Big data and customer relationships: lots of data, not enough analysis

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The vast array of channels that companies manage, which involves interactions with customers, generates an abundance of data.

When you combine the less-structured data generated from digital channels, such as e-mail, chat, and social media, with more traditional data related to sales or customer profiles, there is an enormous opportunity to enrich the customer experience. So why are only a small number of companies leveraging this data to enhance their customer’s journey?

It is not a technological problem, for there are solutions that offer reading and data storage along with the tools to analyze and understand the information. It is also not a skill problem: there are trained data scientists and data analysts available to do the job. No, the obstacles lie elsewhere.

The real challenge with big data

The issue isn’t with the tools or the people; rather, it’s a question of transformation. François Bourdoncle, co-founder of Exalead and co-manager of Arnaud Montebourg’s “Big Data” plan, explains it as an “active principle” of the digital revolution.1 The channels of interaction and the services offered to customers are very often managed in silos by different departments that do not share their data.

In many companies, the way information is distributed and analyzed is very disjointed. Often, the process for making the data pertinent and assessing its value requires a cross-disciplinary approach. This is because customers use various interaction channels to obtain information, access services, buy products, and express their satisfaction; however, the data they generate during their journey is captured in different systems. Customers follow their own interaction logic. It is the companies that have to adapt and reconstruct their messages in order to really understand them!

Understanding customers better through better analytics

The right analytics tools will allow you to draw parallels between various pieces of information regardless of their origins. For example, customer satisfaction can be measured in terms of wait time on the phone, which will decrease the longer a customer is on hold. Interestingly, we also experienced the opposite. It may seem counterintuitive, but as we observed with one of our customers, too short a wait time can also negatively affect customer satisfaction.

Such analysis can also be conducted by examining different channels to evaluate the workload transfer from one channel to another. For example, poor service quality on chat or e-mail will transfer a heavier workload to the telephone and physical channels.

Analytics tools also enrich customer knowledge and allow us to refine contact segmentation. Because customers of the same segment behave differently depending on how they use their digital devices, the data obtained from each customer journey gives us the tools to better analyze future behavioral patterns and define the best application of this data.

To be able to properly analyze the data, companies often need assistance and perhaps more importantly, the right tools.

Making the most of your big data to enrich your customer’s journey

The good news is that there are customer interaction services that enable you to better analyze the performance of your customer relationships. The insights that can be gained through in-depth statistical analyses of the detailed data regarding your customers and their interactions will enable you to make the most of your big data while enriching your customer’s journey.


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