Given how critical customer satisfaction has become to business success, it’s important to understand just how deeply analytics can impact the customer experience. Knowing how to improve customer service today means using data insights to create added value for the customer while building stronger and longer-lasting customer relationships. Here are some insights into how you can use data to stand out.
In order to improve the customer experience, you need to know what motivates your customers. What do they want, and what do they value above all else? To this end, it’s essential to talk with customers and uncover what drives their behavior. This will guide your business in new ways to differentiate the customer experience. This is particularly true if your business is in a market that’s commoditized or if you’re competing against an industry leader. In such cases, ask yourself what it is about the customer experience you offer that your customers can’t get anywhere else.
Take Starbucks, for example. Coffee is a commodity, but people can get their java fix from a wide variety of sources. So what draws them to Starbucks coffee shops? Starbucks customers are looking for a home away from home, and the coffee company tailors its customer experience to add that special sauce—serving up not just coffee but a complete experience that meets its customers’ expectations and desires.
Once you understand what your customers want, and what that special sauce is that they’re looking for, your business can provide the same unique experience for your customers.
Consider customer service a hundred years ago. If you ran a department store, chances were that you dealt with a small clientele. However, you personally knew everybody coming in and out of your store, including their unique likes and dislikes. Customers today still expect that same human touch, and analytics can help your business provide it.
Rather than seeking a single set of cookie-cutter best practices, you need a firm grasp of the relationship your customer wants and to find a way to deliver that value. By gaining a complete view of your customer, including every transaction or interaction they’ve had with your company, product, or brand, you’re one step closer to perfecting your relationship.
The more your business can connect the dots across your customers’ lives and help them at the moment they need to be helped, the better you can monetize your relationship with them. As Forbes notes, more than 85 percent of mobile marketers report that successful personalization has brought them higher engagement, greater revenue, and more conversions.
When determining how to improve customer service, your business needs a single view of the customer. The customer is a holistic member of the organization—at any point in time, they can purchase another product or use another service. By establishing a data architecture that everyone within the company can benefit from, your business can build an institutional knowledge of that customer. Regardless of what team the customer interacts with—product management, the support organization, or point of sale—their information will flow to the same central repository.
A single view of the customer responds to one of the greatest pain points that customers struggle with today: Very often, they encounter friction in the form of silos within the company—barriers or departments they don’t understand and, frankly, shouldn’t have to when they’re simply trying to resolve a problem or get assistance. Rather than setting up a single view expressly for sales or marketing, all areas within the business should have access to that same single view so that everyone knows what’s going on when they engage with the customer. This is how businesses can deliver the level of service customers expect.
Consistency is key when it comes to providing a meaningful customer experience and building long-term loyalty. Many businesses have successfully leveraged their data insights in order to deliver this consistency across the board. Nordstrom, for example, is developing stores that integrate data insights into a brick-and-mortar environment. Digital devices display what customers have purchased before, whether at a store or online, and generate recommendations—essentially serving as personal shoppers.
Businesses with a real-world physical presence must find a way to drive a similarly consistent experience across physical and digital spaces. If businesses can maximize the insights gained from a single view of the customer, they’ll be ideally positioned to deliver an exceptional experience that delights that customer each and every time.
Regardless of industry, big data analytics make all the difference in achieving the relationships businesses seek to have with their customers. By capitalizing on these offerings, you’ll know how to improve customer service and create an experience that is beneficial for everyone.
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