Want to Captivate Your Customers? First, Integrate Your Data

Christine Antonelli
Oct 15, 2020 12:39:00 PM

PING! It’s your inbox. From the CEO! Requesting an analysis of the technology and support infrastructure?!

Uh oh.

Feel like you’d react the same way? You’re not alone. Out of necessity, most retail IT leaders would likely have to report:

  • Throwing more people (and money) at flaws and process breakdowns, rather than fixing root causes
  • Support and engineering teams working in organizational silos, causing time and complexity issues
  • More talk of stabilization than optimization, perhaps even a budget request to maintain previous ‘magic bullet’ systems

With technology moving faster, addressing the root of these challenges can seem insurmountable.

In the past, technology simply helped retailers do what they’ve always done, only better, faster and more effectively. Now, retailers are embedding tech into every step along the supply chain and purchase path. Each phase of the end-to-end retail experience—starting with production and continuing into sales and repurchase—now can be consumer-first and personalized.

As customers’ expectations for best-in-class shopping increase thanks to the immediacy and personalized relationships crafted by retail upstarts and ecommerce giants, data-led intelligence is essential to thrive in this competitive landscape.

In fact, 62% of retailers report that the use of information (including big data) and analytics is creating a competitive advantage for their organizations. So how can you get there?

Data integration nation

Data integration involves combining data residing in different sources and providing users with a unified view of them.

Of course, this data isn’t powerful on its own. In order to arrive at this new era where the shopper is in the driver’s seat, we need to unlock this information to ensure that every member of the organization—from manufacturing partners and warehouses to executives and frontline staff—has access to the right insights.

Even so, retailers can also make major strides to deliver an exceptional customer experience by determining one area to refine and improve—without the risk of overhauling their entire operations.

With this foundation in place, organizations can define a successful model to improve their intelligent processes, while better positioning themselves to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

According to NetSuite, organizations that adopt integrated business systems that result in single, easy to navigate data repositories see clear increases in both employee and customer satisfaction.

Benefits of data integration for retailers

This increased satisfaction is a direct result of teams having quick and easy access to vital customer data, enabling them to identify trends and solve issues rapidly. Because all data is collected and organized in a single source, teams can generate a more holistic understanding of the various interconnected aspects of the business.

Data integration enables retailers to isolate problems or opportunities and trace the thread through the various complexities of the organization to find the ultimate cause

These holistic insights can help you plan promotions, explore new markets, improve operations & create new, rave-worthy experiences that win more customers

Integrated systems require less administrative work to maintain. The elimination of manual processes reduces errors and enables your team members to focus on what really matters: service.

The decision to integrate will help you get the most out of your technology investments and help your organization and essential strategic support partners achieve your long-term goals.

Empower your employees

When it comes to a great experience for your customers, elevating labor is something that should absolutely be a priority. Working to reduce repetitive tasks that bring down morale and are prone to human error should be a cornerstone of any customer experience strategy.

Frontline roles require good morale plus the right tools to make customers happy. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to help someone, only to be held back by technology issues or murky support processes.

Consumers now have more choices than ever to fulfill every need, which is accelerating their expectations around the shopping experience. Considering that seven in ten U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service, lots of revenue hangs in the balance.

In closing

Every aspect of retail operations has the potential to make or break the customer experience. Luckily with data-driven intelligence at their disposal, organizations can optimize for delivering a next-level customer experience.

Plus, you won't have to panic next time the CEO asks you for an update.

About the Author - Chris Antonelli

Picture of Christine Antonelli

As Solugenix VP of Customer Experience and Support Services, Chris Antonelli manages the delivery of customer support services and customer experience initiatives for clients in the retail and financial services industries. Chris leverages two decades of experience in leadership roles where she has guided best-in-class customer support service solutions to global brands like McDonald’s, BMW, Citibank, Sonic Drive-In, and Jiffy Lube. As an Executive Council member for Ellevate Network, Chris is dedicated to the professional development of women in the workforce and ardent supporter of remote workforce development.

Connect with Chris Antonelli on: LinkedIn

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