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Big Data: The Key to the Customer Experience?

By on Jul 9, 2014 Editor's Pick 2 Comments

Businesses across the world are always trying to gain the upper hand on competitors. They try to new products, create new marketing schemes and invest in expensive technology, all to gain a competitive edge. Too often, however, the consumer and his or her experience with the product or service is overlooked. An integral part in business success is providing a consumer experience that goes beyond normal and creates a desire in the consumer to return again and again.

It’s easier said than done, but with the emergence of big data platforms in the cloud, companies now have a powerful tool at an affordable price that can drastically change the way they interact with customers and provide an unforgettable experience. A great product combined with a great experience will get the consumer every time. If companies can provide an unforgettable experience from the time the consumer enters the store (online or brick-and-mortar) to the moment they leave, they are going to be successful.

Here are six ways your company should use big data to improve the customer experience.

1. Feedback

There are so many different ways that companies can get feedback — surveys, mobile apps, social media, website, etc. — and big data makes it easier than ever to gather, store and then make sense of that information. Companies need to take advantage of the opportunity to get consumer feedback, and to get lots of it. The success of the business depends on the consumer. Consumers are an incredible resource for businesses to tap into and big data, the internet and social media mean it’s easier than ever to get consumer sentiment.

2. Better advertising

Most people don’t have a special place in their heart for advertising, whether it’s online, via mobile apps or on TV. Usually it’s annoying and uninteresting. We’ve spent time on another post talking about big data and advertising, but for our purposes here companies should use big data to be more strategic and effective with their advertising. Less advertising is always a good thing from the consumer’s point of view. And with big data companies now have the tools to only use ads at the most important moments. It saves a company money they would have spent on ineffective advertising and it wins over the consumer.

3.Taking cues from customer behavior

Why aren’t people using your app? Why has traffic dwindled on your website? Or why aren’t they buying the newest seasonal items. There are so many cues that consumers leave without actual leaving any tangible feedback. Big data makes it possible for companies to follow these consumer “trails” and make sense of them in order to improve the overall experience.

4. Give Back

Another thing that big data does for these businesses is increase effectiveness and decrease waste, which will lead to wider margins and bigger profits. Companies need to take some of the excess and give that back to the consumer. Quicker than anything, that will bring customer loyalty.

5. Resolve Concerns

Face it, your company is going to have complaints and issues to resolve and nothing drives consumers away quicker than poor customer service. Big data makes the customer service game easier than it has ever been. Companies should be able to make changes to faulty products quicker, return items quicker, respond quicker and much more. Stellar customer service will keep consumers coming back.

6. Public Relations

Big data can also play an important role in public relations. Not only do companies want to use big data to resolve concerns of current customers, but they also want it to attract future customers. By using big data to monitor your businesses reputation throughout the media and then implementing necessary changes, companies can drastically increase loyal customers.

Today, more than ever, it’s important that companies stand out among the e-commerce crowd. It’s getting harder and harder with the proliferation of online sites to make a mark, but with savvy, big data use companies can put themselves on top to stay.

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2 Responses to Big Data: The Key to the Customer Experience?

  1. Michael Lowenstein July 10, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    We’re in 100% agreement….with one important caveat. Big Data can be the Rosetta Stone to helping organizations better understand, and effectively leverage, both individual customer experience response and emotional/rational customer decision-making drivers; but it will take discipline and analytical innovation to make that happen: http://customerthink.com/do-you-wonder-why-big-data-gets-so-much-attention-going-forward-will-that-continue/

  2. Francisco Zapata July 15, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Rick, excellent article, congrats! I agree totally wit the concepts, but miss the link between the concepts and real-hard-life. In other words, can you enlighten us as to how to tecnically implement those concepts?

    Like mentioning which methodologies can be used to implement a big data influenced strategy, or what systems you know that translates big data into actionable information for customer support?

    Thanks a lot and keep going!

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