Using customer analytics effectively involves several challenges. Organizations must make it a business priority, cultivate leadership and set a course for ensuring data and analytics are being processed and governed effectively. But effectiveness also requires technology that will assist in the effective operations and management of customers and help an organization achieve its goals.
Our latest Ventana Research benchmark research on the State of Customer Analytics helps provide insight into the critical role technology must play in optimizing business performance. The research was designed to examine in depth the needs for and use of analytics and metrics by all lines of business involved in customer-related activities. In designing this research, one major goal was to provide organizations with a better understanding of their challenges and requirements and thus improve their ability to formulate a successful path to improvement.
Ensuring that the right technology is in place requires an assessment of current efforts, what isn’t working and what might provide a better path to improving customer analytics.
This research reveals widespread dissatisfaction with the dedicated technology that vendors are offering for customer analytics. Half of participating organizations (49%) reported that they view the cost of these offerings as too high, while more than one-third told us that new tools do not offer sufficiently significant advances to induce them to replace their existing approach (36%). One in five (20%) said there is not enough value in dedicated tools.
These attitudes are typical of organizations that have not prepared a thorough business case with which to effectively evaluate technology — a situation that often leads to unsatisfactory results. In our view organizations seeking to improve their competitiveness must address their technology challenges and embrace collaborative approaches to gain the most value from customer analytics.
The need to manage customer analytics technologically requires the ability to access and integrate data into a computational engine where mathematics can be applied to generate information and metrics. An analytics platform secures and processes customer data, then presents interactive information for discovery and review across a variety of roles and levels in the organization. While applying analytics can be a challenge, the real issue for many organizations is the ability to govern the data, as it often comes from both cloud-computing and on-premises environments. This provides a broader set of business constituents with relevant and actionable information.
While the data that organizations must access comes from many applications and systems, the majority resides in cloud computing based systems. Furthermore, advances in mobile technologies mean analytics can be readily available to everyone in the business. Our research finds that the use of both cloud computing and mobile technology in customer analytics is increasingly popular, with cloud computing cited as important by 44 percent and mobile technology by 42 percent of organizations.
While customer analytics systems traditionally have been deployed on-premises, fewer than two in five (37%) organizations report that this is still the case: Cloud computing options are now preferred by the majority of organizations (55%). Most organizations (53%) also are using mobile technology to access customer analytics; the remainder (46%) plan to deploy it soon or at some point in the future. Among those that already have, a substantial majority (88%) reported a level of satisfaction with their mobile technology for customer analytics.
Organizations should assess the benefits of cloud computing and seek to embrace them. Among these benefits is a reduced focus on technology infrastructure and more on applying customer analytics to the broad range of customer engagement channels to improve the customer experience across every interaction. While many organizations focus on the discovery and visualization of analytics, their value is measured by the improvement of the customer experience. This requires proper technology designed to use customer analytics to achieve the objectives of the business.
Ventana Research has for nearly two decades conducted market research on customer experience and the contact center as well as many other business technologies, including contact centers in the cloud and customer engagement through any channel or department such as marketing, sales, support and services. Click here to learn more about our research and services for vendors and technology buyers.