Any interaction with a company can quickly turn personal—and emotional—especially when it steals time from a busy day. As Monica and I compared stories about our good and bad customer experiences, she described the rising anxiety she felt recently while traveling. A delayed flight made her upcoming connection much too close for comfort. As she felt more and more ill at ease, she noticed that her seatmate remained calm, even saying, “I’m not worried. The airline knows I’m on this flight and they always take care of me.”

I was impressed: An airline customer was rock-solid confident in her carrier of choice. The airline’s long-term efforts to raise its customer satisfaction and improve its reputation had worked. The energy spent to win industry awards, increase profitability, and improve customer experiences had turned this customer into a loyal believer.

A Very Different Customer Experience

Counter to this story is a recent experience a friend had with a telecommunications provider. Over the weekend, a broadband company called his mobile phone. The sales rep pitched a great limited-time offer for new customers. Interested in the offer, my friend asked whether he could take advantage of it even though he’s an existing customer. The rep was surprised. “Oh, you’re an existing customer,” he said, dismissively. “No, this offer doesn’t apply to you. It’s for new customers only. Sorry.”

Sheesh, thanks for nothing. If this company had built a solid foundation of customer data, the sales rep would have had a customer profile rich with clean, consistent, and connected information as reference. If he had visibility into the total customer relationship between customer and company, he’d know that my friend has been a loyal customer for 10 years with two current service subscriptions.

Unfortunately, the rep’s company didn’t arm him with the great customer data he needs to be successful. If it had, he could have offered other services—or even a bundle of services. That scenario would have created a very different customer experience.

Good Data Builds Good Relationships

Creating positive engagements requires building a relationship with each customer (and each employee). The difference in these two examples is that the airline engaged in company-wide initiatives to improve customer relationships by understanding customer data. The airline checked into vast amounts of detailed data about customers, operations, revenue, demand, employees, schedules, and maintenance. Somewhere between 80% to 90% of their data was captured, cleansed, integrated, perfected, analyzed, and shared.

It took time, but the airline became customer-centric at all levels of the organization. They differentiated themselves with great customer experiences by fueling customer, operations, and product decisions at the front line, in the back office, and on the executive floor with great data. The broadband provider is still keeping its data in silos, and it has no single source of truth that provides a 360-degree view of the customer. It needs a total view into the customer relationship to understand customers preferences, buying patterns, and lifetime value, so it can know which customers to keep, which to grow, which to turn around, and which to let go of. And that requires data.

Team Building

Competing on great customer experiences requires giving valuable customer insight to employees and executives so they can confidently understand customers’ value, preferences, relationships, and journeys to fuel decisions that deliver consistent interactions across your business.

Great customer experiences start with great customer data; and great customer data produces great customer experiences. But your data needs to be strategically managed as the valuable asset that it is. And it’s not always easy to know where to begin on the journey from product-centricity or channel-centricity to customer-centricity. That’s the idea behind this workbook from Informatica, The Ultimate Guide For Customer Data Management. Informatica and Trianz are working together to create memorable, positive customer relationships through data.

Informatica, the market’s leading provider of modular, end-to-end master data management (MDM) imperatives, and Trianz are taking a tag-team approach to reconciling data discrepancies for all types of companies. Startups to Fortune 500 leaders are realizing the benefits of connecting data between operational, financial, transaction, social, mobile, analytics and cloud systems.

As an Informatica Elite Systems Integrator and Authorized Reseller, Trianz has deep expertise in providing customer-centric services and leveraging Informatica’s MDM imperatives to cleanse, standardize, verify, enrich, master, and integrate data across multiple domains. Together Trianz services and Informatica MDM imperatives could help that broadband company reach a 360-degree customer view and provide the tools and governance processes required to ensure master data remains consistent and provides insights to take the next best action to keep customers happy.

You can find more information on Informatica’s approach in the workbook. It reviews four lessons to bulletproof your customer initiative, lays out three core components of understanding customer relationships, and walks you through the seven steps most companies use to create great customer data.

Learn More

Once you master the data, you can then begin to master the experiences. Trianz and Informatica are available to help you get started and share our MDM experiences and expertise.

You can also learn more about the roles master data management and information governance play in transforming customer relationships by downloading a complimentary copy of Customer Data: The Missing Link to Strategic Success from Constellation Research.

AuthorsPrasanna RajagopalanMonica Mullen