Data in motion is headlining in the golden age of customer experience

Peter Reeve Profile picture for user Peter Reeve September 16, 2021
If your data remains still, so does your customer experience. Peter Reeve of Confluent shares three industry examples of data in motion that have kept customer attention.

Digital data in motion on road with blur to create vision of fast speed transfer . Concept of future digital transformation , disruptive innovation and agile business methodology © Blue Planet Studio - Shutterstock
(© Blue Planet Studio - Shutterstock)

The last eighteen months has seen unprecedented challenges and radical innovation. This is no less true for CxOs for whom the crisis has turbo-powered digital transformation and fundamentally changed how they interact with customers.

Gone are the days of batch updates and outdated stock inventory. Now, it's about leveraging real-time data to create meaningful, personal, and future-thinking customer interactions and understand why they need to happen.

At Confluent, we call it ‘data in motion' as the modern customer experience relies on the movement of data. If your data remains still, so does your customer experience. Put it in motion though, and every customer touchpoint triggers a reaction across your organisation that allows you to make decisions in real-time.

Unlocking data creates new customer experience opportunities

In the switch to digital-first interactions, all business operations are increasingly growing dependent on software.

And yet it's often not the same software used across an organisation, but separate, siloed applications bolted on to manage different processes and functions according to a certain department's needs. That means data is sitting still — manufacturing is not talking to sales, and logistics is not communicating with customer service.

That might have worked pre-COVID, but now? It's far from adequate for customers whose attention might be drawn to competitors rolling out faster and slicker experiences.

Put a traditional data infrastructure into the mix, and you get disparate, disconnected databases that enable individual applications to store information safely, but cannot turn those apps into dynamic, unified business processes.

Essentially, organisations need to be integrated from start to finish. They need a continuous flow of data, connected to every point of the business, available at their fingertips; and they need to react to events as they unfold instantly.

As illustrated in these industry use cases, our post-COVID world is now about providing customers with the rich experience they want that will see them coming back for more.

1. Global finance institution puts data into motion to stop fraud

The key to frictionless fraud prevention in finance lies in accurately predicting customer behaviour and responding to every fraudulent event in real-time. Every second counts when preventing fraud, but too often, the data needed to fight it is locked away in overnight batch systems.

It was a major concern for one of the world's largest financial institutions, counting around 15 million members banking with them. However, legacy infrastructure prevented them from accessing the data flows needed to compete against their digital-first competitors when it came to preventing fraud.

But through open-source technology, they rebuilt their banking processes around a central nervous system and put their data in motion, allowing them to analyse, detect, and mitigate fraud just as it happens.

2. Household retailer brand goes digital-first by tapping into real-time data

The benefits are not just limited to finance. The pandemic blurred the lines between brick and mortar stores and eCommerce. To keep customers shopping, it became crucial that customers saw a more personalised experience with the right items suggested at the right time.

One retailer, however, found that their legacy IT infrastructure, batch system stock management, and old-fashioned catalogue-driven sales approach got in the way of their new omnichannel, digital-first strategy.

But by putting the data they already held into motion, they gained a real-time view into inventory across stores, gained full visibility into the status of every order, and streamlined their back-end operations. And as a result, they elevated the customer experience and drove more sales during a crisis.

3. Car manufacturing drives the customer experience into the next gear

Another industry example tapping into real-time data is the car manufacturing sector, where customers demand more transparency and a personalised customer experience.

Traditionally, manufacturing and logistics worked asynchronously, and the customer was left in the dark about their car's delivery status. But what if, instead, a customer could sit down with a car salesperson, customise their car to their liking, and get a delivery date instantly?

It was an important question one manufacturer sought to answer. They connected all of their departments by putting data into motion so that customers knew every step of the car-building process. Even if there were delays, customers received real-time notifications about the status of their order.

It allowed the car manufacturer to own every step of the end-to-end customer journey, which ultimately improved overall satisfaction from customers and employees.

The golden era of the CxO starts with real-time data

The competition for customers is increasingly focused on capturing their attention — and keeping it — by providing the best possible experience.

But deploying that modern customer experience relies on the movement of data so CxOs can act instantly and make intelligent business decisions in real-time.

The use cases here are just three out of thousands demonstrating how real-time data plays a significant role in an organisation, and how it can make or break a business.

Set your data in motion here.

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