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How the Cloud Can Save Your Customer Experience Initiative

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How the Cloud Can Save Your Customer Experience Initiative

May 29, 2015
By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

When a new initiative is about to be launched, it often represents the culmination of months, even years, of planning and investment. The last thing anyone wants to consider is how this shiny new initiative could turn into a career-destroying boondoggle. Cloud-based systems, meanwhile, can help reduce that danger potential and give customer experience programs a real boost.

One of the biggest ways the cloud can help is by keeping all the data that represents the customer experience in one handy place to be analyzed and built on later. Since customer experience is so nebulous a concept—it covers everything from interaction with advertising to what's thought about the product when a customer gets home with it—it requires a lot of information gathering and information tracking.

Additionally, the cloud can help bridge the gap between online and offline functionality. Retail is, generally speaking, 90 percent conducted offline. But since “online” requires several different devices, it can be tough to track the results. Customers might research a device on a smartphone, but conduct the purchase in the store itself. The reverse is also true, a practice so common it was given its own name: “showrooming.” That means a big lag is possible between what customers do online and then translate into offline, information the cloud can keep straight.

The cloud also comes in when handling information. While companies do a great job of gathering information—some might say too great a job—putting that information to use is much less a factor. Reports suggest that 45 percent of those who collect data across channels—which itself is only about 25 percent of the total—actually take the portion of customers who had service issues and turn it into a unique segment. This is where the biggest loss of customers happens, and it's a great opportunity to turn a problem into a huge gain.

Better yet, the cloud represents a way to get the necessary systems where said systems need to be. Companies are often slow to put the pieces of a great customer experience together; just 37 percent of those in a recent study suggested that the necessary tools to make a great customer experience were in place. But the pieces are all out there, and cloud-based systems can often make it easier to access these tools and put such to work.

Finally, the issue of customer experience in general is one that has some peril to it. Right now, it's a hot-button issue; everyone's ready to get behind it. But that fervor will one day die down, and demand hard numbers to keep meriting support. Right now, 37 percent of major brands can immediately tie revenue and cost savings issues with customer experience activities, a number that's good in isolation but should be much higher. Using cloud-based systems here can allow companies to retarget data gathering with a specific eye toward that connection between revenue and customer experience.

Cloud-based systems can be a huge help in terms of launching customer experience programs, but also in terms of keeping such running. While there's more to a great customer experience than proper use of the cloud, it can be the big thing that keeps a customer experience initiative from collapsing and taking careers with it.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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