Leverage Big Data to Improve the Customer Service Experience


Americans' Perception of Customer Service

When most Americans hear the phrase “customer service”, they’re flooded with feelings of agitation and helplessness. That’s because many customers have had negative experiences with customer service departments. But thanks to the big data revolution, companies are finally bringing customer service to the forefront of their operations. Perhaps companies now realize “it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.”

Locating Untapped Customer Data

Whether companies realize it or not, they are sitting on valuable, untapped customer data in their enterprise systems. The data might be sitting idle in their CRM Systems, their e-mail databases, their Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems – you name it. The point is this - data isn’t something that’s pulled out of thin air. In whatever form the data may exist – unstructured, structured, or semi-structured – there’s internal value. It’s simply a matter of extracting it and putting it to good use.

Customer Acquisition vs. Customer Retention

In the past, marketing departments had an appetite for new customers. These could be potential customers that never used the product before or those that were being served by competitors. Their motive was customer acquisition. This approach of prioritizing the new prospects and disregarding the old customers could result in a high churn rate.

Now, companies are more concerned with customer retention. That’s because the longer a customer remains with a company, the more valuable they become. In the end, the company has a greater Return on Investment (ROI). This is precisely why customer service has evolved into anopportunity for development and brand distinction.

Creating Customer-Centric Companies

These lifelong relationships with customers are now possible with customer churn reduction,trend detection, and customer profiling - and it all starts with Data Mining. As Forbes Magazineexplains, “by approaching big data as a customer-centric imperative, not merely a money-making strategy (though that is important as well), companies can use it to a customer’s benefit.” As you know with today’s technology and devices, customers are creating more data than ever before. Data Mining can then utilize this information (name, age, gender, personal income, hobbies, location, employer, etc.) to better understand your customer. Instead of obtaining a glimpse of the customer, companies can now generate a full 360-degree view that gives power to the customer’s voice. By carefully listening to what the information says about them, you can tailor your customer service to fit their profile. This will express your appreciation of the customer on a personal level, resulting in a satisfied, loyal customer year in and year out.

This whole customer-centered approach may appear to be common sense. But you’d be surprised to discover how many companies have yet to get on board. It’s a modern competitive advantagethat is sure to set your company apart from the pack.