How to break down data silos and boost your VoC program

How to break down data silos and boost your VoC program

Leveraging data effectively—especially customer feedback—is a great way to boost your company’s growth. Turning data into insights gives you a deeper understanding of your customers, their behavior, and their needs, enabling you to provide the best product or service possible

The problem is that data silos are almost inevitable. They’re literally a meme.


Every business function at your company is generating nonstop data in dozens of different tools:

  • Your sales team tracks leads and activities in a CRM

  • Your marketing team collects analytics data in Google Analytics, data on email sends in your email marketing tool, and more.

  • Your customer support team interacts with customers all day, every day, from within Zendesk or some other ticketing system

  • Your customer success team takes notes and records their onboarding calls with customers. These live in your customer success platform and telephony software.

Data silos are an understandable problem. Each of the tools these teams use are essential to their daily work. They need access to the data in these tools to succeed in their roles, and making that data accessible to other systems or teams typically isn’t’ top of mind for them.

But your customers don’t perceive all those interactions as occurring with individual teams. In their mind, they’re all interactions with your company. And that means data silos can put your brand and customer experience at risk.

How data silos limit the reach of customer feedback

Siloed data limits your ability to connect to customers on a broader level.

Say you’re a prospective customer for a new piece of software. You contact the company to get a demo and decide to purchase. You’ll probably get passed from the sales team to the customer success team. Imagine you experience a few problems after you’re set up. Now you’re in contact with their support team. A few weeks later, you might receive a survey from their product team asking about your experience so far.

You’ve got some feedback to share, but you’ve already had numerous opportunities to share it with the other teams you interacted with and you took them. Perhaps you told the support team your product feedback, so now you don’t want to repeat yourself.

What’s the outcome of all this?

Customer feedback never makes it to the product team, even though that could be where it will have the largest impact.

It’s just one example, but data silos like this happen everywhere. They create a fragmented, incomplete picture of your customer experience and don’t serve anyone well. They result in:

  • Poor visibility into customer trends: Having a single view of the customer is critical to understanding what your customers want. However, 69% of companies report that they cannot create a single view of the customer. With disjointed data, it’s impossible to follow the customer journey and see what’s working and what’s not.

  • Flawed strategic decision-making: Executives base 48% of decisions on intuition or personal/company experience rather than on quantitative information and analysis. Even when businesses are using data, there’s no guarantee that it’s accurate and measured the same across every department.

  • An inability to execute on the customer experience: Frontline teams are most effective when they can see past interactions and know who the customer is. When their armed with a clear understanding of the customer, they can do more than just solve the immediate problem. They can find additional ways to provide even more value to your customers.

Four ways to eliminate data silos and boost your VoC program

If you already have an established Voice of Customer (VoC) program, eliminating data silos will make a huge difference in the quality of your data.

Here are four ways you can start working towards breaking down silos:

  1. Centralize customer data

  2. Combine operational data with business metric data

  3. Consider the customer journey

  4. Develop a data-driven company culture

Centralize customer data

The most impactful change you can make to break down data silos is to store your customer data in the same place. Combining data from your teams’ disparate tools into a centralized data warehouse increases data accessibility and democratizes insights across your organization.

Some analysts argue that 80% of the work in any data analysis is data preparation. Similarly, a large part of the work in becoming data-driven is integration. The key question is this: How can you make data available to meet the needs of your company as a whole?

Having your data accessible in one place means your analysts can work with data holistically. Building a “single source of truth” where every platform reports back to one central data system can effectively pull together disparate data sources and make them easier to manage.

Working with tools like Kapiche, which let you integrate both structured and unstructured data from multiple sources (e.g. surveys, customer support platforms, CRMs, or external online reviews), is another way to centralize customer data.

Combine operational data with business metric data

Centralizing your customer data results in one giant change. Suddenly, your operational data (like customer satisfaction surveys, customer feedback, and product usage) can be combined with business metrics (such as lifetime value and churn).

Sadly, many VoC programs don’t result in meaningful change. Companies have access to a ton of insights but since they can’t connect those insights to bottom-line metrics, it’s difficult for teams to prioritize improvements based on customer feedback.

There’s a lot of value in knowing how NPS scores are impacted by specific product features. But imagine how much more powerful of a story you can tell when you can clearly show how a change in NPS score is likely to impact sales or revenue retention.

For your VoC program to be truly effective, you need to:

  1. Measure different aspects of the customer experience (collect structured, numerical data),

  2. Provide context to enrich that data (usually in the form of unstructured text data),

  3. And finally, connect this information to your business metrics.

Consider the customer journey

Breaking down data silos requires a shift in perspective. It’s easy to look at data from the perspective of each internal team or department.

At any one point, the customer could be interacting with multiple systems. At each touchpoint along the customer journey, they could be having a marketing experience, a product experience, or a service experience—simultaneously.

Another way to look at it is to consider each touchpoint from the customer’s perspective. Flip it around. Focus on their journey. If any team starts interacting with a customer at a later point in the journey, they should be able to access the information from every prior step in that journey.

Your VoC program can generate better and richer insights when it includes a complete picture of each customer’s experience.

Develop an insights-driven company culture

Data silos happen naturally. If you successfully break them down once, the only way to stop them from happening again is to develop an aligned way of working with data across your company.

Some companies do this by having a centralized “data evangelist,” a cross-functional person (or team) responsible for managing data across the whole business. Other companies might work towards developing better data literacy across the organization, ensuring that everyone who works with data has a shared understanding of how to do so in an effective way.

Ultimately, you want to make sure that everyone understands the value of having a holistic view of the customer journey. This understanding will make it easier for you to continue to centralize and integrate data in the future, while also increasing the awareness of and interest in working with customer feedback.

Level up your VoC program

Accessing data from across your entire organization requires pulling together departments with competing priorities and incompatible platforms. It will take time and effort to tear down data silos in your company.

But know this: the effort is worth it. The wealth of information contained within your business data is impossible to overstate. When you’ve broken through the walls and pieced together a holistic view of your customer experience, it can feel like you’ve unlocked a whole new level of organizational effectiveness.

At Kapiche, we’ve developed a tool that will let you analyze customer feedback, from as many different sources as you like, in seconds. Kapiche’s integrations can help you eliminate data silos by pulling your customer data into one place for easy analysis and action.

If you want to level up your VoC program and generate powerful insights that can drive your business forward, book a demo with us today!

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