Swimming Across Digital Channels in Real-Time


Simply Business can do more than just web analytics. It has been able to join different data streams to create a unified view of their customers and the business.

Name of Organization: Simply Business

Industry: Insurance

Location:  London, UK

Opportunity or Challenge Encountered: 

Simply Business, the UK’s leading insurance broker for small businesses, handles the accounts of 400,000 businesses and landlords. The company’s challenge was achieving a real-time view of its customers and their current transactions, and be able to intervene to enhance the customer journey. However, as related in a recent case study, the company’s customer information was scattered across the company’s multiple engagement channels. These channels include digital marketing channels, a website that provides comparison tools and guides, a customer call center, and email connections.

In order to understand who each user is, what he or she is trying to accomplish and how well Simply Business is serving those users’ needs at different points in their journeys, the company needed a single, real-time customer view across the above channels. This was difficult using standard online analytics platforms such as Google Analytics or Omniture.

The company needed to have access to underlying data as it streamed in, not only to build an understanding of their users across their entire customer journey, but also to be able to intervene in that journey to better serve their users. Being able to process data in real-time, and use it to drive both the customer experience on the website and inform call center staff assisting customers and prospective customers was an incredibly important requirement.

Digital customer experience management — meeting the challenge:

To obtain a single, real-time view of customer engagement across all channels and siloes, the IT team at Simply Business implemented a system called Aerie (Analytic Event Recording for Insight and Exploration), which included technology from Snowplow Analytics, an analytics platform provider. The system leverages a multi-channel attribution model on top of the data that illuminates the impact of different channels on assisting users through different parts of the purchase funnel, and use this to optimize the allocation of spend across different marketing channels.

With this new capability, Simply Business decision makers can identify individual paths taken by users, the channels they interacted with, the frequency of contacts and whether that process led to a purchase. With this information, the case study continues, they can measure more accurately, for each channel, the influence each channel has on the conversion funnel and the return-on-advertising spending.

The system also incorporates an A/B testing framework on top of the data, so that website updates can be rigorously tested before being rolled out. This helps ensure that the cumulative impact of regular updates to the website is a sustained and systematic improvement in customer experience and revenue growth over time.

Simply Business employees use the analytics on a daily basis “to analyze the user journey and question set,” Stewart Duncan, director of data science for Simply Business, is quoted in the case study. “Even the core metrics we use for our management reporting at board level are aggregations from the data.” The company also leverages a lead-scoring model using their data. The team can analyze engagement levels and model the data up to generate a probability of conversion on a lead-by-lead basis.

Benefits From This Initiative:

The new system provides Simply Business decision makers with a more comprehensive picture of their customers, as well as enabling real-time interactions. Simply Business can do more than just web analytics and has been able to join different data streams to create a unified view of their customers and the business.

Using the system’s real-time pipeline, the Simply Business team has been able to provide call-center staff with prioritized lists of prospects to call, as well as detailed, up-to-the-minute data about who the prospect is, what actions they’ve taken on the website, and what product they’re interested in. Behavioral data is employed to personalize the site experience for individual users, enabling Simply Business to provide a more relevant experience to its myriad different users across different sectors at different points in the purchase funnel.

(Source: Snowplow Analytics)

Learn more:

Use cases: customer experience management

Industry insights: ecommerce and retail

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