3 Ways Analytics are Transforming Customer Service


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No matter what your industry, there’s one offering that can potentially serve as a great differentiator, and that’s service and support. To know whether your organization is doing it well, or whether you need improvement and where, your brand needs the right analytics and beyond that, the means and knowledge to measure them effectively and then act on the insights.

A recent survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit found that those polled believe customer service and marketing stand to gain the most from analytics, but see customer service as the most unprepared to actually deal with big data.

Big Data’s Big Challenge

The problem for most customer service divisions isn’t usually collecting customer data for analysis, but knowing what to measure and then how to take action. An October 2013 Gartner report, Market Trends: Leveraging Analytics in Vertical Industries, identified four major categories of analytics:

· Descriptive: What is happening now or what happened?

· Diagnostic: Why is this happening or why did it happen?

· Predictive: What will happen and what if it happens?

· Prescriptive: What should happen and what is the best option?

That’s quite a bit for any customer service organization to digest, but brands do realize the value of analytics (55% of organizations see big data as beneficial to customer retention – EIU); most just need to change their ways to make best use of them. Here are three ways analytics are transforming customer service:

(1) Analytics are Encouraging Organizations to Break Down Barriers: The importance of multi-channel analytics is causing many brands to revisit their customer service technologies and processes so they can break down data silos and centralize multi-channel support and feedback so that customer information is not duplicated and disjointed. A unified, 360-degree view of the customer, as well as voice of the customer, makes analytics far more manageable, presentable for corporate buy-in, and insightful to take action. Organizations such as IBM are leading the way in this area.

(2) Analytics are Changing Perceptions of Important Measurements: Organizations are moving away from old metrics such as handle time, speed to answer and number of calls handled per hour, which can actually drive agents to escalate, transfer or end customer service interactions which could have been successfully resolved with just a little more time. Instead, customer-centric organizations are beginning to take a deeper look into more meaningful success metrics such as first call resolution and overall customer satisfaction. Zappos provides a great example of a big brand that is focusing on first call resolution and customer satisfaction over number of calls handles per hour.

(3) Analytics are Allowing Brands to Get Ahead: Once organizations begin collecting and reporting on the right analytics for their brand, the metrics and insights can be used to develop service and support as a differentiator.

Using analytics such as past experience and social feedback data, organizations can learn what customers really want and expect from their service experience, as well as what’s currently broken in the support experience, to improve service and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Organizations can also analyze trends or trending issues so that they can proactively provide customer information or head off small problems before they become large ones.

Brands can also look at customer preferences and use key pieces of information to personalize the customer experience, reach out on the channel of the customer’s choice and perhaps even increase sales, a strategy that customer-centric brands such as Amazon.com have capitalized on. And that’s just a start….

It’s All about Creating a Better Experience

Customers live in an age of unlimited choices and communication channels. With availability and pricing no longer the great differentiators they once were, service and support have become the next competitive battleground where organization that can effectively use analytics to transform customer service and the customer experience will have the advantage.

This post was originally featured as a guest post on the Zopim blog.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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