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CHAPTER 3
Customer Analytics – how data drives value for the customer
The old adage of retail states that ‘the customer is always right’. To extrapolate further, the premise of this came from an idea of large turn-of-the 20th-century department store retailers such as Gordon Selfridge in the UK or Henry Field in the US. The notion also has its equivalences in French (le client n’a jamais tort was commonly used by César Ritz, founder of Ritz Carlton hotels), German and even Japanese. Across the world, then, for over 100 years, the customer and their wants and needs have been at the forefront of the thinking of leading customer-centric organisations. 
In today’s social-media fuelled customer-experience, never have these phrases been truer, or more power placed in the customer’s hands.  So what then of financial services, notably retail banking - an industry which is naturally customer -facing and yet not immediately associated with customer service?  Understanding your customer’s journey The amount of data generated and held by financial services organisations is collossal. This data is a powerful tool in a financial services organisation’s arsenal, ultimately helping improve their customers’ experience.  This is best achieved by using analytics to map and understand your customer’s journey. Doing this enables insight improvements which lead to faster action. Analytics can be used to deliver an outstanding customer experience.  It is important to highlight that there is no such thing as a standard customer journey. Every customer is unique and their behaviour is often complex and unpredictable. Creating an outstanding customer experience requires a deep understanding of how people actually behave in the real world... a challenge when their electronic footprint spans many disparate systems.
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A new perspective 
By utilising your customer’s data in a fluid, visually engaging manner, you can move towards creating a more engaging and personalised service for them as you will better understand their needs, their engagement with your business and their pain points. Navigating the customer journey in this manner allows you to appreciate your service from the customer’s point of view. Doing so helps infer which service points lead to a positive experience and which to a negative. Identifying, measuring and understanding these factors allows organisations to improve upon the customer journey.  Data, therefore, becomes more than a value driver for the business and enables you to react to customer’s behaviour in a more expedited fashion. This, in turn, helps to reduce churn and increase business to customer communication. But more aptly, you are able to place the customer back at the heart of the banking experience, using their own data to support business decision making, resulting in a better overall experience for everyone involved. 
Data-driven customer analytics can change the face of financial services

Mapping the customer journey

UNBOUNDED QUESTIONING  We started by putting business users at the heart of our analysis, using design thinking to uncover everything they wished they knew about their customers and how they proceeded on their individual journey through the business pipeline. 
DATA INNOVATION  Our architects worked with the business to create connections between the different customer data points - appointments, complaints, applications and more - connections which had never before been possible. We translated their vision into a technology blueprint for our engineers, who stitched together webs of interactions, revealing for the first time the actual paths trodden by real customers. 
INTERACTIVE INFORMATION DESIGN  Our information designers created innovative visualisations to represent complex patterns of behaviour, simply highlighting customer journeys that appeared anomalous and enabling the business to clearly see the problem areas.
OUTCOME We developed a capability that changed the way our client gains insights and carries out advanced analytics. This provided customer journeys across divisions, enterprise-wide, which led to our client redefining board-level KPIs and customer experience metrics based on the new insights.