In today’s digital world, it is often difficult to navigate the different sets of tools that exist around capturing the digital footprint of a potential customer, or a returning client.
There are some tools that extract the data that you leave behind and match it to already existing data, that you may have left from the use of social media or other platforms. Your likes and dislikes, interests, and hobbies are then used to build a unique profile of all your online activities.
If you have watched “The Social Dilemma” you will know that this data can be used to manipulate your behavior on social platforms, however, in a world where customers are asking for personalized service and experiences, this is not all that bad.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all want a great customer experience, where interaction with any organization means your name is known, perhaps even your shoe size and the brands that you prefer. We often see this before even clicking on an online shopping portal. At best, you are shown a range of shoes that you may like and a recommendation of what would suit you best, according to your preferences.
1 – Have Customer Information at Your Fingertips
This can only be achieved by having data and insights, in the right place, at the right time; it is the logistics of data. Like supply chain logistics, we have a flow of information that needs to culminate to produce a holistic view of a customer, drive interaction, and result in a great customer experience. Ultimately, you want customer satisfaction to lead to the purchase of a product or service.
If you have navigated the technology landscape of Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Journey Orchestration, you will have come across many acronyms such as CDP’s, DMP’s, CRM’s and CJM’s and others. In a nutshell, it boils down to data logistics, how you manage your data flow, gains insights, and manage trigger events.
2 – Manage Your Data with Dynamics 365
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Experience platform has the toolsets to drive data flows that enable the management of data logistics.
If we take Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights as our data consolidation platform, also known as a Customer Data Platform (CDP), we have the ability through Audience Insights, to build a deeper understanding of customers, by connecting data from various transactional, behavioral, and observational sources. This is used to create a 360-degree customer view using both internal and external data, to enrich the customer profile.
With Engagement Insights, we can understand interactively, how customers are using services and products, individually and holistically, on websites, mobile apps, and connected products.
These two combined behavioral analytics will create rich insights, that help drive the next best actions and personalized experiences, using cognitive learning, using the Microsoft Cognitive Services on Azure.
3 – Close the Gap – Know Your Customer’s Buying Patterns
Using the Azure Data Lake and Data Factory capabilities, you have the ability to manage your data flow from both on-premise and cloud data sources, and gain Customer Insights where the toolset will orchestrate a unified customer profile, with your customer interaction timeline.
With this unified customer profile and the related transactional and behavioral data, you can now segment and measure customers. Based on these, you can build out a subset of customers, to engage in a customer journey with, through a Digital Marketing Platform (DMP).
The Dataverse that transcends the entire Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Application Platform, also known as the Power Platform, would be your Digital Marketing Platform (DMP) to execute and monitor digital marketing campaigns, based on the segmentation and measures derived out on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights. The marketing toolset would also be an input of interaction to the customer insights, thereby closing the loop of customer interaction.
4 – Use Personalized Experiences
Using Dynamics 365, you are also enabled to build out Customer Journey Maps (CJM), to deliver a personalized customer experience or purchasing journey, based on the insights gained in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights. This would deliver the required expectations that our modern digital customers are looking for and assist in bringing them into a sales process.
Once the customers have reached a point where they have been qualified as ready to transact, they are then brought into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to drive the sales execution process. Your goal should be to convert them from a lead to a client that has successfully bought a service or product.
This interaction and experience on the sales toolset would again feedback to the Customer Data Platform, to enrich the existing information to drive the next customer journey based on the insights gathered. It is a continuous feedback loop to drive the ultimate customer engagement.
5 – Unification of Your Data is Critical
To swing back to the logistics of data from a customer experience perspective, the tools required are those that collect the data and bring them into a unified view, from the various customer interaction points. This would be the Customer Data Platform (CDP), which needs to analyze data, segment, and measure customer information. This data is passed on to the Digital Marketing Platform (DMP) to execute personalized customer journeys and drive the customer to a point where they are qualified enough, to be passed through a sales execution process, in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
As technology evolves and becomes more and more seamless, the lines between these system capabilities will blur. The key to this technology landscape is to ensure that your underlying technology platform manages the data holistically, in one place, for you to be able to interact with the data across your business applications, as well as your productivity tools.