Loyalty: not as simple as using big data better

Written by on January 12, 2016 in Opinion with 0 Comments

300x300-download-bdpe-image4Much – possibly too much – has been written about big data over the last few years. The same is true of customer service and customer experience management. Less, though, has been written about the correlation between the two. Or the opportunities that big data can deliver for customer experience management.

Now, though, a new discussion paper from real-time specialist Openet, does just that. While research has shown that CSPs see their biggest priority as ‘getting a holistic view of the customer’ and ‘understanding customers’ needs’ (TM Forum survey, August 2015), the fact is that 90 percent of data is either thrown away or never used.

Addressing this, believing that big data can be smart data and keeping the focus on customer experience management, can make a huge difference.

The paper (available free of charge, with a quick registration) presents several practical examples of transforming the power of big data to deliver churn reducing, loyalty enhancing opportunities.

Reducing the time – and therefore cost – of a call to a contact centre will get the attention of most managers. It is, as they say, a ‘no brainer’ at upwards of a dollar a call. Knowing the customer’s recent service history and network information can help predict the reason for the call and thus help the CSR have the right information to hand to help the customer. And, as we know, fixing something quickly and efficiently increases customer loyalty.

Big data, properly used, can monitor the efficiency of self-care channels, allowing managers to see areas for improvement. Social media can be checked to see whether there are any complaints out there about the company’s overall care strategy. And, of course, taken a step further, keeping an eye on high value customers, their experience of the network, availability of applications and an insight into their likes and dislikes can help divert trouble, offer relevant services and proactively communicate with them.

All of which increases loyalty, with all the knock on effects that this has.

But it is not as simple as ‘using big data better.’ For big data to be useful in any of the ways described in the paper, it needs to arrive on decision makers screens as smart data. The trick is the intelligent combination and curation of the right data in a format to which common sense and experience can be added. This data will come from disparate sources. It will come from batch data, collected by billing and related processes. It will come from the network and whether the customer is having a good experience. It will come from what the customer is doing right now. And where. The structure needs to be flexible enough to allow new data sources to be added to existing sources, seamlessly. Programmable APIs is key to doing this right.

If CSPs are serious about getting better insights into their customers, then using big data in the customer experience environment must be the first step. To do this is not simple, but with a good team of data scientists (or janitors, or even curators) and some of the ideas in the paper, it is very possible.

The paper, ‘Turning Big Data into Smart Data to Improve Customer Experience Management’ is free, available here, and well worth the read.


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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .


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