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Study: Data must ‘deliver’ in the age of personalization


Companies are adopting more solutions to gain a 360-degree view of each customer.

While 88% of companies believe their investments help their organization understand customer needs, only 61% of consumers agree — a gap that is costing retailers $62 billion a year, according to research from Talend. The provider of cloud and big data integration software surveyed 361 IT leaders and 1,094 consumers in the United States, the U.K., France, and Germany.

Despite a wealth of data available about customer behavior and purchasing choices, companies have a long way to go in terms of effectively using this data to better meet consumer expectations. The good news is 63% of IT respondents indicated that using data to better understand customers is a top business priority for 2017. And 80% of companies rank this initiative at an eight or above on a 10-point scale.

Today’s IT organizations also recognize the importance of putting customer data in the hands of more employees, with 80% of surveyed companies indicating they’re making customer data accessible across multiple business units.

This is a smart move as more consumers (57%) are data-driven, and rely on data to inform buying decisions, according to research.

“While the majority of companies recognize the importance of data in driving company strategy, many are just scratching the surface when it comes to understanding the dramatic impact customer-360 initiatives can have on increasing their ‘share of wallet’ and inspiring lasting customer loyalty,” said Ashley Stirrup, chief marketing officer, Talend.

Approximately 80% of IT respondents indicated their budgets have grown over the past five years. Under increasing pressure to improve the customer experience, many have invested that budget in a range of customer relationship management tools, including live chat (66%), data visualization (60%), speech recognition (52%), and retargeting tools (58%).

Despite these investments, data revealed that many businesses still do not systematically track basic customer feedback. In fact, 50% or less of the surveyed companies are deploying elementary barometers of customer satisfaction, including online reviews (36%); social media sentiment (43%); and past purchase or communication preferences (when combined, these are employed by 50% of companies).

Online reviews have become the new word of mouth for many, with 40% indicating these forums have the greatest impact on large purchases — almost twice the weight of friend and family recommendations. Additionally, 57% of respondents listed “having a negative review unaddressed while continuing to receive offers for similar products” as the top reason they would ‘break up’ with a brand.

Other reasons cited by consumers for ‘breaking up’ with a company include if the company falls victim to a data breach (57%), and not providing live/real-time customer service support (42%), according to results.

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