Overcoming Data Obstacles To Deliver on Customer Experience


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According to a Forbes Insight Study, Data Elevates The Customer Experience, 52% of corporate executives state having “a well defined and designed enterprise data analytics effort enables us to deliver a superior customer experience.” While this should come as no surprise, many B2B organizations struggle to get the most from their data and as a result, are limiting their success with customer experience.

Below are some of the most common barriers to success in utilizing data to provide a better customer experience and steps organizations can take to address these issues.

Lack of Data Integrity

According to the B2B Marketing Data Report by Dun & Bradstreet, a full 59% of respondents state that their biggest barrier to success is “improving data quality.” The same report showed that the data health of the average organization is deemed “unreliable.”

It is painfully obvious that in order to provide a good experience across every customer touch point, an organization needs to manage its data and ensure it’s integrity, but its simply not happening.

Organizations intent on improving their customer experience need to adopt and implement a data governance process that details the various permissions (span of control) within the organization for data management, the cadence and process to append and clean data, the uses of data and what system will be the system of record.

While a lack of a data governance process may be limiting the ability to deliver an exceptional experience, there is a hard cost which is estimated at $3 Trillion annually according to Harvard Business Review. This is an investment that organizations cannot afford to ignore.

Lack of Integrated Systems

The average B2B mid-market organization has up to 15 different marketing technologies and this is causing data confusion. 41% of organizations report that a barrier to success is inconsistent data across these platforms and another 39% report a lack of technology integration as being the biggest limiting factor.

Organizations need to be careful to not fall prey to the promise of technology as the cure to their ills. While these various technologies can deliver value when used properly, they can, and as many are experiencing, cause further problems in gaining utility from the data.

Many of these systems that are being purchased fall into two major areas, a system of record or a system of engagement. B2B organizations who are looking to get full visibility into the data that sits across these numerous systems need to consider adopting a system of intelligence.

In his LinkedIn article, The New Moats: Why Systems of Intelligence are the Next Defensible Business Model, Jerry Chen from Greylock discuss the importance of a system of intelligence that enables organizations to gain value from their data. Chen states, “What makes a system of intelligence valuable is that it typically crosses multiple data sets, multiple systems of record.”

Investing in a System of Intelligence will help organizations address their integration and inconsistency issues. While I agree with Chen that the market may already be experiencing AI fatigue (I believe this is due to a lack of education), the reality is that having disparate, non-integrated systems is a limiting factor and will impede any progress made to deliver on the promise of customer experience.

Lack of Data Insight

While IDC estimates the size of the big data market at $136B, the reality is that data with no context is useless. Consider the conversation I had with a marketing operations director who told me, “we have so much data on our customers, but do not know what to do with it.” I had another similar conversation with a mid-market CMO who stated, “we have such rich data in our systems, but lack the skill set internally to know how to apply it in a practical manner to meet our customer experience objectives.”

According to eMarketer, 47% of executives state they need to improve their analytic capabilities as a means of delivering on customer experience. It is this point why those marketing leaders who have inherited the mandate of customer experience need to invest in data analytics skills or hire for those positions. Without the insights and application of the intelligence from the data, organizations will fail to realize the value from such a rich resource.

Our B2B customers will continue to demand that we provide a rich experience for them, with 86% stating they will spend more for such. With customer experience overtaking price and product as key brand differentiators by the year 2020, B2B organizations need to be better stewards of their data and get more insight with it as without it, the obstacles will be to high to overcome.

This post was originally published on the VisumCx Blog on June 28, 2017

Carlos Hidalgo, Jr.
Carlos Hidalgo is founder and CEO of VisumCx, a Customer Experience Strategy Firm. Carlos has over 20 years' experience working with B2B organizations in delivering multi-channel customer experience. Carlos is widely recognized for his expertise and as an international speaker on how organizations need to transform to meet the needs of their customers and buyers. Carlos is the author of Driving Demand, has been named one of the 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management for the last six years and is recognized by Onalytica as the "Most Influential Person in B2B North America in 2015.


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