Since the GDPR has come into effect in May, personal data has been front and centre of every conversation. Consulting firm Extens has developed its vision around relational data, which delves deep into the field of Customer Experience. How does relational data foster trust and create value for both companies and customers?
Trust reinforced by the GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation became law on 25 May 2018. This new European regulation aims to protect all European citizens against potentially abusive collecting and processing of personal information and enforce a set of security measures in order to prevent data leaks or theft. By establishing such a framework, this series of laws promotes customer trust in business. If this vote of confidence is necessary for companies to be able to meet customer needs, it is no longer enough on its own to stimulate business development.
From personal to relational data
In our current economic context, the customer’s purchasing act is no longer exclusively price-based. Taking a customer’s preferences into account will determine his or her future choices and generate loyalty. To do so, companies need to have access to information regarding his or her interests and tastes which involves a careful analysis of the different steps of the customer journey. The company must also create an environment in which the customer is comfortable sharing his or her personal experience. This can only happen if the person actually interacts with the company, at which point he or she can say which way he prefers being contacted, at what time, how willing she is to engage with a brand… etc.
These interactions yield data that provides companies with information related to customer experience that helps them offer a much more personalized service. Relational data therefore goes beyond personal data as it provides companies with invaluable insight into customer behaviours and aspirations that they can then use to deliver a much more relevant service or product.
Relational data therefore goes beyond personal data as it provides companies with invaluable insight into customer behaviours and aspirations that they can then use to deliver a much more relevant service or product.
Relational data creates value
Relational data creates value for both the company and the customer. Be it via postal mail, email, face to face or by telephone, every company who enters a relationship with a customer incurs a cost. Depending on the individual, a business will privilege one relational mode over another and will not deploy all its efforts on every front or touch point. Thanks to relational data, a company can personalize its offer depending on the preferred habits of a particular individual. This will reflect more closely what a user wants as well as lower costs for a company.
The other benefit is to fuel business development by turning a sales-based approach into a service rendered approach, thus adding value for the customer.
Customer Care is a recipe that reconciles answering an initial need with offering the right additional services. It’s not strictly about satisfying a demand, but igniting real interest for an offering by relying on the customer’s own contribution to the relationship. This form of “partnership” is mutually beneficial. The more the customer contributes to the relationship and expresses his expectations, the more a brand is able to serve him what he wants and can justify the price it sets for the service or product. Thus, this creates value for the customer, which will in turn foster customer loyalty.
A relational attachment rooted in a strong Customer Care culture
This new value-creating model positions the customer as the critical juncture from which all things originate within a company. The incumbent challenge for a brand is to understand how this customer-based culture is structured, and how it will evolve?
In order to develop this knowledge, a brand must look to its own employees to build the relational attachment with its customers.
A personalized and individualized form of customer care requires that an employee carefully listen to and analyse the behaviours and needs of a customer. This implies that the company can bring together all its employees around a set of shared values that give meaning to the relationship. It’s therefore crucial that a company question its own values and rethink what it has to offer the market.
Extens Consulting’s vision
Extens Consulting is an actor of this new Customer Experience economy based on trust. We help and support companies throughout the transformation of their Customer Journey.
In light of the GDPR, companies are faced with two options. They can either do nothing, or take action in order to embrace the situation and turn it into an opportunity for developing relational data.
Extens Consulting firmly believes in the host of opportunities hidden behind the GDPR and offers assistance to brands who wish to change their personal data into relational data. We give companies the necessary tools to become leaders within this new “data age” and meet the requirements of this new regulation without considering them as constraints or risking sanctions. This approach aligns itself with our vision: No limits, no borders.