A customer data management software system contains a treasure trove of information. Once properly implemented, your challenge is to integrate the data you collect effectively and leverage your insights to improve operations and make better business decisions. Along with this challenge is the necessity of developing strategies for keeping your data secure, usable, and adaptable – guided by rigorous procedures to maintain integrity. The software tool you use should do much of the heavy lifting, so it’s your job to keep your data collection and analysis methods on track. Here are five of the best practices for making sure the investment you have made in data management pays off.
- Focus on Data Quality
- Take Security Seriously
- Break Down Silos
- Gain Valuable Insights
- Leverage Data for the Future
Now that you are tracking data, you are going to need to have procedures in place to keep systems maintained and up-to-date. That means ensuring that data gathering, storage, and analytics are effective, and duplicate records are managed using entity resolution strategies designed for your data, by experts familiar with the data. Your employee training programs should shift as well to impress upon them that they are data stewards, responsible for the careful collection and compliant use of the customer data you collect. Organizations most successful in this endeavor establish a data governance board or committee that focuses on these areas and is responsible for oversight of the software platform and data storage.
Nothing will erode trust and confidence in your brand faster than a breach in the data that customers have shared with you. It is critical that you establish a comprehensive security plan that incorporates backup management, logging, and audit procedures that track access to data, data loss, and leakage plans (DLP) within the data management system you implement.
In many organizations, different departments or divisions have their own systems for tracking customer information and storing customer data. The power of an efficient, comprehensive customer data management and integration application is that it brings together customer information from disparate systems to give you a more complete view of your customers allowing for faster and better decisions. By breaking down the silos, you will likely also identify business processes that can be streamlined, improved, or eliminated. In addition, you may find that parts of your organization can collaborate in ways not possible before.
An effective customer data management strategy gives you an extraordinary gift. The integrated customer data in your system, when managed and analyzed properly, can be used in a variety of ways. Usage data and purchasing patterns can be used to create more effective real-time marketing or rearrange store layouts to maximize sales. Entity lifecycle data can be used by research and development teams, suppliers, and customer service specialists to improve product development, supply chain management, and adaptability in your changing market.
Well-managed customer data can be used to create powerful outcomes for customers, which in turn creates positive experiences with your company and establishes customer loyalty. By collecting the right customer data, you can analyze rich information on customer preferences, history, and location. This information can be used to provide suggested products, alert preferred customers of early sales, and acknowledge the relationship they have forged with your business.
Data can also inform new product offerings and expand business partnerships. For example, data collected from purchases of a pair of sneakers can be used to offer consumers tools to track exercise and nutrition, offer helpful tips, and provide discounts on exercise equipment and healthy food choices. In financial services for instance, examples include seeing that a current customer is paying mortgage to another company and offering them a mortgage refinance or offering someone who just took out a small business loan a corporate credit card application. Engaging the current customer base in helpful and meaningful ways increases brand loyalty and also encourages retention.
Bringing together all of your customer data is a momentous first step. But with that initial data integration comes a critical set of responsibilities. To learn more about our dynamic custom data management software, contact Black Oak Analytics today at (877) 805-0736 or request a consultation to learn more about our HiPER platform.