The major brands make it look easy to deliver amazing digital customer experiences.

With big budgets, super agencies, massive marketing teams, technical expertise and complicated MarTech stacks, they’re perfectly poised to get the right message to the right audience at the right time.

But what if your company doesn’t have access to all of these resources, especially when it comes to technology and making sense of your customer data? Does it mean your customer experience is doomed?

(Editor's Note: Digital customer analytics will be discussed at CMSWire's DX Summit 2015 conference on Nov. 3 and 4 in Chicago.)

It’s Not Rocket Science

Not at all, said Phil Haslehurst, marketing manager for Decibel Insight, a customer experience analytics platform provider.

“Combining big data with automation, digital advertising, offline and in-store experiences requires vast amounts of work and a mature marketing team with lots of money and technical people,” he said. “But it doesn’t need to be that complicated. You can use technology to improve the customer experience in very efficient ways.”

3 Steps to Data-Driven CX

Phil Haslehurst

Haslehurst advises that organizations follow three steps in order to get the most from their customer data: understand strategic objectives, analyze processes and adopt the technology to support those processes.

1. Understand your strategic objectives

As with any business initiative, success with using data to drive customer experiences begins with knowing why you’re embarking on that path to begin with.

“There’s been a tendency in the industry for marketers to get swept up in the latest, brilliant new technology and lose sight of why they want to adopt it,” said Haslehurst.

By focusing clearly on your strategic objectives, you can better execute the remaining steps around processes and technology.

2. Analyze Your Processes

Once you’ve defined your objectives, it’s time to assess the process necessary to deliver on those objectives – in this case, the process of conversion rate optimization, continued Haslehurst.

Begin by creating benchmarks around how your audience is performing on your site.

Analytics can provide companies with a host of data about how customers are interacting with their website,” he said. “What comes first is benchmarking, and identifying how the different segments of their audience behave.”

In this way, he added, you can identify areas of weakness, and explore behavioral evidence for metrics by watching the following elements (which happen to be major features of Decibel Insight):

  • Visitor replays to see how your audience navigates your site
  • Heatmaps to determine portions of your page or site that engage – or more importantly, don’t engage
  • Form analytics to identify areas of friction in the checkout or signup process

Armed with this insight, Haslehurst recommends creating hypotheses for and conducting A/B testing, adopting the version of the site or page that works best, and then repeating the process as needed.

3. Adopt Supportive Technologies

Finally, companies need to determine the technology that will best fit into this workflow to support their strategic objectives.

“The technology required isn’t particularly complicated,” said Haslehurst. “You need an analytics tool, a customer experience analytics tool, and a split testing tool.”

Because these tools now tend to integrate with each other, he added, you could use a combination of Google Analytics, Decibel Insight and Maxymiser, for example, to support an effective and efficient conversion rate process.

Haslehurst wrapped up by taking a look at how far we’ve come in providing better customer experiences through web optimization.

“Previously, trying to make improvements to your website meant basing decisions on anecdotal evidence, the strongest held or most vigorously defended opinion, or gut instinct,” he said. “Then user testing came along, but it was difficult to get large sample sizes, and was expensive.

“Analytics changes the way you’re able to collect data from the audience, and allows you to collect from reliable first-hand user experience not impacted by lab conditions.”

If you'd like to learn more about digital analytics, come to our DX Summit, which will be held Nov. 3 and 4 at the W Hotel City Center in downtown Chicago. Find out more here.

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