We’re excited to announce Data-Driven Leaders – a podcast from Gensquared…
Providing a seamless and enjoyable customer experience is the number one priority for businesses all over the globe. And it’s become crystal clear that data is the key to a customer’s heart.
But how can you effectively connect people and data, build a data-driven culture, and drive greater customer experiences?
In This Episode of the Data-Driven Leaders Podcast…
Our host Christina O’Reilly welcomes Alicia Samuel, the Senior Vice President of Information Technology at Holt Renfrew.
We get into the importance of data science, how to provide your customers with relevant information by using data insights, what are the biggest challenges around connecting people and data, and so much more.
*Show Notes and key insights below…
Listen to Episode 1: How to Connect Data and People to Drive Greater Customer Experiences
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How to Connect Data and People to Drive Greater Customer Experiences: Episode 1
1. Your customers want a personalized user experience and relevant information.
Customers are savvier than before, and they know their way around online shopping and browsing. Now, it’s up to businesses to identify customers’ pain points, listen to their feedback, and give them what they need.
That’s why data is so powerful; it’s the way to a customer’s heart. You just need to know how to use it effectively.
“Our customers, especially after the pandemic, are very savvy about how they shop, what they’re looking for. They want organizations to know them and to personalize information to them.
You want to make sure that when you’re engaging with a customer, that it’s really relevant, that it is showing you know who they are and what they’re interested in.
You’ve got that information from multiple channels and sources and you can really cultivate that relationship with the customer because, honestly, all retailers are competing for a customer’s attention.”
2. The biggest challenge with having a lot of data is figuring out how to effectively use it to create a good customer experience.
According to Alicia, pulling data is not the issue. The data is there.
The challenge is how do you make the right decisions and create effective strategies based on that data.
“The new channels or multichannel data that we’re trying to pull in, we can get that data.
- Then what do you do with it?
- How do you make the decisions with that data?
- How do you get to the execution of creating that new customer experience?
- What are the right algorithms and user stories that you need to build in order to do that without coming across as creepy or providing way too much interaction with the customer?”
3. Data is the future.
Alicia and Christina talk about the power of data, and they both agree that the future of customer experiences is data-driven. If businesses want to put their customers first, they need to learn to leverage data and understand customer behaviour.
“In order to engage with that customer to win them, you have to drive forward on a really solid data strategy, and there’s a lot of noise out there about what that looks like?
There’s a lot of MarTech out there about whether we could do this, or we could do that, but really you’ve got a ton of data. I’m sure all organizations are in the same spot. We’ve got a ton of data we’ve clocked in.
Now, what are you doing with it for your decision-making and your execution with the customer? And that becomes the important part.”
Episode 1 Highlights
You need to understand the outcome you want to achieve in order to be a data-driven organization
“It becomes really important to understand the outcomes. What are we going to achieve? How is it going to drive sales?
At the end of the day, all retailers are wondering,
- How do I drive sales?
- How do I engage and get the majority of my customers coming back to us?
- How do I compete to win my customers?
And as long as the strategy is around being a data-driven organization and are driving forward on those components, then you’ve got your business case for moving and driving this forward.
So it’s really about understanding that outcome — that becomes important. “
The Future of Data at Holt Renfrew
“It’s definitely around that customer experience and engagement. We know that we want to connect with our customers.
We want to be able to give them a really great experience, and it has to be seamless from brick and mortar to online.
We want to be able to provide the right offering, the right assortment, and overall, the right experience. So that’s top of mind. Every time that we do get together, we talk about, ‘Okay, from a customer perspective,
- What are they looking for?
- What’s the feedback from our customers?
- What does the customer journey look like?’
So the customer is always the very first lens that we look through.”
How to Lead a Team that is Focused on Delivering Outcomes?
“It’s very difficult to find data scientists and folks that really understand how to take advantage of new technologies or emerging technologies.
So if you’ve got them, hold on to them, and build up your team.
We utilize our vendors and our consulting partners to help us understand the possible and what’s coming. So if we have the ability to leapfrog, then we’ll look for opportunities to be able to take advantage of that. And our vendors and our consulting partners have been phenomenal in helping define what that looks like.
So really build and leverage your partners.”
About Our Guest: Alicia Samuel
What she does: Alicia is the SVP of Information Technology at Holt Renfrew, a Canadian fashion and lifestyle retailer.
Noteworthy: Alicia has 24+ years of experience in Information Technology with strengths in strategic IT road-mapping and delivery.
Where to find Alicia: LinkedIn