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Elevating customer experience with three essential data-driven keys

Simon Blainey
Sep 1, 2023

Are you interacting or interrupting? The answer is in the data.

In recent years, some companies have fallen into the trap of thinking that more data is the key to stronger business performance. And it could be – assuming your teams are using that data to unlock the insights that will inform decisions, personalize interactions, track progress, and scale high-performing initiatives.

Unfortunately, some companies have become so wrapped up in collecting data within their CRM that the sheer volume of information has become unmanageable and therefore unusable. These companies keep collecting data – and that data keeps collecting dust. 
As Capgemini gets ready to head to Dreamforce 2023, many organizations are facing this core challenge of how to unlock the value of the data within their CRM. In this post, I explore three keys to success for using data and AI to enhance customer experience and drive value for both the business and the customer.

3 keys to success: Using data to build empathy, drive personalization, and enable scale

1. Empathy: Building deep and lasting relationships through emotion-based engagement

At the heart of every great experience is emotion. Customers want to feel like the brand knows who they are and understands their needs. This relevance is how the brand becomes an irreplaceable part of the customer’s life – not simply because of the products or services they offer but because the brand evokes a feeling within the user.

Take, for example, travel. The most successful airlines aren’t selling flights – they are building memories. The same is true of fashion: Clothing brands don’t just produce shirts and pants; they help people shape their image and live with confidence. Leading consumer products companies don’t pump out pantry staples, they offer ways for people to live healthy, sustainable lives.

Understanding the needs and desires of your customers to forge this emotional connection requires a combination of enterprise data (customer insights owned by the brand) and experience data (insights developed through a combination of third-party sources) to pinpoint the issues that matter and the moments when they matter most.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that feelings can be fleeting. What matters today may not resonate tomorrow. This means that companies also must continually design, refine, and optimize journeys to deliver a CX that aligns with the consumer’s changing worldview. While the brand promise and CX vision should remain stable, the channels, messages, timing, and tone are all subject to change based on the consumer’s emotional state and the events happening around them. This is why it’s so important to not only have a clear sense of what matters to each customer, but the ability to quickly act on new, timely insights when they will resonate most.

2. Personalization: Leveraging actionable data and measurement to connect on an individual level

Emotions are personal. So, if a brand wants to elicit an emotional response from a consumer, then they need to take a personalized approach, identifying when, where, how, and why to interact with each person at a given moment.

For example, some quick-serve restaurants are experimenting with using geolocation data – in combination with enterprise and experience data – to text message offers to people when they are in or near a physical location. Whether that text message is a valuable interaction or annoying interruption depends on how well the brand knows that particular customer and the degree to which they personalize the offer. By factoring in both enterprise data (favorite menu items, purchase history, ordering history) and experience data (time of day, trending menu items, motivations as a person), the brand can send hyper-personalized offers, tailoring each message so that it makes sense to the individual, be it a quick lunch option or a low-calorie snack before cycling class.

Brands could also take it a step further and proactively fill the need for customers. For example, if the QSR knows that a customer orders a specialty coffee every weekday morning on their way to work, but their geolocational data shows that the person is running behind schedule one day, then the brand can send a text asking if they’d like to place their usual order. On the other hand, when the brand sees that a person who normally visits a city location every weekday is on holiday, the company might send them a mid-day offer instead, urging them to pick up an afternoon treat from the local franchise on the way home from the beach.  

Hyper-personalization requires speed and agility to ensure the offer is timely and relevant. Companies should also assess performance continuously and track the impact of those offers on the business. This is critical to identifying which efforts should be scaled and which should be adapted or set aside.

3. Scalability: Using the customer technology platform to connect and scale

To offer personalized, emotion-based experiences at scale, companies need to take a platform approach. There are two separate, but equally important pieces at play: 1. An engagement platform, such as Salesforce; 2. A data platform, such as MuleSoft, to serve as the integration layer.

While Salesforce is an incredibly powerful tool, it must be powered by clean, accurate, timely, and complete data from across the business in order to unlock its full value. MuleSoft provides that critical integration layer, drawing data from other systems, including the ERP, and allowing companies to create a single way of interacting with the customer across sales, service, marketing, and commerce.

These two elements, when combined, provide the platform with scalability, allowing companies to maintain high levels of personalization even as they increase the volume of interactions. 

Finding value at the intersection of empathy, personalization, and scalability

While each of the three above elements is important to the overall success of the business, they only generate the most value for both the business and the customer when they intersect.

For example, a personalized interaction will often drive an emotional connection. But if there is no platform in place to enable companies to personalize at scale, then the value of those efforts will be limited, no matter how accurate the data and relevant the interactions may be.

Likewise, companies that have a robust integration layer may be drawing data from across the business, but if teams are using large customer segments to define their campaigns and send messages en masse, then these elements will lack the personalization – and, by extension, the emotional connection – to create real impact.

Three keys to success. 1. Actionable data + measurement 2. Emotion-based engagement 3. Customer technology platform

Join me at Dreamforce to unlock the full power of your data and welcome a customer-first world

I’m excited to attend Dreamforce alongside my colleagues where we will be on hand to discuss how companies can unlock the value of their data in Salesforce with Capgemini.

I’d love for you to attend our session which explores this topic with our client partners at Heathrow Airport. You can also browse our full list of sessions at Dreamforce and stop by our booth (#1416) and to learn more about how you can turn one of your biggest assets into real value.

You can also join me for an exclusive session on why MuleSoft is fundamental to a new age of consumer trust, Wednesday, September 13, 2023 – Drop me a message if you’re interested.

Browse all our sessions at Dreamforce 2023 and set up time to connect with our experts here.


Simon Blainey