When it comes to marketing and the customer experience, the mandate has been consistent: be data-driven, know your customers, and deliver those customers what they want.
In customer service, there’s a huge opportunity to tackle that same mandate, especially with data and customer profiles. Often friction is introduced early in the journey with customer service and let’s be honest, most customer service interactions stem from a person’s inability to self-serve or problem-solve, so there’s already built-up frustration when someone reaches out to get help.
Have you ever dialed a customer service number trying to reach a human being and you’re greeted with an automated system that validates the last four digits of your social, your last six addresses, past places of employment, and your mother’s maiden name only to get on the phone with someone who makes you re-validate that same information? It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
Now before I continue, I want to say that this isn’t a knock-on customer service, the role it plays, or the patient, and I mean patient people who work as customer service reps. This is more of a reflection on the opportunity that exists for organizations of all shapes and sizes.
In the situation I just described the question you ask yourself is, “Why would I provide data once, if I need to provide the same data again?”
Something is missing in this process. If marketers are told to create personas, understand pain points, and collect data to personalize with, why aren’t other customer touch points doing the same? The answer provides insight into a challenge that is permeating all organizations: the democratization of data.
What is the Democratization of Data?
The democratization of data is when an organization makes data accessible to all employees and stakeholders. In today’s digital-experience-driven world, this isn’t just about business performance metrics but it’s also about customer profile data.
Organizations can take different approaches to the democratization of data, but what we’re seeing more and more is the investment in Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) to help centralize customer data and democratize it for use across channels, departments, and touchpoints. On average, a person switches between three devices to complete a task and 10 channels to communicate with an organization, and they expect consistency whenever they interact. So, a CDP could help to capture and connect that data across touchpoints to make it actionable!
The growth that we’re seeing in the CDP market is a direct reflection of the challenges that marketers and organizations face knowing their customers — who they are today, and how their needs are changing. To put it in perspective, as of January 2023, the CDP Institute forecasted that CDP industry revenue will reach $2.3 billion in 2023 — a growth of over $2 billion from the 2022 forecast. On top of that, there are currently 171 defined vendors in the CDP space, but as the story goes with MarTech, that number is sure to increase.
Why Your Organization Should Invest in a CDP
Integrating a CDP into your organization can help you participate in the democratization of data. With a CDP you can centralize your customer data so that all arms of your organization can harness it for personalization, email, targeted outbound marketing, event invites, and even streamlining customer interactions so that people don’t need to validate and re-validate their information every time they reach out to your customer service team for help. The result is a more efficient organization that’s working smarter instead of harder to provide your customers with what they need when they need it. That creates happier customers who are more likely to stick with you and advocate for your brand to other consumers.
To close, I’ll give you a practical example of how a CDP can be valuable to one type of organization we work with regularly at Velir. Imagine that you’re an association and someone finds you organically. Maybe they come to your site a couple of times to gather information and explore member benefits. After a period, they engage with you on social media. Then maybe after a few weeks or months, they sign up to receive email updates. Next, they attend an event you’re sponsoring. Maybe months or a year later, they decide to become a member.
With a CDP, you can collect information about this person at each point in their journey, to help provide them with personalized, targeted outreach that maximizes their chances of joining your association. And once they become a member, you’ll have a wealth of valuable data about them that you can use to keep them engaged with relevant content, emails, and benefits throughout their lifecycle of engagement.