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How to Use Big Data to Improve Customer Service

Quality customer service focuses on providing exceptional customer experiences. The goal is to convert leads into paying customers, build relationships with them, retain them, and turn them into brand advocates. 

To dramatically improve the effectiveness of your customer service, you need to collect customer data and act on it. 

In this article, you will learn how to collect and use big data to strengthen customer service.

Centralize Customer Data to Gain Better Insights

The goal of any user-oriented organization is to build an omnichannel customer service strategy. That way, you allow users to seamlessly communicate with your company using various devices and customer service channels. Providing customers with effective and real-time customer service across multiple channels will boost their satisfaction and transform them into customers faster.

One of the most common problems is the consolidation of customer data collected from multiple online and offline channels. Namely, your company may collect an abundance of information on one customer. However, this data is all siloed across various digital platforms and sent to different departments, including sales, marketing, and customer support.

Without centralizing customer data and creating detailed customer profiles, you will only get a partial picture of their experiences with your brand and probably miss out on critical pieces of the customer service puzzle. 

That is why you should invest in a customer relationship management platform that integrates you’re your sales, marketing, and customer service tools. It lets you bring customer data together and provides you with a 360-degree insight into their behaviors. With the right CRM solution, you know customers’ location, previous purchases, communication preferences, loyalty status, or support inquiries.

A CRM system helps you close the customer service gap. By analyzing your key customer service metrics, such as the average response time, hold time, or call abandonment rate, you will identify the customer service areas that need improvement.

That way, you will use customer service data to understand if there are any performance issues and resolve them fast to boost your team’s performance and deliver better customer experiences.

Personalize Customer Experiences in Real-Time

One of the most common problems companies face is the silo mentality. In other words, your product development, customer support, sales, and marketing departments work in isolation, without sharing customer data. That approach may significantly harm your customer support team’s performance.

That is where, again, integrating your customer support tools with a CRM system can help. For example, some services offer customer relationship suites that integrate with your CRM. That way, the phone system will pull the information about the caller from your CRM software and show it to your customer service agent. Knowing the caller’s name, recent service tickets, and previous purchases, your customer support reps will respond to customer inquiries faster. Above all, they will deliver highly personalized and relevant customer experiences without having to search the customer database manually. 

Measure Customer Sentiment

To improve customer service, you first need to understand what your customers feel about your brand. In other words, you need to measure customer sentiment. Now, there are many ways to do so. 

Start by analyzing customer data. Your email support and live chat, for example, are a treasure trove of customer information. The same applies to your call center. Modern call centers include call recordings, call transcripts, and AI-driven call analytics features, such as sentiment analysis. 

Next, you can create customer satisfaction surveys. No matter if it is your website’s knowledge base, live chat software, email support, or call center, always ask customers for feedback. For example, you could ask a customer whether your knowledge base article was helpful. You could also ask a customer to rate their experience with your live chat support. Finally, you could send a brief NPS survey to customers right after addressing their complaint via call center or email.

Listen to Customers on Social Networks

To connect with your brand and voice their experiences, many customers rely on social networks. For you, that is an impressive source of customer feedback. However, did you know that there are 500 million tweets published daily? In the noisy social media ecosystem, it may be difficult for you to monitor customer conversation. 

With the help of social media monitoring tools, such as Hootsuite, Quicksprout, or Social Mention, you can choose the keywords you want to track, such as your brand or product name. Once a user mentions one of those keywords, the tool will immediately notify you. 

By monitoring brand mentions, your customer service team will be able to respond to customer questions in real-time and provide highly individualized user experiences. Above all, social channels are an opportunity for you to collect customer feedback and measure their sentiment.

How to Collect Customer Data?

Now that you know how you can use customer data to improve customer service, it is time to look at a few tried and tested ways to gather their feedback. Here are some of them:

  • Ask customers to fill out a form when subscribing to your email newsletter.
  • Use a chatbot to humanize customer interactions and ask for their email addresses, product preferences, goals, etc.
  • Optimize your checkout form to learn more about your customers, but make sure you do not overwhelm them.
  • Create customer satisfaction surveys and distribute them via email, social networks, your website, or even SMS.
  • Review email service reports.
  • Analyze call recordings and transcriptions.
  • Use more subtle ways of collecting customer data that will not scare off your audiences, such as creating contests or offering free products for customer data, segment users by letting them subscribe to a specific category of emails, etc.

Start Improving Customer Service with Big Data

Big data provides a wealth of invaluable customer insights. By focusing on the right data and metrics, centralizing it, and applying it wisely, you will learn more about your customers and provide more relevant and personalized customer service. Above all, you can use the tools mentioned above to enhance the performance of your team and deliver faster customer service.

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