The Technology Behind Today’s Hyper-Personalized Customer Experience

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In this special guest feature, Shubhra Sinha, VP of Portfolio Marketing at DataStax, dive into today’s personalized customer experience, analyzing which strategies and components are required to achieve real-time personalization. Shubhra leads the go-to-market strategy for Customer Experience at the company. With her enterprise software background leading global programs across Digital Transformation, Enterprise Mobility Platforms, Emerging Solutions, Smart & Digital Communities, and Software-as-a-Service, she is passionate about driving business value for customers by effortlessly bridging the business and technology divide. She has over 30 years of business and marketing experience. Most recently before DataStax, Shubhra was VP, Strategic & Partner Marketing at Apigee, a Google company.

Given current market trends, deciphering and acting upon customer data in the moment has never been more important. To accomplish the level of personalization customers expect, businesses must be able to merge real-time customer interaction with historical, trends and demographic data to paint a 360-degree, contextual picture of a customer. However, if an organization plans to embark on a real-time personalization project, they must ensure their data infrastructure can handle an incredible scale of data in different formats without impacting performance and availability to deliver a positive interaction wherever the customer is and in the moment.

Ensure Your Data Architecture is Manufactured for Success

Today, the world is interacting at every level – consumers, businesses and employees – through cloud applications. Companies born in the cloud – like Apple, Netflix and Starbucks – have set the bar high for omnichannel personalization, performance, and availability through their innovative apps. As a result, customers have come to expect the same level of experience from every other enterprise they interact with.

While it is these companies’ vision that often gets the most attention, it is their ability to manage and innovatively leverage data that brings their vision to reality.

That’s why cloud applications need powerful database management solutions. To perform well, these apps need to be:

  • Highly Contextual – To provide the best user experience possible, applications need to provide up-to-the-moment contextually relevant data.
  • Always On – Today, applications must be available 100% of the time for their customers.
  • Real-Time – Users expect a certain level of performance from the applications they use. Enterprises also need to be able to make each interaction an engaging experience in the moment the interaction is happening.
  • Distributed – The application needs to allow its users to access it from anywhere in the world and ensure very fast response times.
  • Scalable – Today, transaction volumes can expand almost without a moment’s notice. The data management layer must be able to scale instantly to handle this.

Contextualize Customer Data to Create Personalized Customer Experiences

To succeed in the modern marketplace, businesses must transition to making decisions based on intelligent, “right now” customer data and map out the customer journey and current context in real-time, allowing customer interactions to be instantly adapted and optimized. The ability to capture and analyze contextual data throughout the customer’s journey as he or she interacts with employees in different business units or accesses products, services or support across any available engagement channels is critical to delivering the experience that customers expect.

The Importance of the Real-Time Customer Experience

To explore why some organizations are struggling with delivering engaging, hyper-personalized customer experiences, Forrester Consulting commissioned a study entitled The Evolution to Real-Time Customer Experience. The study evaluated the current success of customer experience initiatives within U.S. and European enterprises, what companies can do to optimize these efforts and the challenges they currently face.

After surveying 206 cross-industry organizations, Forrester Consulting found that 95 percent of organizations are unable to make sense of customer data and 84 percent struggle to gain real-time insight from it.

However, survey data also showed that customer experience data platforms may play a key role in driving optimal customer experiences – with about 90 percent of organizations believing they would see notable improvements in their customer experience as a result of implementing an integrated data platform. In addition, 95 percent of professionals who had already implemented such a platform rate their customer experience strategy as successful, while only 45 percent of those without this level of data management can say the same about their strategy.

Weathering the Customer Experience Storm

As customer experience expectations continue to exponentially increase, organizations cannot afford to deliver sub-optimal experiences. The price of downtime today is enormous – both financially and in terms of reputation. For example, a recent Delta Airlines five hour computer outrage is estimated to have cost the company $150 million.

Although these facts paint a grim outlook – there is hope. Analyzing a company’s current data management strategy and ensuring said strategy is architected for not only today’s customer landscape but also future landscapes, will hold the key to improving customer experiences. What are you doing to connect with your customers?


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