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This article was published on October 12, 2015

How to make big data work for you

How to make big data work for you
Leon Hitchens

Customer service can make or break any business; it will either help your business grow or bring it crashing down.

According to a study by the Wharton School: reducing customer attrition by five to 10 percent can increase annual profits by as much as 75 percent. Customer service not only includes a trouble-free experience, but by meeting and exceeding your customer’s needs. Customers are not all created equal and customers reward companies that deliver fast, reliable and increasingly dynamic experiences. This is why understanding your customers better is imperative to your business.

A Zendesk study says, 40 percent of customers begin purchasing from a competitor because of its reputation for great customer service. What differentiates your customers based on demographics, behaviors and profitability helps you know their habits. Not only does segmenting customers tell you how to better serve current customer demographics, it also allows you to discover any unmet needs and deliver better products and services in the future and reduces operating costs by tens of millions of dollars a year. There is an abundance of great software to collect and track metrics when measuring, managing and improving the customer experience.

CRM software provides data that helps you analyze things such as average call duration, peak calling periods and more. This data provides businesses with valuable insights that can help make them more effective at handling customer calls. By allowing customers to link their numbers to their accounts, customer service representatives have the customer’s name as well as purchase history ready. Knowing those things can cut down on trying to spell out names, see what the customer needs help on and, most importantly, cut down on the call’s duration.

With data like purchase history, one can see which customers are frequent shoppers. You could be proactive and send the customer a personalized email thanking them for their loyalty and offer them a personalized coupon code. You’ll also be able to easily identify which customers are your strongest advocates and are willing to serve as references or new product testers.

Having data and being able to analyze and understand that data provides  your employees with training and tools in order to deliver better service. Employees with the right tools can input, update and view customer information in a database that is accessible anywhere.


Thanks to advances in cloud technology, employees can stay connected to customers and their data in real time – whether on a sales floor, in a warehouse, steps away from their desk, or on an airplane 35,000 feet in the air. Encouraging your staff to embrace new ways of improving customer service can boost customer loyalty and employee happiness. It also allows customers to contact you however they feel most comfortable. Whether it’s by telephone, e-mail, or by instant messaging, your customers will be able to contact you in the way they want.

Amazon is a large corporation that’s using big data from customers to better understand them and help them along the way. Amazon collects massive amounts of data about you from address, credit information, to purchase history. While thousands of companies are able to collect this sort of information, Amazon is doing something incredible with that data – using that data to build upon your relationship with the company.

By connecting your personal information and purchase history to your account, the representative is quickly able to assist you and provide an individualized experience. Beyond previous purchases, Amazon also collects this information not only to better serve you products that you might be interested in but are creating a relationship where they know who you are, what you like, and how they can help you to get back to your daily life quickly as possible. While they may want you to spend hours on their site, they don’t want it to be for the wrong reasons.

A Forrester study claims that 63 percent of people believe that the importance of customer service has risen – a differentiating area for businesses. If well over half of potential customers believe this, you have to start making steps to better your business chances against all the competitors.

Nothing can replace the value of providing great customer service, and especially in today’s interconnected economy, your business’ survival depends on how quickly you can respond to customer needs. From nudging a lingering customer on checkout pages to efficiently responding to consumer issues, tracking key customer data improves the customer experience.

Read Next: The secret to super fast growth? Customer service

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