“In God we trust, all others bring data”
-W. Edwards Deming
With the launch of his $20 billion dollar telecom service “Jio”, India’s business tycoon Mukesh Ambani openly declared that data is the new oil and intelligent data is the new petrol. The potential of data as the key for unlocking the capabilities of the digital world has finally dawned as a realization across the world and businesses are not wasting a second further.
Data, data everywhere
Modern businesses are living and breathing data, so much so that it has been estimated that by 2020, the amount of data collected per every single human being every second of every day would be 1.7 megabytes. Another estimate projects that by the same year, the number of connected devices is all set to explode by 50 billion.
It is now quite clear that data and analytics would be an integral part of every market, especially for the B2C sections of it. With the evolution of smart phones and social media, the customers are now more prepared than ever to leverage the open markets and information explosion to their advantage. But are the brands equipped enough to engage with and master the “customer interaction lifecycle”?
The Evolution of “Homo Shopiens”
The information age in the time line of human beings has given birth to an advanced species called “Homo Shopiens”. This gen-y race is largely tech-savvy and has a wider understanding of the choices at the disposal. They consume and exhort data every waking hour and are terribly put-off by the unavailability of more than one channel to engage with the outer world.
In an average day at work, retailers come across two types of Homo Shopiens who purchase a product for the first time:
- The “on-the-go” shopper who has this immediate or impulsive requirement for the product and hence hasn’t put any effort to research about it beforehand. The majority of the buyers in this segment maintain little or no association with the brand that they are investing into.
- The expert shopper, on the other hand, is well aware of the brand, product, competitors and the optimal price range in the market. They are more likely to be totally in control of their shopping experience and maintain a long-term association with the brand.
The interesting aspect to note here is that the same shopper can exhibit opposite or overlapping traits of this brief classification. With such a dynamic, socially-aware stakeholder in the lifecycle, the onus is largely on the brands to be empowered from within to tackle large hordes of data with intelligent and advanced data analytics.
Mastering the Customer Interaction Lifecycle with Data Analytics
The customer interaction lifecycle describes the stages through which brands utilize analytics to engage and add value to a consumer’s shopping experience while simultaneously extracting data to feed the engine further. Brands should master every single instance of interaction through the cycle by spreading the message across multiple channels that are supposed to operates in complete synchronization.
Based on the service, industry, geography, scale, popularity and market, enterprises can set the scope of the lifecycle and can scale it to meet the future demands. A simple overview of a successful customer interaction is given below.
The majority of the customer data gets collected in unstructured form, primarily through an extensive omnichannel pipeline or the traditional uni-channel passage that is pretty binary in its engagement. The data gets cleansed and processed accordingly and depending upon organizations’ simple to advanced analytical capabilities valuable numbers and patterns are derived.
The cycle keeps evolving with repeat customers as interaction data goes through a complete metamorphosis in successive engagements. Needless to say that irrespective of where the customer is in the lifecycle, the customer data analytics remains the integral part and it is important that it should be bilateral.
Ever since the concept of inter network dawned upon humanity, businesses are witnessing enormous strides of advancements in shorter span of time. As the pace shows no sign of stopping, businesses are in the position to elevate the meaning of “customer satisfaction” to a more profound level. With the industry’s expanding appetite for useful data and the explosion of IoT tools, the traditional and the modern enterprises must, somewhere along the line, create a clear strategy on how they can make the most out of their mighty data needs.
No wonder that the great Napoleon Bonaparte believed that war is ninety percent information!
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