How Big is your Data?

Mike Hughes | October 11, 2012

Big Data is big news these days, but the question for many organisations remains what to do with it. Organisations seek to leverage the data they hold to maximise their growth. Although there are many examples of Big Data driving innovation, the cutting edge of the discipline can be found in customer service and sales as executives seek to take advantage of Big Data to drive Big Results.

Organisations have never had more information on their customers – interactions through a range of channels are all stored, but often kept in separate silos and rarely used to proactively manage the relationship. This is why Big Data is relevant for customer service: careful analysis of the information held on a customer could be used to anticipate what the customer needs, simplify how the customer likes to interact and learn from the interaction to make future experiences better. Furthermore, analysing the customer’s data in the broader context of all the information held on customers, organisations could predict what customers want as a group. The benefits are clear – intuitive interactions lead to happy and loyal customers and increased sales. At the Ovum Customer Experience Management Forum in September, [24] in London, Big Data will be a hot topic for customer service professionals.

Big Data holds the key to a revolution which puts the customer at the centre of all interactions and allows organisations to make use of information they already have to make a quantum leap in service levels. Bringing together data from different channels in real-time and knowing what the customer just did in one channel while using another channel gives a consistent experience. When a customer visits your website and looks up loan rates and subsequently calls on the phone, the representative who takes the call has the opportunity to say, “I see you just looked at loan rates, can I answer questions on a loan?” Helping customers get what they need simply and easily - now that is a good use of Big Data.

Mike Hughes is the Managing Director for European Operations at [24] Inc. He has over 20 years of experience in Customer Management, Change Leadership and IT and is passionate about raising the standard of industry best practice using technology to create a smoother customer experience and lessen customer effort.