Its the DATA Stupid


Customer Experiences generally SUCK. I am running out of patience for the number of poor to awful customer experiences I have had over the last quarter. All over the market, $3 retail transactions up to tens of thousands of dollars on the personal front, to business transactions with free services up to multimillion dollar RFPs. The transactions have been garbage. Some of this is pure human circumstance and error; however, the majority can be tracked back to companies not using the Data.

The area where this drives me most crazy is the inability of major service providers: health care, banking, telco, travel being top of mind, to leverage Identity. You know who I am! More correctly your data knows who I am, likely in some depth. Organizations put intense friction and barriers between them and my money, and more concerning (should be) to their future growth, my satisfaction. Sunnybrook Hospital / OHIP, Scotia iTrade, Telus, Porter (yes, you are the best, but that doesn’t make you good) I will FIRE YOU at the first opportunity. Your only defense is that you operate in Oligotrophic markets, and your competitors suck equally.

The solution to this challenge or where I believe the disruptors of these players will be anchored is in Identity. Know who the customer is and create an experience around the context of that individual. In the data held within the organization or very easily gathered from the customer directly or through 3rd parties they authorize, it is possible to know everything needed to very precisely know the Identity of the customer / prospect on the other side of the transaction. For the most part all this data is volunteered with effort (friction) required by the customer; I don’t know my OHIP, Drivers License, Account #, do you? If I tell you as a provider, and you need that info to transact, YOU better remember it! It is in your data now. I can two factor verify my identity (name, birth date, etc.), it is now on the provider to associate and leverage my hard to remember data. My Account # isn’t my Account # its YOURS! Compliance & Privacy are much more the institution’s problem than the customers, but they are consistently making it the customer issue.

This is not Big Data, this is customer service old school style; just remember who I am and use it to make intelligent interactions. The small town grocer knew his local customers and customized his interactions to enhance the customer experience. The proper use of CRM, Transactional, Segmentation, and Predictive data will allow organizations to deliver 1:1 customer experiences at scale. Big Data will only increase the fidelity of digital identity and the amount of data available to providers to generate ever more customized 1:1 experiences with customers and prospects.

Start simple, unified data models and unified experiences. Your employees, like your customers, do not care about the federation of your service and data silos. They just want to open the damn account and move on to the next task in their day’s.

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