Contact

ENSURING A CONSISTENT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE WITH MDM/PIM

202108_SQLI_ALL_banners_website_MDM_1440x450-03_1

INTRODUCTION

A focus on the customer is the foundation on which Customer Experience Management (CXM) is build. The goal is to not only satisfy customers, but also inspire and emotionally bind them to the brand long term. This means CXM is more than just a marketing or service discipline. It is a holistic orientation of all company activities, that actively involves the needs and wishes of the customers.

Discover how focusing on Customer Experience can help you overcome your marketing challenges.

THE INS AND OUTS OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

So, how well do you know your customers? Do you have a clear view of what kind of personas visit your website, use your catalogue, leaflets and other media you provide alongside your product information? Can you quickly and easily present the most up-to-date information to your customers?

Customer Experience encompasses more than simply using the same colour consistently on all your webpages, or generating a steady number of pageviews. A customer should get familiar and comfortable on your website, and with any other media you use to provide information. Consistency in communication and presentation across all your media is extremely important. Providing product data on your website in a certain way, and then using a different image, name, or description somewhere else makes customers unsure whether they are looking at the correct product. Seeing different features, attributes, and images on different pages or channels makes them question the information. They will most likely start looking for confirmation somewhere else, forcing them to leave your site.

The solution? Get in touch with your customers and ask what their expectations are, what they value during their customer journey, and how can you provide what they need to reach their goal.

Be mindful of common mistakes. These include not providing the same list of features everywhere in the same order, or leaving feature descriptions empty which creates a sense of missing information. Showing the product in red, for instance, with a photo displaying the product in an alternate colour. Referencing features and media – such as safety regulations, warranty information, leaflets, or a video – but not linking to that information on the same page.

You might be familiar with your assortment, but a new customer will appreciate any and all extra guidance. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if the information provided is clear enough and usable for someone with less knowledge of your products. To which countries do you ship and is all the data available in the correct languages? Does your information comply with regulations? Making sure data is presented consistently in the correct language will legitimize the information, and allows it to be compared to other versions of the same product. This enhances the feeling of interacting with quality data and ensures your customer will visit your website again.

THE BENEFITS OF AN OPTIMIZED CXM

So what are the steps for improving the experience of your customers? First you need to make sure you have all the correct information readily available. If your current customer experience and contact allows for it, you can already make certain assumptions about their needs and wishes. If your customer insights are insufficient however, collecting the required information is advisable before making any unfounded assumptions and leading yourself astray. This will give you factual input regarding what your customers actually need, and what is the most important to them during their purchase journey. When most customers indicate they miss detailed product descriptions you can focus on updating that data instead of adding more images to the product page, or prevent customers from searching for a new product that was presented in a tradeshow or online, but is not yet mentioned on your website.

A PIM/MDM system can make things a lot easier for your organization: easily add products and update product data, and get access to an overview of your data and decide what meets both your own as well as your customer’s requirements to be published at any location.

HOW TO BUILD THE BUSINESS CASE FOR MDM

Learn how to follow Gartner's 8-step framework to create a solid business case for your MDM solution. 

Download now →

AN ELABORATE EXAMPLE

Let’s further illustrate how your CXM benefits from PIM with a practical example. Product data comes from different sources; a product manager needs to start the process and create a product by providing a product number, adding the correct EAN, name, a description, and any other information that is available. All this data is put in an Excel sheet, because the ERP system doesn’t like it when the price or some other mandatory field is not yet available. And yes, there is usually a less than ideal workaround, but people tend to resort to Excel when this happens. From the Excel sheet information is added to an ERP system, to your web shop, and any other system that allows it. People need to constantly log in to those systems, update the information in the webshop, and do the same in ERP but with slight variations and other possible constraints. These updates might be executed by different people, which can result in slightly different product names or images, incorrect classifications, and inconsistent usage of capital letters.

After sorting out all the inconsistencies, someone needs to provide the translation agency with all the product data. Does this person use the ERP or webshop data as the source for the translations? To further complicate matters, all deliverables also need to be feedback into all the systems. You may even get information from your supplier delivered in yet another format, which doesn’t look good on your website. Which description do you now prefer? The one you had or the one provided by the supplier? Not to mention that all these separate tasks need a lot of ongoing attention. Do you want to save time and add a product with missing details, answering the subsequent questions from your customers via phone and email until all details are updated, or do you prefer to wait until everything is complete before going live?
By setting up a tailored workflow in your PIM system a lot of these tasks can be combined, and information can be stored together in one system, even when the data comes from different sources. This way you’ll never have to miss out on data, and you get to select the source for each data stream from a clear overview.

Your product manager can easily create products within your PIM system. Automatic PIM imports from your supplier may already be available from their catalogue, providing the initial source of information when creating the product. After importing products they will be visible on the PIM dashboard for all colleagues that will need to continue adding product information to an entry. This includes classifying the product, completing the attributes, adding the description, creating the export for the translation agency, and adding media like pictures, PDF documents, and videos. No need for anyone to wait on the Excel sheet being imported from somewhere. All data is always there, up to date, and ready to be used.

ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS AND EFFICIENCY

The dashboard in your PIM system uses data quality rules to display the data completeness of the products. The data quality rules are based on both the knowledge you have about your customers’ needs and the data needs within your company. When certain logistical fields need to be filled in they will become visible on the dashboard. And if your customers indicate they need a detailed description, a data quality rule will check whether there is such a description available and show this on the dashboard.

The combination of these rules will show what data is available and if a product is ready for export to other channels like your webshop and ERP system. This can be automated to export the new product as soon as it meets your quality requirements. By implementing a workflow and data quality rules that check your input and consistency, you can provide a much more efficient way of working and get access to a real-time overview of the status of your product data.

By staying in touch with your customers you can continue to tweak your data quality rules. In the next quarter, if most of your customers indicate they appreciate images with a product in the correct colour, you can look into adding a rule that checks if there is a product image tagged in the same colour as selected by your customer. This way you free up valuable time and resources, while at the same time improving the customer experience. These insights can also save costs by avoiding tasks that affect features that aren’t actively used or don’t directly enhance the customer experience, and by preventing colleagues from having to wait on each other when they need to add product data.

Access to consistent data will also fill out the product comparison page on your website nicely, instead of showing a lot of empty attributes don’t make sense and leave a bad impression as a result. After all, customer experience is an intricate web that is connected from beginning to end. Ensuring it is always supported by up to date and consistent information is a daunting task without being able to rely on a solid PIM/MDM system.

SQLI has the experience to help you assess and improve your CXM level, ensuring your PIM continues to generate growth for your organization. And if you’re starting from scratch, we can help you build your business case, offer advice on the best solutions for your specific situation, and provide support on the implementation itself.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions at all. We are always happy to chat and explore the possibilities together.

See how we can help with our Data & Insight Services ➔

 

The choice fro MDM_CTA

BUILDING THE CASE FOR MDM

Learn how to follow Gartner's 8-step framework to create a solid business case for your MDM solution. In this whitepaper we go over how to:

  • Follow Gartner's framework and building a business case in 8 steps
  • How to establish strategy, KPIs and capabilities for MDM
  • Model the Total Cost of Ownership
  • Calculate the ROI with 3 key financial measures
Download now