How Customer Data Helps Improve Customer Service

There has been a dynamic shift in what consumers expect when interacting with their favorite companies. With all the digital touchpoints available to us these days, people feel more personally connected to celebrities and corporations than ever before. After all, we live in a time when a snack food icon might reply to your Tweet with a joke.

As a result of this new sense of connection, consumers have abandoned the old transactional relationship with companies for a more familiar one. They don' want to do the song and dance of "let's get to know each other" every time they interact with a company. They've done the hard work on their end of getting to know the company and want to feel that the company they love knows them just as well.

This desire for a more continuous relationship has elevated the role of the contact center from being a place to answer questions and resolve issues to a hub for brand interaction. If a frustrated post made on a social media platform can be addressed with a phone call from the company to resolve the issue, the customer feels valued and is far more likely to remain loyal.

When customer data and contact history is used wisely, it can greatly elevate the overall customer experience and turn consumers into super fans.

Just as the call center has been replaced with the contact center, cases have been replaced with conversations. With the prolific amount of customer data available, companies can gain insight into customer behavior, such as frequency of visits, toward which items and services they gravitate, and what they have to say about the brand on social media. They can begin to offer a seamless experience informed by a specific customer's entire history with the company.

Zero in on Truth

While all this customer data is incredibly useful for crafting an optimal customer experience, the data doesn't come ready to use. Data streams enter your company via sources like social media platforms, web browsing data, sales, marketing, customer service, and shipping. From this point, the data should be consolidated, verified, and analyzed to make the information accessible and useful companywide. Having a single pool from which all departments draw their data means that every department is operating with the truest snapshot of who the customer is at that moment in time.

Knowledge is power, and the more good information that's available to your customer service representatives, the more they will be able to employ creative problem solving to help customers. This is where truth meets trust. The old model of customer service was very scripted and linear, and often times frustrating for both parties involved in the conversation. Giving your CSRs the tools and trusting them with the responsibility to provide more personalized service can greatly improve the customer experience.

Now, with a pool of well-organized data shared companywide, CSRs can be more flexible when working to resolve issues. They can trust that if they transfer their conversations to someone in another department, that person will have the same understanding of who the customer is and be able to more quickly and efficiently work with them to a positive conclusion.

Start the Conversation

The wellspring of customer data available can be used to empower CSRs in your contact center and improve overall customer experience. But data alone can't do the heavy lifting. You need the right tools to store, process, and parse the data in a way that creates those truthful customer profiles. Solving for continuity requires making customer data an enterprise service, requiring a seamless extension from marketing into the contact center and beyond.

Remember, your customers have spent a lot of time getting to know your brand. They're invested. They already have signed off on trusting you with their data. The trend is moving full-steam toward companies being invested in their customers as well. Get that conversation started.

Thomas Kurian is head of new markets at Treasure Data.