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Unified Customer Data Drives Personalized Customer Experiences

25-Jun-2024 06:26:18 / by Srikanth Balusani

Srikanth Balusani


Customers today expect much more from the brands and companies they work with, and increasingly that expectation includes a desire for personalized service. Per research by McKinsey, 71% of customers want a personalized experience and 76% become frustrated by a lack of such interactions.  

Providing personalized customer service is critical, yet challenging, especially in environments with disparate systems. The key is to leverage unified data to ensure a consistent, tailored experience across every channel. 

Where Personalization Hits a Snag 

Customers expect a company to know them intimately through the wealth of data they gather and then use that knowledge to tailor interactions to their specific needs. When the available data doesn’t guide how a company interacts with customers, it strikes a dissonant chord—like when a female millennial sees promotions for a product aimed at males in their 70s. 

When something goes awry with personalization, it’s typically because the company isn’t capturing or managing the data properly—a common occurrence when organizations use different systems for different functions. Delivering the personalized experience customers demand requires a data management strategy that unifies data to achieve accurate targeting in an efficient way. 

Crafting an Effective Data Strategy  

One of the most important components of the data management strategy is a centralized data platform that serves as a single repository for identifying unique customers. Standardizing data definitions and nomenclature is equally critical, as it enables disparate systems to represent similar data elements in a standard way—which in turn makes it easier to correlate data across multiple systems while assigning a unique identifier to each individual. Good governance standards are also vital to delivering personalized service, as they set the foundation for ensuring data quality and consistency. 

Given the plethora of disparate systems found in most organizations, seamless integration of multiple applications is a must for delivering personalized experiences efficiently. Unified, consistent data demands that data flows reliably between various systems, either through APIs or other integration mechanisms. Tight integration of these solutions enables the organization to optimize its investment in a customer relationship management (CRM) system or other sales, marketing, and service technologies and maximize the value those solutions provide.     

How Unified Data Drives a Better Experience 

When organizations use a unified data approach to gain a 360-degree view of the customer, it opens a world of possibilities for delivering a personalized experience accurately and efficiently, especially within contact centers that handle a huge volume of inquiries.  

A unified data approach sets the stage to segment customers based on past behaviors, preferences, geographic location, and other data elements. And segmentation serves as the foundation for personalizing the interaction—using the delivery channel the individual prefers and tailoring the content to their needs and wants. While most companies use segmentation to target sales and marketing messages, many are beginning to use the same approach to tailor customer service interactions for a more satisfying experience.  

Combining predictive analytics with a unified data approach offers the added advantage of using AI or machine learning to anticipate customer needs, and then reaching out proactively with relevant messages. 

Getting Over the Complexity Hurdle 

Building the foundation to deliver personalized experiences enables organizations to leverage all the enabling technologies that are integral to transforming customer interactions. But it’s a complex undertaking, requiring deep expertise in optimizing the user experience, implementing CRM functionality, and managing and integrating huge data sets across disparate systems.  

An experienced partner can help the organization strengthen the requisite technology foundation and develop a thoughtful unified data strategy for delivering personalized service at scale. Leading organizations are finding that the right technology partner can help get them further, and faster with a unified data approach.  

For example, when a higher education institution wanted to transform the student experience, the organization tapped a well-established technology partner to develop a unified data strategy. Now the institution is delivering customized services based on a deep understanding of each student, even predicting their performance in a given course using insights gleaned from advanced analytics. 

While there’s no shortcut to developing the foundation needed to deliver hyper-personalized experiences at scale, the benefits are too substantial and tangible to ignore. Organizations that are committed to meeting customers’ demanding expectations for a tailored experience are tackling the challenge head-on…and reaping significant rewards.  


Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Customer Experience, Data, Gen AI

Srikanth Balusani

Written by Srikanth Balusani

Srikanth Balusani is Chief Technology Officer at Mastek's Salesforce Business Unit, leading their Technology Services, Data Architecture, and Product Development divisions since 2015. He brings nearly two decades of experience developing and delivering innovative solutions. Srikanth is passionate about leveraging Cloud platforms, AI, IoT and conversational UI to build customer centric solutions. He is responsible for driving the technology strategy for Mastek’s Salesforce Business Unit to provide world class solutions to customers.

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