With Guest Sarah Hillman, Global Head of CRM and Data at The Travel Corporation (TTC)


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In this very first episode of the Data Driven CX podcast series we’ll meet Sarah Hillman, Global Head of CRM and Data at The Travel Corporation (TTC). Sarah shares how TTC was able to prioritize customer experiences when the pandemic hit and explains how customer behaviour has changed.

In the business that TTC is in, customers don’t only want choice and ease-of-use. Travel is experience driven by its definition and customers want those experiences mirrored in all channels. It becomes very important to humanise customers’ digital interactions and make sure that what TTC stands for, such as authentic experiences and family values, is reflected in the online world.

Sarah expands on the role of data: the excellent service that staff can give when they truly know their customers is difficult to replicate online and is not very scalable. Data became the focus to scale bespoke service to all customers in all channels. Data needs to inform the customer interaction, and support what TTC calls Tiny Noticeable Touches. Data is also key in automating some work, allowing staff to focus on key aspects of customer experience.

A holistic single view of the customer is the basis for many customer experience applications. In fact, it is easy to say that you need a single view of the customer and that you need to remove data siloes. Yet in practice there are many pitfalls. We discuss learnings and success factors.

Inevitably, Nienke and Sarah also dive into what ‘Data Driven CX’ really is. Sarah feels this is the most interesting part of her role – the alignment of people and technology, humans and data.

Often, there is a focus on analytics, but this misses the broader picture. Analysing data to better understand customers and gain insights is important. Then to use these insights to drive innovation and decide where to focus. Equally important, is to make sure data enables the actual experiences. This is the use of data at micro scale, woven into the customer journey.

Digital transformation is often understood as data / analytics transformation; however, it needs to be just business transformation. That is probably why we see a trend towards having a Chief Data Officer or a similar role in companies – to make data-driven business a boardroom conversation not a niche topic.

Some resources to learn more:

Customer Success Story The Travel Corporation

Customer Success Story Jardine Motors Group

Webinar: An Executive Guide for Creating a Customer 360 Strategy

Digital CX: Expert Insights ebook by CX Networks, Informatica and Accenture

A Marketer’s Guide to Customer Experience: Using Modern Data to Bring Your Customer into Focus, Informatica ebook

Connect with Sarah on Linkedin

9 episodes