Businesses use data to measure and adapt. They need it to survive. They certainly need it to grow.
Traditionally this has consisted of transactional data that is produced by the operations of a business. Transactional Data includes sales, supply chain, product, and supplier data. In some cases, data is also purchased for benchmarking or the creation of leads. There is, however, a segment of critical data available that is often overlooked - data about the experiences around your products and services - experiential data.
Experiential data exists because you exist. At every point within the production cycle there are customer experiences, partner experiences and employee experiences. Accessing these experiences at every touch point should be a key focus area for every business leader.
Ken Makovsky sums it up in ‘The Essence of Business’:
"All the processes and efficiencies that can be mustered to make things run smoothly and reach the endgame should be the number one priority."
This is exactly what experiential data facilitates; ensuring that real-time feedback is received and processed to create insight into the multitude of processes and touchpoints in your business.
The development of products and services puts your employees at the heart of the business. Your employees experience your brand and culture every second of every day. Employee views and opinions, employee engagement, employee satisfaction and employee experiences are a source of critical information on cultural pressure points and operational opportunities. Even extremely small changes can have large benefits on employee engagement and retention. Keep in mind that it is far easier to replicate a product compared to replicating the world-class customer service delivered by engaged and committed employees.
Branches, Retailers, Franchisees, Suppliers and Dealers. These ‘Partners’ to your business are crucial in ensuring that your product and services are delivered and presented correctly. They represent your Brand and your product. Whilst interacting with you, these Partners have a unique view on your operations. These Partner interactions with your various departments, supply chains and governance areas, present an important opportunity for a unique engagement that previously has been largely ignored.
Customer Experience stems from the relationship that customers have with your brand - resulting from all the interactions with your various touch points. Everything you do is focused around delivering value to the end customer. Your customers’ experiences present the largest opportunity within experiential data. These experiences provide the direction of future innovation, they identify gaps in your processes, they measure your partners and your employees. Repeat business, word of mouth endorsement and brand reputation all stem from the Customer Experience.
Experiential data assist in ‘smoothing’ the transition of your operations and processes, which should be your number one priority as elucidated by Makovsky. Where do you start? Start by looking at where your business can gather this data. Identifying the gaps is the first step to achieving operational efficiency. Once you have made the decision on what to measure, the question is when? The best time to smooth the operations of your business is a year ago, the second best time is, now.
At Lightstone Consumer, we are focused on products and tailored solutions that help you maximise experiential data effectively to rectify operational inefficiencies while providing you with a comprehensive view of the perception of your employees, partners and customers. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or visit our website to find out more about our product offering.