Digital Experiences Enabled by Data Enhanced Empathy

January 22, 2019 By: Zoe McCook

Catching up on recent CES news, I found a quick summary of an interview with Glen Hartman, senior managing director of Accenture Interactive in North America. He explained that his CES experience was characterized as having “the strong sense that customer centricity has really started to take hold as a true north, shaped by a suite of rapidly evolving innovations and data-enhanced empathy for clients of all types.” The phrase “data-enhanced empathy” really captured my attention as it encapsulates the goal of our industry: to allow brands to empathize with their customers and create the best client experiences possible.

As new types of technologies continue to enable organizations to interact with and touch customers in a variety of ways, the foundation of the brand/customer relationship is still about the experience. And the ultimate experience comes from understanding the customer in more and more meaningful ways–leveraging data to fuel empathetic experiences.

But in order to provide experiences that properly engage with and understand customers, brands must consider several crucial needs in CX analytics.

Unified Visibility

“Understanding universal truths along with subtleties about your customer, and applying this understanding to idea generation offer tremendous fodder for designing more meaningful customer experiences.” – Source

In order to empathize with your customer, you must have complete visibility of the end-to-end user journey–both from an aggregate level down to a singular view. How are your customers engaging with you as a whole? What did these users experience when they encountered an error? What about when this specific user ended his journey successfully? Gaining the pixel-perfect visibility into the user journey allows you to view the experience from their perspective. And this should cover the entire experience stack. If a customer leaves feedback via a VoC tool, you want to be able to understand why they were feeling a particular way to better empathize. You need customer insights from each digital touchpoint to build a complete picture of the customer journey.

Automatic Feedback

If a customer has encountered a point of friction on their journey, they will probably exit your website and are less likely to return again. Brands need the proactive capabilities to understand where the friction occurred, why, and what to do next. Alerts that note both technical and behavioral issues are absolutely necessary, as well as being able to connect CX data with activation systems such as email, personalization, etc., making feedback from each experience solution automated and actionable.


As we have noted before, security and data privacy will play a huge role in consumer brand preferences in 2019. In order to win the loyalty of their customers, brands need to prioritize securing and protecting their user data. Trust is a key component to a successful customer/brand relationship and it cannot be forsaken for the need to gather more information. It is a delicate balance of gaining enough insights to provide a meaningful experience while also ensuring the data collected is not at risk.

Empathy offers a lens into the expectations and experiences of customers and data is the framework for that lens.

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