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Article

Do You Treat Your Customers Like the Ritz?

How data virtualization improves customer experience

Have you ever stayed at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel?  If so, you know what a superior customer experience is all about.

Are your customers the kings at your enterprise the same way that you are when you stay at a Ritz?

Does your enterprise have the information systems to enable your staff to provide the same fabulous customer experience?

Or do your information systems force your staff to give your customers the Motel 6 treatment?

Existing Customers Are Key to Profitable Business
In nearly every business, existing customers deliver the greatest profit margins.  In other words, successful customer acquisition, care and retention are the key to a successful business.

While everyone understands that providing an excellent customer experience is the best way to retain customers and ensure a long and profitable relationship, few enterprises are able to deliver the customer experience desired.

Why?  Unlike the Ritz where the highly trained staff can anticipate your needs just by the look in your face, most enterprises' huge investments in CRM systems, marketing analytics, customer self-service and more have resulted in islands of nonintegrated automation and inconsistent, inaccessible, and incomplete data.

This poor integration of customer related systems prevents your staff from getting the complete picture of a customer's experience, without which it is impossible to provide a superior customer experience.

Simply put, traditional data integration approaches such as master data management, data quality and data warehousing have proven to be only partial solutions to this critical challenge.

Data Virtualization Improves for Customer Experience Management
Enterprises in multiple industries are increasingly leveraging data virtualization to do a better job integrating the customer relationship information required to develop and maintain superior customer experiences.

Data virtualization is a more agile, lower cost data integration approach that lets you successfully fulfill complex, dispersed customer-related information requirements more quickly and easily than traditional data consolidation or data replication approaches.

Better Customer Experience Means Higher Profits
Data virtualization can deliver significant business benefits including:

  • Increased Revenues - Attract new customers, retain and upsell existing customers based on 360 degree customer insights.
  • Improved Productivity - Discover and respond to customer issues faster with up to the second data.
  • Lowered Costs - Lower the cost of customer acquisition, care and retention by optimizing the existing automation investments.
  • Reduced Churn - Monitor and remediate declines in customer experience to minimize churn.

Customer Revenue Improves with Data Virtualization
Maximizing revenue per customer and customer service levels in the communications industry requires a unified view of customer activities.  To provide this level of detail for their customer service representatives, Europe's third largest mobile phone operator uses data virtualization from Composite Software.  Combining customer service data from their customer reporting data warehouse, billing data from their financial systems, and call and configuration data from their operational support systems enables faster issue resolution which reduces churn and more productive up-sell programs which increases revenues.

Complete Information Drives More Effective Marketing Campaigns
Measuring the effectiveness of marketing programs is always a challenge.  For a large investment management firm who markets mutual funds via independent investment managers, getting all the data together was the most challenging part of the problem.  The firm used data virtualization to combine customer master and CRM data from Salesforce.com, web analytics data from Unica, email marketing campaign data from StrongMail, and trades and positions data from back office processor DST and more, to understand the full impact of any particular campaign.  This insight enabled more effective marketing investments and a subsequent increase in revenue.

Retailer Optimizes Merchandising Mix to Maximize Revenues
In retail, having the right products and placement is often the difference between profit and loss. Data virtualization combines historical data warehouse sales information, up-to-the-minute point-of-sales information and supply chain inventories anytime, day or night, to help retailers make the timely merchandising mix decisions that maximize revenue and customer satisfaction.

Living Up to The Ritz-Carlton Credo
As a final thought, take a moment to consider the Ritz-Cartlon Credo.

"The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission. We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience. The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests."

Can you pledge to the same to your customers today?

If not, consider whether data virtualization might help your enterprise as it did the communications, financial services, and retail enterprises above.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.