Published in Retail

A Whole-Field Approach to Data Integration

Spring is in the air and with Summer on the way, many eyes are looking forward to another season of America’s Pastime, BASEBALL!

As a baseball fan myself, I follow the team of my childhood, the 1992 and 1993 World Series Champions, the Toronto Blue Jays. As a fan of analytics, I enjoy delving deeper into the information on and off the field, and finding out the nuggets of information that do not make the highlight reels. For instance, the two fellas who wrote “Take me Out to the Ballgame” hadn’t ever been to a baseball game when they wrote the song! I have also invented my own baseball statistic which predicts whether or not a batter will get a genuine high-five on his return to the dugout, but that’s a matter for another post.

Arming Your Star Pitcher

Using the perspective of a baseball manager, I’d like to explore the theme of a CX Expert looking at CX data in context of a wider playing field. I recently had the opportunity to look at data based on baseball’s no-hitters and perfect games. When looking in the history books, the pitcher of the hour gets all the glory of the game, however there are two important factors which get overlooked. The first is arming the pitcher with an understanding of the competitive lineup; the other is the back up for the pitcher as the team’s defensive contributions will be just as important in that victory.

Since my subject matter expertise within MaritzCX is in mystery shopping, let’s use mystery shopping data as your ideal starting pitcher taking the mound. Your pitcher is tasked with handling a lineup of 9 batters, also known as your competitors.

Aligning your competitor performance data (whether obtained through competitive mystery shopping, or other research) on a dashboard, can give you a view of your own strengths and raise red flags in areas where your star pitcher (your own mystery shopping data) may need some help. Viewing both data sets together may also highlight areas of internal individual best practice and help develop strategies to address any weaker areas.

As a CX Manager, you can feel confident knowing that when the first batter “steps up the plate” to start the game, you already know your areas of strong performance, where performance is weak, and you know what improvements need to be made in order to keep performance at a high level. Along with having competitor data in hand, consider the other data available within your enterprise to help get your pitcher out of a tight spot:

  • Product Sales
  • Research Panels (Online / Proprietary)
  • Benchmark data
  • Voice of Customer
  • Social Media Feedback
  • Call Centre Handling
  • Complaints
  • Staff Satisfaction Surveys
  • Staff Turnover
  • Brand Audit
  • 3rdparty research

If these data sets are in silos, disconnected from your mystery shop data, are you setting up your team as best you can?

Two Case Studies

One of the clients I work with likes to view product sales alongside mystery shopping data. When they examine sales of their most profitable products, it shows that locations with the best mystery shopping scores have a better sales record than those who have low mystery shopping scores. In fact, there is a clear step change where every increment of increased performance results in more product sales. This data allows them to approach their network with tangible evidence that adhering to specific operational standards, as measured by the mystery shopping program, can result in better profitability. It’s a powerful motivator!

Another client discovered mystery shopping data was an accurate predictor of results in voice of the customer (VOC) data. The initial ‘lag’ time for the trend to appear on the VOC data was approximately three months.  By that time, it can be too late to turn customers around. However, armed with the knowledge that there was a relationship present, gaps were identified early through mystery shopping which enabled the client to implement strategic changes to minimize any customer fallout.

Work With the Data You Already Have

These are just two examples of integrating your data and using a wide-angle lens to support the data you’re used to working with. In these examples, your pitcher has two strong allies (Product Sales, VOC)  in the field that can help drive a win. But also consider taking a closer look at:

  • How does staff turnover link to research panels at a location or regional level? Are there measures you take to proactively address your valuable customers who may be affected when staff turnover is high? Perhaps staff turnover is too infrequent and apathy sets in which leads to customer complaints?
  • How do brand audit results align with staff satisfaction? Would an investment in a store refresh increase staff satisfaction, and ultimately, your sales? Or perhaps your refreshed branding wasn’t as popular with your staff as you had hoped. In which case, that may need to be addressed as well.

Working with the data you’re used to in the CX field can certainly lead to excellent results and successful performance. Expanding the view and having wide-angle visibility to other data your company already has available can lead you to create a field where achieving that no-hitter or perfect game becomes possible.