How to Use CDPs for Better Customer Service
A customer data platform (CDP) offers valuable insights for anyone who contributes to the customer experience (CX). Think data-driven marketers but also e-commerce specialists, in-store associates, and content creators, as well as call center and customer service representatives.
That capability is nothing to sneeze at: A Zendesk study found that 97% of respondents said that poor customer service changes their buying behavior, with 46% continuing to change their behavior two years after a bad experience, affecting the long-term revenue of brands that deliver a disappointing CX. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 83% of participants in a Khoros survey rated good customer service as the most important factor in their purchase decisions, while Qualtrics XM Institute found a 38-percentage point difference in consumers’ likelihood to recommend a business based on their rating of its CX as good or bad. No wonder delivering stellar CX is such a priority for leading brands and why 50% of the Global 2000 — a list of the largest companies worldwide — plan to adopt a CDP by 2024 to improve customer interactions.
So, let’s take a closer look at a few ways that CDPs can enhance customer service and the customer experience.
Identify and understand audiences
Before any company can refine its CX, it must first identify who comprises its audience. That may sound elementary, but given the millions of data points — in-store transactions, website visits, social media sentiments, donation history, and so on — that inundate organizations minute by minute, getting a full picture of their buyers, supporters, and prospects can prove elusive. Multiple sources and platforms house this data, which is often siloed by team, leading to missing or chaotic profiles of individual customers and cohorts.
But the issue isn’t only where customer data is stored; multiple records for the same person compound the problem. For example, one customer may provide different emails and addresses depending on the channel; organizations need to be able to quickly remove duplicate records and unify what matters for a complete portrait of their audiences.
Francesca’s, a boutique with 700 locations nationwide, found itself in that exact situation until it incorporated a CDP into its arsenal of tools. Once it did so, the retailer could more accurately calculate customer lifetime value, use data to inform its customer acquisition campaigns, and determine which customers had higher price sensitivity.
Improve targeting and personalization
Once organizations have a clear idea of their audiences, they can then drill down and segment or cluster them depending on the end goal. Email marketers, for instance, can see which events customers attend and include links to related content in subsequent promotional emails (and ask content creators to develop that content if it doesn’t yet exist on the company website).
In the case of Sun & Ski Sports, for example, the specialty outdoor retailer believed better targeting would boost engagement rates and its return on investment, so it added a CDP to its martech stack. The addition allowed the company to review customers’ in-store purchases to decide which groups would respond well to direct mail campaigns. This approach led to a 1,500% increase in the response rate to such campaigns.
Most customer service agents can see a customer’s purchase history and past call-center interactions but often lack insight into their full profile. When agents understand details like how a customer engages online, in emails, or in stores, as well as other details like their VIP status, they can easily tailor their conversation with that customer.
Arcelik offers an example. The Turkish household appliance manufacturer operates a large call center with more than 2,000 agents, and when customers complete a post-purchase form, those agents call to ensure they’re satisfied with their purchase. They also take the opportunity to upsell adjacent products and services.
When the company began using Acquia CDP, its agents gained a complete view of their customers when customer details pulled from the CDP’s 360 Profile API were connected to Arcelik’s customer service software, which generates call scripts for agents. The script auto-populates with details from Acquia CDP, allowing representatives to have relevant, high-value conversations and to close call tickets faster. The agents can now reference what brand and product a customer purchased, what channel it was purchased through, the customer’s home address, and more.
According to Bora Cetiner, CRM and retail analysis manager at Arcelik, “Acquia CDP gives our call-center representatives the information they need to make the experience feel personalized for each customer.” After applying the insights from Acquia CDP to their interactions, Arcelik saw a 100% increase in additional upsell products sold during a customer service interaction.
The examples included here demonstrate the value of customer data platforms in improving CX. They allow brands to leverage all of their different data sources into a cohesive and personalized customer journey at every touchpoint. By giving call-center representatives a clearer view of who they’re speaking to, for instance, brands can meet buyers’ needs more quickly while deepening customer relationships, thereby transforming basic services into exceptional experiences.