Customer data is in the fabric of every decision we make…

Improving customer satisfaction-and the overall customer experience-is one of the top three priorities for half of the companies whose executives responded to a December 2010 survey by Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services. In fact, almost three out of four of the 307 executives who responded said that improving customer experience is among their top five priorities for 2011.

A leader in this emerging area is Tesco PLC. The fourth largest retailer in the world, Tesco has more than 5,000 stores worldwide, about half of which are in the United Kingdom. (It also owns the Fresh & Easy grocery chain in the United States.) In fiscal 2009-2010, Tesco tallied £62.5 billion in sales of food, clothing, electronics, and other items and services in its wide-ranging portfolio.

“Customer data is in the fabric of every decision we make in the company,” says Mike McNamara, Tesco’s CIO. With its 16-million-member loyalty card program, every single basket transaction tells the company something about its shoppers. “We can probably tell a recession is coming before the government can,” he says.

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