How Big Data Can Drive Customer Service

No matter how large or small your business is, Big Data can offer new opportunities to provide your customers with a great experience.

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Businesses have talked about using big data to help in just about every field and means imaginable, and customer service is a field where big data can make the largest impact. Businesses collect data about their customers all the time, but many do not use it effectively beyond offering the occasional discount.

Customers these days want a good customer experience more than any discount. They want to be able to go through the process of buying and using your product without any hassles, and to feel like your company is putting their needs first. As McKinsey points out, higher customer satisfaction means that they have a higher potential to become a loyal customer, are lower in the cost to serve, and are more likely to recommend your product to their friends.

No matter how large or small your business is, Big Data can offer new opportunities to provide your customers with a great experience. Here are some potential methods.

Fraud Detection

Some companies may eschew Big Data out of the fear that if the collected data gets stolen, they will end up liable. But in fact, Big Data offers new avenues for businesses to know they are dealing with legitimate customers and not fraudsters.

Traditional fraud prevention software often focuses on rules violations or factors. If a person tries to withdraw too much from a bank account, or logs in at an unusual time, the fraud prevention software may stop it. But this approach constantly falls one step behind fraudsters who continually come up with new tricks.

By using a Big Data approach such as described by Intel, businesses can monitor patterns of transactions and determine if a transaction falls outside normal patterns. Fraud can be detected faster and the damage minimized, both to the benefit of the business and the customer experience.

Instant Feedback

Have you ever written an angry tweet or Facebook post about a company, only for that company to contact you and attempt to resolve the problem? That is a good example of solid customer service. By engaging with unhappy customers, a business can potentially win them over and in fact make them more loyal than if they had never made the complaint.

Given how many posts are made on social media every day, it can be difficult for a social media team to identify and quickly address each and every issue. With big data, companies can more easily track negative remarks and get a better idea of where they can improve and use these for lead capture. Analytics can also show which social media channels are frequently used by customers, instead of businesses just blindly assuming that they only need to stay on Facebook and Twitter. This lets marketing and customer service marshal their resources more effectively.

Better, Personalized Marketing

Companies try to break down consumers all the time into little demographics, and then try to appeal to as many of these demographics as possible. Mesowatch does a great job of this because their online market is so niche, they have to be very granular. But consumers are not just demographics. We are individuals, with our own individual tastes which may run contrary to accepted stereotypes. And the Holy Grail for marketers is to take personalization to a whole new level and market to the individual customer. As Michael Osborne with Forbes points out, businesses can see a major revenue increase simply by matching behavior to products in their marketing messages instead of pure demographics.

By combining the demographic knowledge which we do have about every individual customer along with what they buy or do, businesses can better market and aid that customer. But in order for that to work, the various departments of a business must combine their data into a single data lake, instead of hording information for themselves.

Rewarding and Training Employees

There are always ways to improve a customer’s experience, but the key moment is when a customer first interacts with your employees. That initial contact point will determine whether your customer has a good or bad experience, and it is important to both reward your best employees and figure out how they are doing a great job.

Businesses should consider setting up an employee tracking system (with their consent) which monitors how they interact with other employees and customers. Your metrics should attempt to figure out what motivates your employees and where they can improve to reach their full potential. By understanding how your employees can improve, you can then set up training programs which can improve your entire workforce and create a better customer experience.

Data is critical, but what really matters is how your business analyzes
collected data to find new ways to improve the customer experience. Business
leaders can find plenty of other ways for Big Data and analytics to improve
their business, but that requires creativity, making sure that all aspects of
your business have the same data, and a relentless drive towards getting the
best data available. A smaller amount of analyzed useful data is more useful
than a vast sea of unorganized data.

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