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Here is Why Customer Experience Programs Need Solid Data Integration

Feb 16, 2022

Here is Why Customer Experience Programs Need Solid Data Integration

Implementing customer data integration best practices is the most powerful way to see how one source of data impacts another. And while most brands have adapted and stood up multiple listening posts for feedback and engagement across the ever-growing network of customer touchpoints, this information is often disparate and disjointed.

But when you eliminate those silos and integrate data collection channels, you stand to gain big.

With the right customer data integration best practices, brands can connect customer interactions and feedback channels in a unified platform. Additionally, data integration helps brands:

  • Leverage in-platform connectors, self-serve developer portals, + managed implementation services
  • Gain contextual insights on what happens across (and between) interactions
  • Deliver more seamless, personalized engagements across the customer journey

Now is the time to take a good look at what level of data integration you’re getting from your experience management (XM) vendor. Ensure their integration capabilities are providing you with these 3 benefits:

1. Technology makes data integration simple and efficient

Customer data integration best practices should include a reporting platform featuring a robust set of out-of-the-box connectors that include both enterprise management systems and hundreds of industry-specific platform applications. Beyond these turnkey solutions, API portals enable developers to custom-configure integrations to program needs. 

As datasets are put into dialogue, the reporting dashboard becomes more than just a performance-tracking or problem-diagnostics tool. It serves as the primary means of investigating how each data source impacts the others—and which strategic improvements will have the biggest impact on your customers.

With side-by-side visualizations configured to the reporting needs of each level of your organization, users will be able to:

  • Access a more holistic view across customer touchpoints + operational data sources to enable smarter decision-making and prioritization
  • Flag issues across systems that may have downstream effects on the customer experience
  • Drill into channel-specific reports for further analysis without leaving the dashboard
  • Respond to time-sensitive issues across engagement channels with in-platform case management

2. Integrations deliver more personalized engagements across the customer journey

In addition to the organizational benefits of having fewer systems to toggle between, integrating data sources enables brands to have a more streamlined process, more accurate data, and better customer connections by delivering more personalized experiences.

Whether it’s integrating real-time POS data to customize survey content or leveraging details housed in CRM systems to deliver incentives based on past purchases, an integrated approach to experience management showcases your commitment to the customer by using each interaction to inform strategic improvements for the next.

Prebuilt, security-rich, intelligent integrations allow brands to connect applications on premise or in the cloud. By supporting a wide range of data formats, application infrastructures, and integration styles, SMG helps brands have specific and conversational interactions with customers. These personalized communications increase customer engagement and response rates while letting you meet customers where they are.

With this all-inclusive, holistic view of your customer, you can spend less time worrying about how to make sense of your data and more time using it to drive smarter engagement and build customer loyalty.

3. Industry-specific customer data integration best practices maximize business outcomes

You require an integration ecosystem that provides industry support to ensure you’re leveraging insight along the entire customer journey.

Here are a few industry-specific examples of brands using data integration methods to optimize operational efficiencies and a high-level view of the benefits they’re seeing:

Olo integration with email + SMS invites:

  • Increases response rates
  • Streamlines incentive distribution
  • Reduces gaming
  • Allows for smarter, shorter surveys

Video feedback integration:

  • Links customer faces to feedback
  • Provides a deeper understanding of sentiment
  • Drives a more meaningful customer-centric culture

IVR/call center integration:

  • Creates a centralized spot for field resolution
  • Provides comprehensive analyzing + tracking
  • Decreases labor in routing + answering calls

What level of data integration are you getting from your experience management program?

Not all data integration solutions are created equal. To find out if you’re getting what you need from your XM provider, make sure it passes these 2 tests:

Provides open connectivity to uncover more mature experience management insights

The more of your tech ecosystem you integrate with your experience management program, the greater ability you’ll have to dive into the meaning behind metric movement—adding richer context to your customer experience (CX) scores.

That’s why it’s so important to partner with an XM provider that makes it simple to connect systems—streamlining integrated data into a single platform and providing access to real-time feedback, 24/7. This data and insights-rich action plan allows for better connections and more personalized feedback exchanges with your customers1.

In addition, access to more specific details about an experience can help uncover blind spots and provide an opportunity to answer bigger business questions. For example, let’s say a restaurant brand wants to run product testing on a limited-time offer (LTO), so they add a question asking customers who ordered the LTO if they were satisfied with the item and intend to purchase it again. This data could help the brand determine if they would benefit from running the LTO more often or adding the product to their full menu.

Going a step further, the brand could then integrate third-party delivery data and see different ways that affected the customer’s overall experience. Connecting CX scores with delivery insights would help the brand get a complete overview of the customer journey—possibly learning that a slow delivery time from the provider resulted in the food arriving cold and was the biggest reason for the customer’s dissatisfaction with the LTO.

By strategically layering different types of data—instead of piling it on without context—brands can pinpoint specific gaps in the customer experience and take targeted action that drives improvements and increases revenue. 

2. Implements agile technology that evolves with the needs of your business

What you require from a data integration solution is not the same as anyone else. Yet, there are many experience management providers that offer limited options or customizations—producing results that are limited.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are XM providers that offer the integrations you need—but only with a DIY approach that leaves your team wasting precious time sifting through numerous types of data, trying to piece it all together.

The most resourceful data integration solution falls in the middle—providing customizations that are meaningful and most impactful to your business. You should seek out a developer portal that makes it easy for you to self-serve integrations when you prefer, but also provides team support should you need it.

This way, you’ll be more responsive to the changing needs of your business. And if we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that consumer behavior can change in an instant. To stay ahead of evolving trends and meet new customer expectations, you need access to adaptive technologies that provide a seamless transition when business priorities—and integration needs—shift.

Bring more power to your customer feedback with data integration

At its best, data integration is a resourceful way to empower businesses to streamline customer feedback and share insights across the enterprise. At its worst, it produces a confusing mess of data that has no contextual meaning or valuable impact. Which type of data integration is your XM program providing?

Successful companies know it takes specific customer information to create targeted action. The right integration solution doesn’t just provide you with more data—it helps you uncover the kind of specific insights your team can use to drive real change.

You deserve data management that is straightforward and efficient—so you have better, richer insights to impact your business outcomes. With more than 200 types of industry-specific integrations, SMG works hand-in-hand with clients through implementation and provides continued support customized to their specific needs.

The smg360® customer data platform provides a single source of truth and fits seamlessly into your current technology ecosystem—offering hundreds of integration types, out-of-the-box platform app connectors, and a developer’s API portal. It’s incredibly easy to bring in third-party and inferred data, putting together these different sources alongside your experience management data.

To learn more about how SMG is leading the market in customer data integration strategy and capabilities, connect with our team.