Big Data and Customer Experience

Nov 17
Big data

Big Data and Customer Experience

Big Data. What is it? Well it’s data that is Big, silly. Like really, really big, and getting bigger every day. Mountains of information on your customers or people who look a lot like your customers (they just haven’t seen the light yet). It can help you understand them to help you have really have meaningful interactions. Big Data is a very valuable tool for driving your Customer Experience Strategy. The data available on your customers can help you predict how they will behave. It also helps you identify issues and put in place very targeted solutions. Are a very high proportion of people from a certain area ringing up to seek information on a certain product? This simple insight can be fed back into your marketing department so the language can be tweaked on the in-store signage in that area. When it comes to data, the world really is your oyster. Big data doesn’t have to be scary, though. So don’t worry. Here we take you through how it can be used to help you, in a really non-scary way.

It helps you realise what your customers really want

It’s easy to get lost in mountains of customer data when you’re talking possibly hundreds of thousands of interactions every day (maybe more if you’re operating offshore). But understanding your customers is pretty key to giving them what they want in a brand. You have the handy ability to extract this data very painlessly from these customers every time you have a conversation with them. It doesn’t mean harassing them with loads of irrelevant questions that seem like blatant data gathering even to the uninitiated. It means figuring out THE question, or one or two quick questions, that will help you build insights into your customers. For example, if you are a providing videos or product images of your products as part of your marketing, then finding out how people view videos and images would be very useful. You can use this information to make sure your content is focused on the right channel. And that’s just one very quick, relevant question your call centre agents can ask as part of a bigger conversation. Collect the data, then analyse it, extract your insights and boom- your marketing just became a whole lot more meaningful for your customers.

It can help you get a full picture of your customers

There is just so much information out there. Information provided directly to you from your customers to your Customer Experience agents. Information sitting in your social media platforms, e-commerce sites, mobile applications, the list goes on. And for a lot of us, nuggets are lying undiscovered because quite frankly, it’s too hard. And pretty intimidating. Where does one begin to even understand what data your company is sitting on? If you can’t afford to invest in a fancy Consumer Management System, then a good place to start is to get a cross-functional team together, share your objectives and find out what data is available to answer your questions from the people who use it every day. Then co-ordinate the extraction of the data, hopefully on an on-going basis but a one-off is fine in order to put into your Strategic Marketing Plan. Start thinking about Big Data as the framework for all your customer facing activity as it will help you create something pretty meaningful.

It doesn’t have to be complicated

If I lost you back at Big Data when the thought of navigating your way up the mountain became too much to bear, then welcome back. Because I am telling you that Big Data can also be kind of small. And kind of free. A lot can be learned from your customers by seeing what they’re saying on your Facebook page, for example. If you’re seeing certain themes come through, where customers are talking about the same topics, the same problems and the same products, then this is valuable information. Maybe a lot of people are hitting your Facebook page asking if flavor x is still available in your range. It is still widely available. You could surmise from this that this product is not being noticed- the packaging might need a tweak, the messaging clearer- ie flavor might need to be front and centre. Or it might simply help you identify that this product needs a bit more research to understand what the issue is.

It can make your customer feel like you know them

Having information, or Big Data, on your customers can really enhance your Customer Experience as it makes them feel like you know and understand them. But not in a creepy way. If you know certain customers use your website in exactly the same way each time they visit, you can tweak your site so they arrive at their destination quicker. Saves them the hassle of all those mouse clicks. If your Customer Experience agents ask your customers how they use the products on the phone when they call in, they might discover that a lot of customers are using your product in a way that you never imagined. there might be something in that to communicate to customers in order to appeal to a whole lot of new people.

It can save you time

If you combine your data sources you can save yourself a heap of time. For example, when monitoring your Facebook page you notice a spike in a certain type of query, you can expect that you will be getting a higher than usual number of calls about this. Train your Customer Experience agents and mobilise your resources accordingly. Or you may have heard recorded messages on your internet or mobile providers giving updates on network outages. By identifying issues and proactively managing you can save your agents a lot of time and still give your customers the information they are after.

Don’t get bamboozled by the term Big Data. When it comes to implementing this stuff with your Customer Experience agents, try identifying some key words or phrases that can be used as prompts. Have questions ready when prompted and record the information. Use that information to build a profile of your customers- their journey, pain points and behaviour. Then apply these profiles to your marketing to make it more meaningful for them. It doesn’t have to be hard, but Big Data can make all the difference in making your Customer Experience Strategy more than just an idea.


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Flickr cc: Jim Kaskade