Three Ways to Improve Customer Experiences Through Big Data Analysis


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Back in the dinosaur era of marketing, before computers and the advent of the Internet, businesses used to go about their marketing in simple, traditional ways. Today we’ve seen the arrival of big data, which refers to all the raw information arriving from a vast variety of sources, including social media channels, online discussion forums, email and mobile devices. The massive growth of this unstructured big data has made marketing so complex it takes a computer program to figure out how to make sense of it all. That’s why vast numbers of business owners and corporate decision makers are racing to the cloud for a solution.

Enter the digital dragon: CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is the stuff of which CMO and CIO dreams are made. It’s the machine that chews up all that aforementioned unstructured big data and spits it back out in intelligible graphs, charts and performance indicators. CRM also automates necessary functions and ensures that important stuff gets done.

One of the critical areas affected by CRM is the ability to improve the customer experience. A cloud database looks at everything—from email messages to survey responses, and from tweets to Facebook statuses—and pumps it all into the proper channels to be processed. Without that, your ability to respond to your customers in a timely manner is severely compromised.

The tip of the CRM iceberg

A quick turnaround on customer inquiries isn’t the end-all, be-all of CRM, though. In fact, that’s only the tip of the iceberg with regard to the functionalities and capabilities inherent in a cloud database service. Cloud CRM enables businesses to forecast sales, identify developing trends, predict customer behavior and anticipate interest in products and campaigns. Reports can identify issues it might otherwise have taken months to discover, as well as suggest workflow improvements critical to remaining within budget.

Strengthening your circle of friends

Imagine you have thousands of friends. Not many people do, yet most companies can make that claim, at least the ones doing the whole networking and customer satisfaction thing right. Interchange the word “friend” with “customer” and it becomes much the same thing. Customers should be treated like old pals. And what do you do when an old pal gives you a ring or comes knocking at your door? You don’t keep them waiting and you listen to their every word. You make them feel cared about. A CRM cloud database is the tool that makes talking to thousands of friends at once a possibility, keeping the bond of friendship alive with people you’d otherwise never have time to “talk” to.

According to Constellation Research founder and chairman Ray Wang, the days of the CMO are on the evolutionary path to extinction, only to be replaced by a new breed of marketing head, the CDO (chief digital officer). With the winds of change already blowing that direction, the option of moving to cloud-based CRM software is quickly becoming a necessity. Issues of value and ROI are becoming foregone conclusions, replaced by a great big “no duh” signal to those still stuck in the prehistoric days of marketing. What’s the best advice? Trade the loincloth in for a business suit and begin work with a 21st century cloud CRM. Trust me; you’ll enjoy the ride.

Amy Bishop
Amy works in marketing and digital strategy. Specializing in social business, Amy focuses on the convergence of marketing, digital strategy and customer experience - developing strategies to help companies increase sales, lead generation, web traffic and brand awareness. Connect with Amy on Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.


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