The concept of Customer Experience was first brought into focus by Holbrook and Hirschman in the mid-80s. The notion has extended Experience as an important factor in understanding consumer behavior and driving value. Customer Experience Managers recognized the importance of experience as a way to create value for both companies and their customers. CX (customer experience) is all about understanding data. Data sources are exploding at a rapid rate; new devices, new sources, and new channels, making it increasingly difficult to analyze and discern insights from the noise.
When I look at the entire automotive industry, senior business leaders are always seeking new ways to understand what customers want, what the customer’s experience is like, and how to best optimize this information to create better outcomes to achieve loyalty and repurchase. Our customers are requesting an accurate and thorough understanding of their customer’s emotions, perceptions, needs, and desires, to obtain the insights they need to act immediately.
I believe the automotive market, including its entire ecosystem (insurers, parts manufacturers, repair shops) is seeking real, actionable insights. Automotive companies have no shortage of data and, in many cases, the issue is not processing power, since computational technologies are available enterprise-wide. The real struggle is in driving insights and action from growing reams of data. Knowing how to extract insights from your data is key.
Breakthrough gains are achievable within a framework for data-driven decision-making that can layer, blend, visualize, and analyze data to create the business understanding that helps propel businesses forward and improve customer interactions. However, most automotive companies are struggling to get there. The complexity of data analysis requirements can be overwhelming. Rather than becoming overwhelmed, automotive companies should consider upping their business intelligence maturity to create breakthrough findings.
At Enprecis Group, this is precisely our strength and expertise. We have been successful specializing in combining our deep automotive industry experience with the power of analyzing data – separating the trends from the anomalies. We believe this practice results in truly linking the unstructured Voice of the Customer with structured ‘surveying’ techniques to truly understand where the opportunities lie. As an example, we at Enprecis Group provide ad-hoc taxonomies for each customer which allows us to tag the content accurately with the highest level of specificity in the industry.
As we look at new approaches and techniques, there are increasing opportunities to create threads or star schemas of information. Disparate pieces of information can be stitched together to create new insights, whether it’s examining the product or vehicle, the dealership, sales, service experience, or from the customer lense of the lifetime ownership experience. This entire process is based on developing a strong hypothesis and examining the data to see if those hold true, as well as strictly visualizing the data to glean where the natural or unnatural patterns exist. It’s understanding what people are talking about and the overall sentiment of what is said. The power comes from an iterative and refinement process to truly move beyond traditional ad-hoc reporting to the slicing and dicing of data, under the true Business Intelligence solution, and identify the most sensitive matters and route and prioritize them. It’s critical to develop a process to guide analysis. We move beyond what has happened, to why is it happening. Both qualitative and statistical methods are used to understand better root causes, variations in performance, and future forecasts that help identify operational opportunities to improve customer experience.
It has been my experience that senior business leaders are looking for the incremental blocks of value, and where the quick wins are that prove the value of the hypothesis, to arm them with the value points to entice further investments. At Enprecis Group, this has been exactly our approach with our OEM customers to help deliver real-world, actionable value, and not just academic reports and metrics leaving them to figure out the value of such. Establishing benchmarks, for example, can provide a clear indication for companies as to where they are now and the direction they are headed. Benchmarking also points to the benefits of Business Intelligence in general, providing a tangible way to track business metrics, in this case, of customer experience.
Providing a data-driven view into customer events is a critical step in the business decision-making process, whether it’s a single number, a chart, or the result of a complex forecasting equation. Data on its own does not qualify as insight. In business, data insight must meet several criteria, including bringing new knowledge to the decision-making audience, which a customer would not be aware of otherwise. The information must be digestible, including grabbing and holding the attention of its audience long enough to be understood. Lastly, and most importantly, it must drive an appropriate action. Data is powerful, and data is infinitely interesting, but the value comes from turning insight into action. In my experience, true Business Intelligence thinking can only be achieved through successful partnering and collaboration. It can’t be done alone, or without iteration, to be truly successful.
Building out Business Intelligence capability for monitoring critical business issues can be the beginning of building a roadmap to better customer outcomes. The road does not have to be paved by analysts, however. Much of what new Big Data capabilities offer is to make various sources of streaming data available directly to end users and decision-makers, also known as self-serve analytics. When you drive a vehicle, you use embedded Business Intelligence. The dashboard tells you exactly what is happening now, including speed, rpm, temperature, etc. Alerts also provide critical information from sensors throughout the vehicle, ranging from oil levels to doors being ajar. You drive with constant data feedback. What you see on a dashboard, self-serve analytics would offer up additional information for use with vehicle maintenance planning. For example, you could save money on fuel consumption with feedback on how quickly you accelerate in traffic and the optimal speed to drive on highways. You could also predict and reduce replacement part costs for components, like brakes and shock absorbers, if given feedback on your past driving conditions and habits.
Imagine self-serve, CX analytics delivered in the same fashion and incorporated into non-expert decision-making. What would the impact be on your company’s customer journey and overall vehicle experience?
If you are looking for help to align people, processes, and technology at every level to improve business performance, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further, share experiences, and explore how the Enprecis Group can provide value, insight, and share best practices. We at Enprecis Group believe that superior customer experience results in higher customer satisfaction, more frequent shopping visits, larger wallet shares, and higher profits, which come from mining and analyzing your data.