Big data and customer relationships: a lot of data, not enough analysis


The vast array of channels that companies manage for interactions with customers generates an abundance of data. And 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. There are solutions that offer reading and data storage along with 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. The obstacles lie elsewhere.

The real challenge with big data


This issue isn’t with the tools or the people, 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. The channels of interactions and the services offered to customers are very often managed in silos by different departments that are not sharing their data.

In many companies, the way information is distributed and analyzed is very disjointed. And often the process for making the data pertinent and to assess 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, but data they generate during their journey is often captured in different systems. The customers follow their own interaction logic and it is the companies that have to adapt to reconstruct their messages in order to really listen to them!

Better understanding customers through better analytics

The right analytics tools allow you to correlate various pieces of information regardless of where they originate. For example, customer satisfaction can be measured in terms of waiting time on the phone which will decrease the longer a customer is on hold. But interestingly, when the waiting time becomes too long, the reverse is also true. It may seem counter-intuitive, but as we observed with one of our customers, a waiting time that is too short can affect the perception of the quality of service.

The analysis can also be conducted by correlating different channels to evaluate the transfer of workload from one channel to another. So 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. The data obtained from the customer journey allows us to better analyze behaviors and further define the best use of the data since customers of the same segment can behave differently depending on their use of digital devices.

To be able to analyze the data properly, companies often need assistance and 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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About the author

Thomas Saint Hilaire
VP Conseil Analytics

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