Master Data Management: The Cornerstone to a Successful Customer Experience
Companies rely on their data to answer difficult questions about any and all of their essential business entities for analytics purposes. But it’s a hit-or-miss game when businesses lack an accurate and semantically consistent data-driven strategy for all domains across the organization. Everyone realizes that customers drive revenue, but what about the specific insights that can show the business where to focus next?
Understanding the unique aspects of your customers and establishing an effective customer data management strategy enables you recognize untapped opportunities—like assessing your top 10 products by customer sales—so you can determine whether, for instance, there’s enough inventory in place to meet expected demand. Or find which customers exist in different systems following an acquisition so that they’re not bombarded with multiple marketing emails due to duplicate customer records.
Unfortunately, unlocking the full potential of your customer data is no easy task and is impacting many organizations’ ability to fuel insights and growth and create an exceptional customer experience. Today, data managers are adopting a data-driven approach so the business can gain insights such as the ability to identify which buyers are prime cross-sell candidates because of past purchases or to be prepared to shuffle staff in a particular region so that personnel are where they’re needed when they’re needed to serve the customer best. Leveraging master data management (MDM) solutions, they are able to centralize, clean, de-dupe, enrich, and connect customer data to optimize business processes and connect with buyers.
Calculating the Customer Experience
A particularly popular use case that calls for customer data management revolves around delivering a great customer experience (CX). Using clean master data to precisely identify individual customers with the highest lifetime value to the business, and tracking their history across corporate business lines and in conjunction with transactional data, creates the opportunity to analyze what might further improve the quality of their interactions with the company.
Having an accurate representation of these customers and related entities throughout lines of business and applications is key to ferreting out individual higher-lifetime-value customers and optimizing relationships and customer interactions. Recognizing and rewarding high-value customers also results in greater customer loyalty to the company, which is a big plus when you consider that on average it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
Master the Mission
Working in concert with the business, data managers are allowing the organization to answer critical questions about the customer quicker and with less cost. More specifically, they are using MDM in the following ways to better the customer experience:
- Connecting the Customer Dots: Customer information such as who they are, what they’ve bought, which company location services them, etc., typically exists in multiple systems, both in the data center and in the cloud. As a result, discrepancies in how personal or corporate names are represented often occur. Using master data management, data managers are creating a holistic, trustworthy, and 360-degree view of each customer to create a trusted Customer Master, which can be used as the foundation for business analytics.
- Making a Customer Master Match: Merging sales, deliveries, invoices, and other transactional data with the Customer Master, data managers are making it possible for the organization to calculate the total value of an individual customer. Being able to isolate a customer’s unique identity and link it to the buyer’s entire ordering history puts analysis into action.
- Understanding Customer Value: Speeding the discovery of individual higher-lifetime-value clients vs. those with lower lifetime values requires the ability to verify, match, and parse data to uniquely identify each customer and tie together their identities across all systems and generate connections to determine their worth.
When the business is supplied with effective data management, those closest to the information can identify inconsistencies among data definitions and consistently maintain entities. After all, it’s easier for business owners in each domain to steward master data and share reference data across domains when they all can use the same interface and common workflows. It also provides an efficient way to segment customers and get enhanced CX initiatives up and running according to defined business rules and best practices.
By implementing MDM, organizations are able to generate a single version of the truth with critical customer data and use it to amplify its customer experience strategies. Not only will an effective data management strategy take your CX initiatives to the next level, it will also enable you to handle any other difficult questions that are critical to honing important business operations.
Bill O’Kane is vice president and MDM strategist at Profisee, a pioneer in master data management (MDM) solutions. To learn more, visit www.profisee.com or follow the company on Twitter @Profisee.