Big data has been a key player in customer engagement for some time now, and it promises to remain that way in the new year. According to IDC, global big data and business analytics revenues are forecast to reach just over $180 billion in 2019, showing an increase of more than 50% over a five-year period. While brands have typically analyzed complex data sets gleaned from key sources such as web analytics and KPIs, many now consider it essential to analyze all customer data—big and small—in order to gain a global view of the customer journey. So what data should your brand be looking at to enhance the customer experience? Here are five big data sources every brand should consider.
Understanding customer behavior is a crucial part of improving the customer experience. For this reason, web analytics can provide tremendous insight. Brands should pay attention to customer browsing patterns on the brand website, analyzing such behaviors as pages most frequently visited, purchases made, shopping cart abandonment rates, and live chat invitation acceptance rates. Web analytics also apply to mobile devices, so both mobile sites and brand apps should be analyzed as well. For example, geolocation data may indicate how often customers have searched for products or made purchases on their smartphones in-store, offering valuable insight into best service and marketing practices. Web analytics also includes both predictive and prescriptive analytics. For example, predictive analytics may track whether a customer has experienced a series of positive or negative interactions and determine the likelihood of loyalty versus churn. Similarly, prescriptive analytics can be used to help brands decide the best course of action after a customer interaction, such as offering a voucher after a negative experience.
While data can reveal a lot about your customers’ behavior patterns, it can also convey their emotions. Understanding the motivation behind your customers’ behavior and knowing word for word just how they feel can be essential to improving the customer experience. Speech and text analytics reveal the emotional side of customer service, providing concrete evidence of what customers want, what issues they have experienced, and how they feel about a brand. Speech and text analytics should therefore be used to track customer interactions across all channels, including voice, social media, SMS, chat, email, and blogs. Getting a pulse on the emotions of your customers can help your brand become more customer centric and develop a personal touch.
As social customer service continues to dominate, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to what customers are saying on these channels. In addition to analyzing your brand’s official social media channels, social listening tools should be used to learn what people are saying about your brand across the Internet, often on their own individual social accounts or blogs. Such unstructured data can reveal a great deal about customer sentiments and help your brand tackle any issues that need to be addressed.
Perhaps the most direct source of customer data is the traditional survey. Asking customers specific questions about their experience is always an ideal way to enhance service, so your brand should make sure to encourage detailed responses and include a free-response section for further comments.
Lastly, a critical source of big data is the set of KPIs monitored in the contact center. By analyzing different aspects of the customer experience from your brand’s customer service hub, you can make improvements to the technologies and practices that affect your service. KPIs may include average handling time, the number of re-routed calls, first contact resolution, abandonment rates, customer satisfaction scores, net promoter scores, IVR usage, and average hold time, for example. And don’t forget the data collected on agents: Individual performance records and agent turnover rates can both indicate how much training agents need, which areas need the most attention, and how best to motivate your agents for success. In today’s world, satisfactory customer service is not enough. Customers demand seamless and engaging experiences, and big data is key to understanding just how your brand can make that happen.
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