Getting to know your customer
What do consumers seek today? The best products, the best services, at the best prices? Of course. But their expectations increasingly focus not only on what is bought, but how it is bought. We're talking here about the much-publicized notion of customer experience (CX). It is this experience that can produce varying degrees of customer satisfaction, even when purchasing an identical product. And to offer the best experience, it is vital to know the expectations and aspirations of customers. In other words, to get to know them.
Data, when accessible, is a great way to accomplish this. This invaluable asset enables the transition from a generic and superficial knowledge to a detailed understanding. This work is highly complex. It requires acumen at each stage of the data's journey. The journey starts at the moment of data collection, a fundamental step which must be extremely rigorous: only the most relevant data must be collected, with the utmost transparency. The journey continues with data aggregation and ends at the point of qualitative analysis. Throughout this journey, it is essential to implement the appropriate digital tools: CRM software to manage customer relationships, chatbots to interact with them, etc.
The introduction of artificial intelligence into this equation gives us the opportunity to shift up a gear, to enter the data-driven era. By exploiting and combining the mass of data collected, algorithms are able to breathe life into data. Through the intervention of AI, the offer of brands can be updated; targeting can be finely honed. Predictive and ultra-personalized, marketing becomes intelligent. And therefore, intelligible.
Ultimately, real tangible benefits
There are innumerable benefits. On the consumer side, clients are offered services adapted to their needs, so they undergo more satisfying experiences. Enhanced services for enhanced lives. While businesses can create value more rapidly, more easily and more efficiently than ever before.
Every day I see the magnitude of these benefits through the scope of projects in which we support our clients.
Recently for example, the Orange Business Services Flux Vision solution has enabled an engineering group to study the flow of traffic on a treacherous road. By modeling international flows through the processing of geolocation data, this solution has improved visibility of road traffic conditions.
In the service sector, a world-class real estate group used the same solution as part of the creation of a shopping center, to define access and organize services according to footfall peaks. Once again, it is the data collection and analysis that are at the heart of the process, making it possible to accurately map customer catchment area and client sociology, etc.
"Confidence is gained in drops and lost in gallons"
This maxim, attributed to Jean-Paul Sartre, perfectly applies to the close relationship between customers and businesses – especially when the latter use data. For this reason, I am convinced that any data-marketing strategy must be accompanied by a strong commitment to ethics and responsibility. The protection of user data at each point along the chain and its anonymization are absolutely key. This is why, in 2010, Orange set up a charter on the protection of personal data and privacy.
In this regard, the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is extremely positive. But it is only a first step. It is the responsibility of each company to implement robust processes to ensure the protection of the data entrusted to them. Only then can companies truly enrich their value proposition by refining the customer experience.
In an increasingly complex and competitive landscape, data-driven marketing opens up unprecedented opportunities for companies. To take full advantage, adequate tools and expertise are required. Orange Business Services is here to support you at every stage of this process. We believe in the strong notion – powered by data, driven by people – in other words, digital with a human touch made by Orange Business Services.
Helmut joined Orange Business Services in 2007 to head up Europe and Russia. He is now CEO of Orange Business Services.