3 Ways Data Can Bridge the Gap to a Better Customer Experience

Maya Fowell

How data can provide a deeper understanding of your consumers, develop insight that engages existing and potential customers and ultimately bridge the gap to a better customer experience.

For the uninitiated, the possibilities brought by Big Data are as beneficial as they are complicated. Big Data has moved from an emerging trend to the hottest must-have and is now a staple for companies who choose to win through customer experience. This does mean that businesses must extract relevant insights from an abundance of data by conducting regular tests.

Some data-led initiatives work and others don’t, so being able to scale the ones that do – and correctly identify the areas of your business that need to be changed – is proving invaluable for retailers, telecom providers and supermarkets alike.

According to Inhi Cho Suh, Vice President of Big Data for IBM, "Big Data is about taking advantage of all available data, structured and unstructured, and analysing this information, both static and in-motion, to make a decision at a business moment".

With over half of all Big Data efforts being implemented to better understand customer preferences and behavioural patterns to improve customer experience, there is a wealth of advantages and opportunities for organisations to drive top-line growth.

Sales revenues and profitability, user productivity, market competitiveness, strategic cross-industry partnerships and personalisation are just some of the ways companies can increase their ability to create a complete picture of customers – an ever present goal for customer service, marketing and sales teams everywhere.

In this article, we look at three ways data can provide a deeper understanding of your consumers, develop insight that engages existing and potential customers and ultimately bridge the gap to a better customer experience.

SEE ALSO: How to Tackle the Privacy Challenge When Utilising Big Data Insights

Growing Your Relationships with New and Existing Customers

CX Network recently spokes to James de Souza, Head of Customer Analytics and the Post Office, and he relayed that they are putting a lot of emphasis on creating a brilliant customer experience though the success of marginal gains.

Preferring to focus on smaller areas where change can be implemented rather than completely revamping an entire system or approach, the Post Office are using pockets of data to begin to gain a valuable understanding of customers.

Focusing on building a hypothesis of why customers are dropping off and presenting case studies that create momentum and knock down barriers in the boardroom, the Post Office has started to engage millennials and create loyalty with existing customers leading to cross-product holding. They have also seen an overall increase in sales revenues and profitability.

Creating Strategic Cross-Industry Partnerships

No man is an island and the same is proving true for companies that want to digitally target the connected consumer. The value of unstructured data from non-traditional sources has become apparent and organisations are partnering cross-industry to gain customer insights from their data,

Lorraine Stone, UK Country Director Dynamic Insights at Telefonica, explained that this type of innovation through data monetisation has proven successful for them and they are using crowd flow to generate new business for the 3rd parties they work with.

Understanding that value comes from being able to recognise the profile of people that enter a store by a specific time of day, at what frequency and the types of media they consume, Telefonica have a team of analysts who act as client consultants providing anonymised and aggregated data to their partners. Initially analysts will provide a lot of support and training to help companies understand the data and insights they are seeing and it then depends on the client to decide how much support they want and need from the telco.

Looking to the future, the telecom giant hopes to create and cement collaborative relationships with the companies they partner with so they can continue to improve their customer experience and attract new customers.

Optimising Personalisation

When used correctly, insights from Big Data enable organisations to better understand customers and to manage the contact they have with them through a tailored strategy.

Knowing how to communicate with customers in the right way and personalise offerings is quickly becoming a key competitive differentiator for Sainsbury’s.

Already having a wealth of customers engaged and hooked on collecting Nectar Card points through their loyalty scheme, the grocery giant is using the information they collect on customers’ buying behaviours to influence the coupons they send to those who register their card online.

For Sainsbury’s the benefits of regularly supplying its customers with discounts and money saving opportunities that entice them to continually shop with them over any other supermarket, greatly outweighs the cost of physical marketing.


Truth is, Big Data can help companies evolve and understand customers as individuals. Companies need to harness the data at their disposal in order to make smarter predictions about the needs and behaviours of their customers.

By better understanding customers’ expectations, businesses can provide the level of service that will create satisfaction, increase retention, and turn customers into true brand advocates.