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Study: Location Is Underprioritized When Seeking to Improve CX

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In many ways, customer experience (CX) is a new discipline largely made up of marketers seeking to understand the quality and effectiveness of all interactions a customer has with a business both before and after a purchase. This spans everything from online search, to sales interactions, to post sale communications, to in-store experiences, to reviews, and so on.

The driving force behind CX is data. However, according to a new study from NetBase, only half of marketers said they are effectively bringing together different data sources to make CX decisions. In other words, only half of marketers feel good about their ability to generate insights and make decisions using a comprehensive data set. The reality is most data remains in siloes.

The study surveyed about 130 “customer experience professionals who self-identify as marketing managers, creative directors, data managers, SVPs of marketing, and more.”  The top sources of data being used to make decisions include surveys (74%), social media data (68%), web analytics (66%), employee feedback (58%), online reviews (48%) among other sources (below).

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Beyond the data sets, the categories of experiences being tracked by the survey respondents included products, services, digital and locations. The study found that of the four, the experience type being tracked least was locations, with only about half (47%) saying they were actively tracking location (in-store) experiences.

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This represents a major disconnect between the desire to understand CX and the fact that most retail purchases take place in-store. It is likely a matter of not having access to the location data necessary to derive CX-related insights. Yet, with mobile location data and many providers of location intelligence services, this probably shouldn’t be the case.

Location data has introduced a number of compelling use cases that go well beyond marketing. According to a 2018 study from Carto executives from the survey said they use location data to identify new customer markets (41%), improve customer services (36%), manage risks (34%), understand customer behavior (33%), assess market penetration (32%), optimize supply chain (31%), define market segmentation (30%) and much more.

When it comes to the tools being used to better understand all this data, the vast majority (almost 80%) said they are using Excel. This likely represents a DIY segment of the respondents. Meanwhile, like in the location data space, data mining companies and business intelligence providers offer custom data intelligence services that are packaged in ways that go far beyond Excel’s capabilities.

With more data available than ever before, marketers are positioned to connect the dots from department to department, online to offline, across entire organizations. From sales to customer service to online traffic, there are many ways to learn about CX. But for brick-and-mortar stores, any view of CX that doesn’t include location (in-store) data will be incomplete.

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