How high-tech companies can deliver successful customer experience with machine learning and real-time data

By Jill Steinhour

Posted on 11-02-2020

More and more high-tech companies, including hardware, software and service providers, have pushed agility to the top of the boardroom agenda to respond to changing customer buying behaviors, competitive pressures, global trade scuffles, and disrupted supply chains.

To ensure ongoing growth, the industry is looking at new business models, such as subscription offerings, combining innovations like Edge AI and IoT, as well as expanding partner ecosystems.

Against this challenging backdrop, high tech marketers are under pressure to succeed by continually deepening the relationship with customers and, at the same time, attract new ones and serve them for the long run. More than ever, building that relationship means pulling together all the digital data you need to identify, attract, and nurture your prospects and customers. And the more of it that is integrated into one platform the better.

Typically, different parts of the organization own different pieces of the customer journey. For example, one team may be using classic marketing and advertising channels to move prospects to action, while another team is building an audience on a blog, and yet another is focused on growing revenue from existing customers. Even if all the teams are making decisions based on data, they’re looking at an incomplete picture of their customers since they are most likely not composing experiences in a way that is inclusive or cognitive of each other’s efforts, which typically spells disjointed customer experiences resulting from data silos.

A unified customer data profile means you are better able to personalize and increase the relevancy across their journeys and design for better business outcomes. It may, for instance, be easy for customers to sign up to buy your product, but it’s also easy for them to cancel, especially if they are using a virtual credit card that expires at renewal. You need to be able to identify the points in the journey where customers are likely to drop out, so you can smooth out the kinks in the experience. And you need to anticipate when a prospect is ready to convert their trial to a subscription or a customer is ready to make a deeper commitment, so you can offer exactly the right information, discount, or gentle nudge they need to take that next step.

Getting the most value from your data is a two-step process. First, bring together all the clues and signals your customers are giving you about who they are and what they care about. Then activate that data, using ML, AI, and automation to deliver experiences that matter to your customers — at precisely the right moment.

Create dynamic, unified customer profiles to identify needs and opportunities

Today’s leading high-tech companies are moving beyond data-driven marketing to a truly data-driven operating model. This approach helps every team — from product management and engineering to marketing, sales, and customer support — understand how customers are interacting with your brand at every point in their journey.

Traditionally, stitching together data from different functional areas has been difficult to do. If the marketing team wants to see how customers are behaving across multiple stages, they usually need a lot of help from IT or analytics teams — and someone must do a lot of manual work to pull data from different systems and compile it. Often, the result of these efforts is a massive spreadsheet.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Data management has come a long way in the past five years, and many high-tech companies are investing in platforms that connect all their customer data streams. With Adobe Experience Platform, a purpose-built platform for managing data from all the systems your company uses to deliver customer experiences, you can create a dynamic, unified profile for every customer. Specifically, data from CRM and ERP systems added to your behavioral, transactional, financial, and operational data help to create a living, breathing, up-to-date profile that is accessible in real-time. And that lets you quickly segment and analyze your audiences, tailor your content, and deliver the best next experience to each segment or individual in real time — all while protecting the privacy and security of your customer data.

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Delight tech customers by delivering timely experiences that move them to action

If I’m your customer, the best next experience for me is one that builds on all my previous interactions with your brand. And since customer journeys aren’t linear — at least, not nearly as linear as marketers would like them to be — my path from first touch to first purchase might look quite different from someone else’s. My evolution from a new subscriber to a loyal brand advocate might be even more unique. As a customer, I want you to understand me and treat me as an individual. Personalization based on segments cannot generate the level of specificity needed.

A unified customer profile that includes all pertinent data about me and is updated based on my latest actions makes it much easier for you to understand me as an individual. But if you’re going to deliver an experience that perfectly fits my needs in a precise moment, just having a unified profile isn’t enough. You must be able to activate that data in real time — or at least near-real time. Unified customer profiles maintained and activated in real, or near real time are foundational capabilities of an experience platform.

This level of intelligent provisioning of experiences creates relevancy across search results, personalization, segmentation, and journeys – serving the right content and offers each step of the way. High Tech companies were early adopters of data and intelligence platforms as they recognized how customer insights supported their business strategies and personalization efforts. Adobe Experience Platform represents next frontier in experience delivery.

To see in in practice how Adobe Experience Platform optimizes the experience for an app, watch the video:

The value of Adobe Experience Platform in combination with machine learning through Adobe Sensei is seen at DXC Technology. The company is using Adobe Experience Cloud and Experience Platform to deliver timely, relevant content to customers wherever they are.

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Global IT services and solutions leader DXC has been experimenting with machine learning for years in social and digital advertising channels, and recently launched a redesigned website. Using a random forest model to pinpoint what factors impact site bounces, such as geography and browser type, DXC addressed hotspots on the new website. Then the company turned its attention to another pain point: routing inquiries.

“When someone fills out the contact form, we want to send that submission straight to the right department, whether sales, human resources, public relations or IT. We built an ML model that predicts the best place to route an inquiry based on the form inputs — and then auto-generates executable code to make it happen in real time.”

Chris Marin, director of digital marketing at DXC Technology

Do more with your data, so everyone wins

A platform approach and unified customer profiles unlocks the power of your data in two important ways. It lets you make the most of your data investments, so all your internal teams can understand your customers better — how they behave online, what they’ve bought, and who they are — and use those insights to design better experiences. Secondly, it helps you harness the power of machine learning to analyze customer data at incredible speed, which lets you identify, engage, and delight customers at every stage. Your customers win and so does your business.

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Adobe Experience Platform

Put your data to work in real time.

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Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Data & Privacy, Personalization, Campaign Management, Experience Cloud, Customer Intelligence, Marketing, Information Technology,

Products: Adobe Sensei, Experience Cloud, Experience Platform,