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Data is the lifeblood of an organization. Customers and employees are vital, but may come and go over time, which puts organizations that count on individuals for institutional knowledge at particular risk. Your company’s information, when handled correctly, should last forever.

Optimal data governance has several potential impacts on maintaining and continually improving an organization's customer experience. While every organization has unique considerations, one thing is always certain: data governance is critical to the strategic growth, sustainability and optimization of a company.

Let’s explore a few considerations of how data governance impacts the customer experience.

Speed to Impact

Which is quicker: taking a subway 10 miles with a single stop and never needing to change trains, or going 10 miles, changing three times with three to four stops on each train?

The answer is clear. It stands to reason then, that the more seamlessly your data is connected and normalized, the easier it will be to have an impact on both your company and its customers.

Good data governance minimizes the hurdles teams and customers need to go through to access useful information. This is often accompanied by or closely following a digital transformation initiative which may be required to connect data sources in the first place. Data governance then maintains all of the work done to connect, standardize and analyze all of the information collected.

Related Article: Is a Single Source of Data the Way Forward for Data Governance?

Data Governance Speeds Cross-Team Collaboration

Has a colleague in another department ever told you their data says one thing when your data is saying something completely different?

This kind of ownership and disparity between siloed data by individual departments or teams is one of the things that good data governance can solve for. Organizational data should be owned and accessed by everyone. Different versions of the truth means you'll never precisely hit any targets. If for no other reason (though there are plenty), no one will be able to agree on when you’ve achieved them because they will be looking at different statistics!

Data governance normalizes data sources. When done well, it allows information from across even the largest organization to be interpreted and analyzed without a cumbersome translation effort. This means your teams are speaking the same language and can make intelligent decisions more quickly.

Related Article: Is Your Information Governance ROT-ing?

Data Governance Enables Real-Time Enhancements

Would you rather have exceptional customer service right now, or wait until the next time you visit your favorite establishment? The answer is obvious when asked that way, but so many businesses only collect data which could change the outcome after a customer has had an experience.

I’m referring to the various customer survey scores like customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), or customer effort score (CES). While these have their place in a successful CX measurement initiative, companies are missing out if they overlook incorporating real-time customer insights and journey orchestration into their programs.

Customer journey orchestration allows an organization to meaningfully modify and personalize a customer’s experience in real-time by pulling in data from many sources to make intelligent decisions about what options and offers to provide. While this sounds like a best-case scenario for customers and company alike, it requires data sources to be unified and integrated across channels and environments.

This is where good data governance comes into play. Even though many automation tasks may fall in a specific department like marketing or customer service, the data needed to personalize and optimize any of those experiences is often coming from platforms and teams that span the entire organization. Good data governance helps to unify all of these sources, processes and systems and ensures customers receive accurate and impactful personalization within a wide range of experiences.

As you can see, data governance can have a major influence over how the customer experience is delivered, measured and enhanced. It can help teams work better together and help customers get more personalized service. All of this adds up to a big impact for any business.