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High-quality data for a high-quality customer experience

Rachel Wheeler Archive

When many companies take a moment to stop and think about how data quality can impact their business, they mostly focus internally - they explore ideas about how they can use better information about their customers to improve marketing campaigns and deliver better sales pitches. When it comes to data, their thoughts are mainly geared toward themselves, their employees, their workflow and their bottom line.

But there's another way to approach the data revolution. As it becomes more and more feasible to collect rich volumes of information on every customer, it may soon come time to use that information for improving the customer experience. Instead of looking within, companies should seek to aim their data-driven advantages outward, toward the consumer.

Think about e-commerce, for example. Even though there's very little direct human contact involved, people still expect a seamless customer experience when they buy products online. They want easy searching and ordering, fast shipping and reliable customer service in the event anything goes wrong. According to FirstBiz, data can help deliver all of the above.

"Meet ever-increasing customer expectations when it comes to product and service delivery," advises Gautam Kulkarni, retail practice lead at Nihilent. "Reduce waiting times at home by providing real-time delivery options, selection of time slots, notification by email, SMS. Provide a personalized touch, and not just delivery."

Companies today are eagerly gathering more information about their consumers - their product preferences, shipping needs, payment methods and more. All of this data can help them deliver a smoother experience to customers everywhere. Of course, it's invaluable in this regard to keep one eye out for data quality. Consumer-facing businesses have a valuable opportunity to better appeal to their clientele, but they must begin by using accurate information.