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6 Ways Big Data Is Improving the Customer Experience

In 2019 and beyond, the companies and organizations that knowledgeably, ethically and creatively use data will rise above the rest. Businesses have a valuable competitive advantage at their disposal when they know how to use big data.

Let’s look at six ways big data helps businesses improve their customer experience and makes their brands, products and services more valuable.

1. Data Informs Competitor Research

When customers want to buy something, the vast majority of them take to the internet to conduct research. The way your prospects use keywords in search engines, the pages they’re coming from as they navigate to your site and the products they ultimately end up buying from competitors all add up to a considerable amount of potential competitor research.

There are several ways to find and follow likely customers’ digital footprints to find out what kind of influence your market competitors are having. Data points like contact history, combined with predictive analytics and volunteered information from web forms and surveys, means companies can learn a lot about their potential markets and how to tailor their offerings to meet emerging expectations and trends.

2. Data Helps Plot Expansions

It can be challenging to know whether, when and how fast to introduce a new product or service. Pabst Blue Ribbon is in the middle of an experiment right now to see how many loyal and new customers are willing to drink beer infused with coffee.

And since it’s a risk, they’re introducing it into select markets and carefully gathering broad opinions and more detailed feedback. This approach is big data coupled with wise marketing, and it can work for your company too.

Big data helps companies combine their automated data analysis from email interactions, web histories, prior contacts, etc., with more directed efforts, like A/B testing and trial runs in small markets, to plot new product rollouts and find new business locations.

3. Data Makes Troubleshooting and Support a Cinch

Ideally, the customer experience doesn’t involve a lot of troubleshooting. But when it does, you want to be sure you have ready access to all the information you need, including purchase details, model number and even data on how users have interacted with the product and what shape it’s in.

It’s a big deal for people when they know they can get a quick and painless resolution to any problem that might occur while they’re a subscriber, client or customer. Data ensures these critical touchpoints go smoothly and deliver the desired resolution.

4. Data Helps Personalize the Sales Funnel

In the past, the customer experience mostly consisted of people running out of a product and having to return for a refill, a refurb or a new purchase. There’s nothing particularly proactive or exciting about that kind of interaction for the customer, and it leaves a lot of unfulfilled potential to upsell or anticipate another need the customer might not even know they have.

Using big data services, especially in a service-based or product-as-a-service environment, gives companies the means to find out in real time how customers are interacting with their web properties and their products, and fine-tuning the sales funnel on a personal level. They can then provide relevant and enticing offers to help ease customers into a purchase or upgrade decision.

Big data-powered customer relationship management systems can anticipate when customers need refills, for example, or suggest new products and accessories based on how customers use their existing ones. It can also highlight features of new products that might specifically appeal to users of existing ones.

5. Data Helps You Meet Them Where They Are

According to Pew Research, more than 75% of consumers in the U.S. own smartphones. That means they carry around the means to shop, do research and even get in touch with companies everywhere they go. It’s an unprecedented amount of contact – but it can also overstay its welcome if you don’t do it right.

We’ve mentioned consumer habits and digital footprints. Those same footprints provide the means to learn about the best times, and even the best platforms, to contact your customers.

Learning those habits teaches you about the most effective cold-calling and follow-up times and narrows down the best tools to use to turn prospects into customers, all without bombarding potential customers with indiscriminate or untimely marketing messages.

6. Data Helps Find Bottlenecks and Weak Links

Finally, we must consider the way big data provides checks and balances within your organization for service quality. For example, maybe customers have been filling out satisfaction surveys after phone interactions for a while now, but those responses got stuck in a silo where they were inaccessible to the relevant parties.

Big data helps tie an organization together and ensure mission-critical information and feedback gets into the right hands to inform business and staffing decisions. If a member of your sales or service department isn’t being as effective as they should, or if customers are calling in about the same problems time after time, it’ll all show up in the data.

In short, using big data isn’t optional anymore, even for modestly sized businesses. There are lots of insights awaiting your discovery some of them about what your customers want, and some concerning what you can do better.

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a journalist and writer interested in business technology and cloud computing. Her work has been published on Computerworld, InformationWeek and To read more from Kayla, please take the time to visit her blog, Productivity Bytes.

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