively to retain your customers, there’s another core competency that should also take priority: using data to make your customers better customers.

Building Connected is one example that stands out for me. Its core functionality as a digital platform is helping builders and subcontractors streamline the bid management process. Those interactions generate data, including the number of bids submitted and won and contract values. So subcontractors are given back that data in the form of a dashboard to help them “put your best estimators on the bids you want to win the most.

“Data that helps me make more money and grow my business” is likely something your customers want if it can be derived from the interactions they are already having with your product or service.

Likewise, data or insights that “help me spend less” would probably also be welcome.

Microsoft’s “Azure Advisor” analyzes customers’ cloud computing configurations and usage and proactively offers recommendations on how to optimize for performance and cost. It’s a good bet that, on balance, more of its cloud computing customers will redeploy low value-add spending right back into their own digital transformation and data-driven aspirations to drive growth.

Every data-driven enterprise’s customers probably want to turn data into top-line growth too. Making it “job one” to be awesome at helping them succeed can make them not just more willing to do business with you, but more able to do more as well.

Read about DataOps as the next stage of digital transformation here.

About Bryan Kirschner:
Bryan is Vice President, Strategy at DataStax. For more than 20 years he has helped large organizations build and execute strategy when they are seeking new ways forward and a future materially different from their past. He specializes in removing fear, uncertainty, and doubt from strategic decision-making through empirical data and market sensing.