Marketers must do even more to use their customer data to build customer trust, according to a joint EY and Forbes survey examining how companies need to leverage real-time data and analytics to enable them to predict what customers wants, even before they know it themselves.
Customers have more information available than ever before to assist them in their buying decisions, and winning their loyalty has become an increasing challenge for companies. But less than one third of CMOs and marketing executives fully understand the point in the customer experience where trust is eroded, and only half are able to address negative experiences at the customer touch point.
The survey report revealed that companies are realising that their ultimate goal is building relationships and trust with customers. They also know they need to leverage real-time data and analytics to be predictive, to know what customers want even before they do.
Key insights from the report included:
- 91% of CMOs feel that building trusted customer relationships is a significant focus of their departments' strategic and competitive vision. 87% of CMOs say their strategic vision includes the customer experience, and they recognise that they need to embrace the latest data and analytics technologies in order to build credibility and long-term relationships with customers.
- Most CMOs struggle to understand where trust is eroded with customers, and only half are able to address negative experiences at the customer touch point. Less than a third (30%) say with full confidence that their department or company has a full grasp of where in the customer life cycle the trust is breaking down. Yet 38% of respondents strongly agree that they are leveraging analytics to understand where trust is being eroded in the experience lifecycle.
- Over the next two years, 81% of CMOs say that data and analytics will be an important tool with which to build and measure trust. And almost three-quarters (73%) of marketers say they use analytics to check if the brand promise is being kept throughout the customer's interaction with the company.
- Most executives (51%) believe that there is a significant opportunity in the use of analytics for customer insight and in expanding the use of external data sources. Just 37% say they have the capability to use analytics to tailor communications and outreach to the customer. This is a low number considering that many marketing executives see personalisation as the next big trend in marketing.
- Marketers at the executive level are collaborating more across various business units to manage and improve the customer experience. Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the customer experience requires collaboration outside of marketing. By having a better grasp of data and analytics, marketers may be able to take more control of the customer experience.
"Companies understand that building relationships and trust are the ultimate goal. Consumers have become more sophisticated. Their expectations are higher, they want a personalised experience and they want two-way communication. Companies need to leverage real-time data and analytics to enable them to be forward-looking and predictive, to know what the customer wants even before they do," explained Woody Driggs, global advisory leader for EY's Customer Practice.
"Marketers and executives across the board continue to recognise the significance of data and analytics to inspire confidence with customers and to personalise the relationship. More importantly, executives know there is room for improvement in their use of analytics. They need to remember that the data they acquire via the customer is a privilege, and use that approach to build trust," concluded Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer for Forbes Media.