The role of good customer service in sales can never be underestimated, but it’s currently playing a more integral role than ever before. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic saw organizations having to move operations swiftly and suddenly online and support customers effectively via that medium. This required increased online functionality and clear and simple communication – for organizations to be entirely transparent about any changes to product, service, or support offerings. Most organizations recognized this from the get-go and paid close attention to what their customers needed, realizing that nurturing relationships through hard times would result in repeat custom and loyalty in the long term. And now, with continuing disruption to the market and global recession, only the most customer-centric organizations will likely prosper; the ones that can make smart decisions to know what customers want before they do; the ones that stay one step ahead. This is where business intelligence (BI) can be used to radically improve the customer journey.
How can business intelligence be used to gain valuable customer insight?
In today’s competitive landscape, BI can be invaluable in delivering better business insights and enabling you to make informed data-driven decisions. It brings together multiple data sources, allowing you to capture and analyze data to provide evidence-based solutions to key questions. It can be used to help understand current performance as well as identify potential future challenges; helping you to spot patterns and react quickly to change – agility that the pandemic has shown us is crucial. Gartner’s prediction that the BI industry will grow to $29.48 billion by 2022 shows just how valuable BI is and will continue to be in the future. Here are five ways that your organization can take advantage of the technology to improve your customer experience.
1. Creating a single source of the truth – How many different touchpoints does your organization have with customers? With multiple channels and end platforms that don’t ‘talk to each other, including your ERP, CRM, website, and social media, it can be tricky to keep tabs on what’s happening and where. BI can bring multiple data sources together into a visual dashboard to provide you with a single view of your customer interactions in one place so you can get a complete picture of the experience you’re providing without having to manually check and gather data from numerous different platforms.
2. Real time insights – In the past, decision-makers have had to rely on batch-style analytics that can take hours, or even days, to yield results. Not only is decision making on a delayed timeframe ineffective, but it can also put you on the backfoot to competitors. BI tools can provide real-time analytics, streaming data from your various channels and platforms directly into a dashboard so you can draw evidence-based conclusions immediately and react quickly to customer behavior.
3. Informed decision making – BI removes the guesswork and enables you to make informed decisions based on the data in front of you. Your dashboard allows you to see which channels are most successful at converting your customers, for example, so you can adapt your strategy or change your approach to maximize ROI. In this scenario, you might see that your sponsored LinkedIn posts are responsible for more conversions than your PPC campaign and decide to change your keyword strategy or channel more of your marketing budget into LinkedIn instead.
4. An omnichannel experience – Customers expect you to know everything there is to know about their relationship with your brand, across multiple channels at any one time. It can be incredibly frustrating, for example, to contact a customer services team via a webchat and get so far on the way to resolving a problem, to then be asked to call instead and have to relay the issue in its entirety to a new representative with no background or context. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Aspect found 89% of customers are annoyed when they have to repeat themselves about an issue. The importance of an omnichannel experience should not be underestimated – global consultancy McKinsey found that omnichannel personalization can achieve a five to 15% revenue increase across a full customer base. Accurate, good quality data showing the customer journey across multiple touchpoints is key to mastering the omnichannel experience. BI can provide analytical views across all channels, often from multiple sources, to help you see the full customer journey, including your unplanned journeys. This can help you identify new journeys which require analysis to spot patterns across the omnichannel landscape that may have previously been too complex to notice.
5. Reducing churn – Identifying the rate at which customers stop using a product or service over time is crucial for businesses that have recurring revenues, such as membership or donation-driven organizations. Reducing customer churn is essential to the success and profitability of these organizations as it can be costly to replace or reinstate customers once they have left. BI dashboards can help these organizations to identify and address problematic areas so they can take corrective action quickly avoid losing customers. For a business operating a help desk tickets dashboard, for example, it can quickly flag where tickets are taking longer to resolve so management can investigate the cause and react appropriately. It may be that they need to deploy more specialist resources or advise product or service development teams on recurring issues and areas for improvement.
Here we’ve outlined just a handful of ways BI can improve your customer experience – depending on your individual business and BI tools, the applications and possibilities are endless. Once you have your BI dashboard in place and it’s reporting live on your business activities, you open up a range of new opportunities to impress customers and stay that crucial step ahead of your competition. For more information on how business intelligence can enhance the customer experience, download our free report here.
Matt Porter, business insight solutions consultant at Qbase
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