Data Audits Are Not as Painful as Tax Audits. We Promise.

July 18, 2018 Sarah Bystrom

I deal with data every day and I love it. However, my 20-year-old self would have been in shock. Data, really? That’s the boring part. The truth is that data determines your customer’s experience and can make or break your business. If you know the ins and outs of your data, then you can pivot quickly and understand how to make your customer a loyal customer. That is the golden ticket.

Deciding what data to capture is a feat all on its own and then you have to decide how best to use it. Implement the campaigns and celebrate your success. We all love a good celebration, but – and this is a big but – it's the maintenance of the campaigns and data that make the difference. I have witnessed too many clients that wait until they find a broken process before they begin an audit. By then their customers have had bad experiences. And just one bad experience can lead to the loss of a loyal customer.

Don’t fret, there are 3 simple recommendations to maintaining your customer touch points:

  1. Review all campaigns every 6 months by looking at creative, personalization, and customer segmentation.
  2. Review data fields every 3 months by checking counts, evaluating logic, and updating documentation.
  3. Be a customer for the day twice a year. Test out online, in-store, and customer service experiences and how data flows through your CRM, ESP, and any other system.

Campaign Refresh

Customer profiles change, company priorities change, and every campaign should change with them. We have all been conditioned to run to the new shiny object. I own the latest iPhone so I completely sympathize but sometimes the best way to improve your customers’ experience is to focus on the existing touch points. October is only 3 months away. Do you have a plan for your holiday creative? Do you want to shorten your welcome series to allow a faster flow into your promotional stream? Another option is to add a promotional banner to all welcomes. Should you have a new welcome stream for new subscribers that come in during the holidays?

Data Audit

Companies dedicate resources and money to getting data and setting it up, but once it’s live those resources move on. The digital resources are focused on campaigns and meeting strategic goals, but letting data reviews drop to the wayside. In addition, knowledge gaps happen due to employee turnover and lack of documentation. Every data point that you collect needs to be reviewed at least once a year. Why? Rules break and some rules are meant to be broken. And then replaced with a better rule. Get fresh eyes on your data by asking a member of a different team or a vendor to help.

Be a Customer for the Day

When you’re in it all day, 5 days a week, it is very easy to lose sight of the customers’ experience. Twice a year have your marketing team test out all of your customer touch points including online versus in-store and purchaser versus browser. Create a document that includes each touch point, capturing the visual flow as well as the data points that are collected. The next step is to verify how each of those data points are being sent to your CRM, ESP, and other systems. Don’t forget to call into customer service to have an order fixed or login reset. Let them believe you are a customer, as you might be surprised the steps they have you take. Each of these steps determines your customers’ experience.

Happy auditing. I promise it won’t be like a tax audit.

About the Author

Sarah Bystrom

Sarah Bystrom is a Senior Client Services Manager at Cheetah Digital.

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