Customer Experience

Trends in Customer Experience: Data-Driven Customer Strategy

The explosion of social media has transformed our society, bringing with it a transformation in how enterprises must approach their customer strategies.

by Mark A. Stevens

January 2014

We have seen the amazing growth of consumer-driven content and the frequency with which consumers express their perspectives on brands. Fostering and engaging in this new dialog is critical, but social media cannot be seen simply as another channel to serve. The increased sharing of brand information between consumers is fueling an environment of accelerated competition and rising customer expectations.


Competing in this new environment starts with having a data-driven customer strategy. The data deluge has enormous potential for businesses, but is coming at unprecedented volume, speed, and variety. How do you know what data to capture? How can you generate insights from it? What can you actually do with those insights to improve the customer experience? How quickly can you adapt? A recent study conducted by Oracle found that 60 percent of companies are unprepared to address these challenges, and 97 percent need to change their data strategies.

A successful, data-driven customer strategy includes three critical elements: a modern data platform, customer information discovery, and rapid operational integration. Here are some best practices to keep in mind while creating the right strategy for your organization.

A successful, data-driven customer strategy includes three critical elements: a modern data platform, customer information discovery, and rapid operational integration.”
Modern data platform

A strong technology foundation is a must. Establish a single platform to manage both structured and unstructured data sources. Consolidate systems, and ensure high-speed interconnectivity between remaining systems. Ensure the data is ready on-demand, on any device, and secure.

Customer information discovery

It is critical to have a structured process to gain insights from the data. Prioritize data discovery initiatives based on your business strategy. Establish a mindset of continuous discovery. In addition, secure the tools and competencies necessary for information discovery such as data analysis and data visualization.

Rapid operational integration

Integrate new data sources to operational processes, and ensure new insights lead to real enhancements to the customer experience. Here are some examples of data integration strategies that can improve your overall customer strategy:

Thought LeaderStevens-headshot

Mark A. Stevens is vice president of Oracle Insight and Customer Strategy, where he leads the team’s Customer Experience global strategy practice.

  • New product development: Incorporate social feedback to prioritize new services and identify latent customer needs. Quickly test alternative concepts through social channels.
  • Marketing: Improve personalized message content and cadence. Build a digital footprint of prospects to understand an individual’s affiliations, personal interests, historical interactions, and preferences for future interactions. Predict the optimal next best action with the customer by matching customer behaviors, needs, and preferences with marketing goals and initiatives.
  • Sales: Tightly integrate marketing interactions with follow-on sales efforts. Establish a lead scoring methodology based on interactions and buying propensity. Listen for individual “buy” signals in social media and feed high potential leads directly into lead management system for follow-up. Integrate product data to power ecommerce guided navigation, product spec presentation, and product comparison strategies.
  • Service: Accelerate and enrich web service response by offering dynamic and media-rich product content. Integrate social listening and monitoring directly to contact center workflow. Foster community-based service resolution and product and service innovation. Empower agents with integrated, instant access to customer information and workflow.

A successful customer strategy requires a holistic approach to data management, encompassing the systems necessary to manage the data and the tools to effectively capture and analyze it. But ultimately, success requires asking the right questions, interpreting the findings, and executing quickly. Companies that get this right will have a clear advantage in the marketplace.

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