What Does CDP Mean for CX Leaders?

Did you know that three out of four CX leaders aren't satisfied with their ability to use data to achieve their goals? That's ironic, because companies have never had more data about their customers or prospects than they do now. Similarly, firms have never had such an abundance of technologies to capture, store, and use data. So why are CX leaders unhappy with their ability to use this data? Aberdeen's CX Executives' Agenda 2019 study shows that the number one factor driving this challenge, ironically, is a lack of enough customer data. Other reasons include lack of skilled labor (i.e., data scientists) needed to integrate, manage, and analyze this data as well as poor data quality.

Addressing these challenges requires CX leaders to continuously expand their visibility into customer insights by capturing data from even more channels, devices, and other sources. It also requires eliminating disparate data silos that lead to incomplete views of the wealth of data firms capture. Enter: customer data platforms (CDPs).

CDP refers to a technology that essentially stands at the interaction of systems of record (e.g., CRM, enterprise resource planning, salesforce automation, etc.) and systems of engagement (e.g., marketing automation or intelligent contact center platforms). More specifically, a CDP allows businesses to integrate known data across company systems, such as CRM, ERP, contact center, and e-commerce. It also allows enriching known data with unknown data, such as website cookies, mobile ad IDs, intent data, etc. This unknown data could also be third-party data, such as weather events, which can be used to further customize the customer experience.

CDPs help integrate data across those systems with the help of a unified ID used to define each unique customer. This unified ID can use specific markers to analyze vast volumes of structured and unstructured data. For example, using a unified ID for a specific customer, a CDP can associate a credit card number with that ID; IT can then track point-of-sale (POS) data related to the credit card number and augment the customer record with this data in real time. With this, marketers can automatically trigger a customer survey shortly after the transaction to ask the customer for feedback about the shopping experience or attempt to cross-sell, like suggesting an extended warranty contract for the related product.

How Can This Help Firms Succeed?

Aberdeen's CX Executives' Agenda 2019 study shows that, on average, companies use 12 systems to manage customer interactions. Depending on several factors, including the complexity of business activities and company size, firms can use fewer or more to manage customer conversations across sales, marketing, service, commerce, and back office. It's not easy for firms to manually integrate data across so many systems while exploring hidden insights across other sources that can help hyper-personalize customer interactions. Using a CDP helps make this process easier and less prone to error, allowing CX leaders to focus more on finding innovative ways to use customer data for hyper-personalization.

As it's true with all other technologies, hyper-personalization efforts don't succeed simply by adding a CDP within the CX technology toolbox. It must be used the right way. Firms planning to use this technology or currently using it but aiming to achieve better outcomes should consider implementing the following processes to maximize their likelihood of achieving the greatest results from this technology:

  • Go beyond collecting and integrating data. Use the insights derived in hyper-personalization efforts.
  • Design customer interaction processes so each system of engagement uses the right data at the right time.
  • Uncover unique customer segments and observe their related behavior and expectations to find ways to innovate in your hyper-personalization activities.

Omer Minkara is a vice president and principal analyst for contact center and customer experience management at Aberdeen. Follow him on Twitter: @omerminkara.