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Connecting The Dots, Connecting The Data

Through cloud, businesses can tear down silos so that more customer data is collected and sharedage

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


It takes months to find a customer and only seconds to lose one, or so the saying goes. These days, however, it might be more like milliseconds. Thanks to on-demand information and services available anytime, anywhere, customers are more empowered than ever before and have sky-high expectations. If your customer is bored or impatient, confused or frustrated, for even just a second, there are a myriad other choices they can turn to.

Gartner predicts by 2020, poor customer experiences will destroy nearly a third of digital business projects, and PwC reports that 73 per cent of customers now point to experience as an important factor in their purchasing decision.

In this context, providing a personalised, seamless, predictive customer experience is a core pillar of business success — and the only way to achieve that is by connecting every part of the enterprise and making sure customers are at the centre of all decision-making.

Connection and integration help businesses answer that all-important question — how do I maintain a single view of my customer? The average consumer generates a huge amount of data every day, across a vast range of channels; and, in fact, an estimated 90 per cent of the data that now exists was created in the past two years. On social, mobile, desktop and connected TV, consumers are creating masses of data based on their interests, purchases, location and brand sentiment. But when all that data remains isolated in business silos, the view of the customer becomes fragmented.

Uniquely, cloud applications enable a single point of view on customer data. Through cloud, businesses can tear down silos so that more customer data is collected and shared, in an open and usable way, with everyone in the organisation. The integration extends from the frontlines of the business to help marketers create more personalised engagements, all the way to the back-office. Finally, data can be quickly and effectively used to streamline interlocking ERP processes across supply chain, manufacturing, logistics and more, as well as to inform broader strategic initiatives.

Customer-centricity isn’t just about what customers can see — it’s a way an entire organisation works that starts from the inside out. When the existing business environment is integrated and interoperable, without the perils of siloed technology and thinking, continual innovation is finally possible.

Bold organisations are setting an example of improving the customer experience at the front office and driving new innovation at the back office, to go above and beyond for customers in a competitive landscape. They’re doing this with investments in cloud so that they can use data in a more robust and connected way.

ZALORA, the largest e-commerce fashion company in Southeast Asia, is an organisation that illustrates how the right back-end system can drive new levels of customer loyalty. It was important for ZALORA to have a tool that helps them listen and respond in real-time to each personalised interaction with the customer, extracting the data that matters in customer interactions. With Oracle Marketing Cloud, ZALORA has moved from a batch and blast model to become an orchestrator of personalized conversations, where they are able to speak to customers in a relevant and tailored manner. Some of the benefits achieved by ZALORA from Oracle Marketing Cloud include the halving of time needed for a lead conversation to capture a large customer base, resulting in a multi-fold increase in revenue.

It’s a similar story for Australian airline Jetstar, which is currently leveraging cloud to enact a company-wide transformation aimed at better engagement with customers on their own terms. A cloud data management platform is helping to provide a more robust, single view on customers so that the business can speak to them as individuals; in the right place and at the right time. Recently, teams were able to unite an email activity with display advertising in order to reach a disengaged customer segment. The result? A growth of up to 70 per cent on incremental revenue.

Connected information is the fuel that drives customer-centricity. When businesses connect all the data and all the dots across the organisation, they can deliver rich internal insight and provide truly excellent experiences for customers.

The next wave of customer service is already here, bringing significantly enhanced experiences to customers and re-defining which companies will come out on top.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Prasad Rai

The author is Vice President, Global Strategic Clients Group

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