Ask any contact center leader for data and you’ll likely end up with a hefty pile of metrics and analytics. Most companies can pull up copious documents, spreadsheets and reports with endless data and analytics. But too often, that data just sits there, gathering digital dust.
Companies understand that gathering data is important. But they often neglect to do anything with it. The essence of a good omnichannel strategy is making your data actionable to improve your customer experience. Unless you can connect your data across teams and platforms, much of it is useless.
The University of Texas found that increasing data’s usability by only 10% would, on average, boost revenue by $2 billion annually.
Big data gives you a leg up on customer behavior and preferences. It also uncovers your own team’s strengths and weaknesses to help you boost your strategy.
Here are four ways companies benefit by using big data to enable the omnichannel experience.
1. Actionable data enables you to personalize your omnichannel experience
It should be no surprise that collecting and studying customer data will reveal things about your customer base and behaviors. Surprisingly, most companies don’t do this well. Only 8% of retailers say they have a holistic view of their customer base.
Companies that don’t have a grasp on their customer base are spinning their wheels when it comes to improving customer experience. You make improvements based on intuition, but you don’t have a firm grasp on what your customers actually want.
Improving CX starts with knowing your customer. Following the customer journey can teach you a lot about who your customers are. You’ll see patterns emerge in certain demographics, communication preferences, and favorite products. Then, you can use the data to personalize your customer experience.
Personalization is one of the main things customers look for in a brand these days. They want to feel known. They’re tired of being treated like a ticket number. And they don’t like having to answer the same 10 questions during every interaction. Use customer data to inform and enable your omnichannel strategies so you can streamline and personalize your customer experience.
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The more insights you can glean from your data, the more personalized you can make each interaction. You’ll know which demographics prefer in-person contact versus online shopping. You learn which agents work best with which customers. You get the knowledge you need to strengthen your platforms and reach customers faster.
The possibilities with big data and personalizing the customer journey are endless. And when customers can see you’re prioritizing them, they stick around.
2. Customer data reveals how your customers like to communicate
Your customer journey is all about communication. Customers have moaned and groaned about customer service communication for years. Many customers still turn to the phone as their number one source for questions and complaints. But long wait times and low FCR leave customers and companies wishing for more.
As digital platforms become widely adopted, many customers have turned to alternative communication channels.
But there are a lot of alternative channels! I hear you saying. How do I even decide where to even begin?
That’s where customer research comes in. If you spend time reviewing customer data and interaction history, you’ll find patterns. Are a lot of customers calling in with simple questions that agents can resolve quickly? Are customers using chat or email? These data points help you narrow your communication strategy.
Millennials and Gen-Z, both with much of today’s purchasing power, are the trendsetters in moving the CX needle toward omnichannel experiences. They grew up alongside the internet and the development of the smartphone. They’ve seen how efficient and speedy companies can be (hello, Amazon Prime). Most millennials are happy with digital communication platforms like chat, texting, and social media.
Above all else, 86% of consumers say they want their conversations to move seamlessly between channels.
3. Insights from your contact center help connect KPIs to customer outcomes
Contact centers often get too bogged down in the daily task list and forget to review the big picture. Managers may be using an outdated set of KPIs because that’s what was handed down to them and they haven’t had time to review what metrics point to better outcomes. Even if managers are gathering CSAT and Net Promoter Scores, they may not have space in their busy schedules to really study them. There might be lots of helpful feedback buried in those scores, but if you never make time to find them, you won’t know how to improve.
The data you gather needs to be actionable. Always. So set aside time in your busy calendar to review customer data and agent metrics. You may discover that you haven’t emphasized the right KPIs needed to drive team success.
When you focus on in-depth data analysis, every department comes out stronger. Executives know what processes and omnichannel strategies work best. Managers can implement changes in coaching strategies and team organization. Agents work harder and smarter, knowing what metrics truly matter. Paying attention to KPIs that matter most to your customer outcomes ultimately improves the customer experience.
Customers feel the difference when every interaction with your team members has continuity and purpose.
4. Better reporting reveals weak spots in the customer journey (so you can improve!)
Just like analyzing your data uncovers your strengths, it also reveals the glaring weaknesses that might exist in your processes. Even though it’s easiest to ignore your weak spots, your contact center can’t reach its full revenue-earning potential until you ID problem areas in your customer journey and address them head on.
Your data can tell you a lot about why and when your customers are running to your competitors. You’ll want to study customer data to find any hang-ups. Are there areas in the customer journey where you see a lot of drop-offs? Do your customers give up and find a competitor at a specific point in their buyer journey? Like after sending in a negative CSAT survey? Or do they quietly leave? They attempt to get help from your service team, then when they can’t find a resolution, they slip away and never come back.
For example, 82% of companies say their customers have to repeat information when switching between channels. If you spend time harvesting data like this from your own contact center, you find pain points in the customer journey. When you dive into the details and learn what problems pop up for your customers, you can make changes in your processes and coaching techniques to help agents meet customer expectations. And customers appreciate transparency. If you give attention to your weak spots instead of shoving them under a rug, your customers will notice.
Review your data, admit your areas of strength and weakness, and make actionable change. Your customers will stay loyal.