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What Does Big Data Mean for Customer Service and Support?


When our Service Cloud clients ask us what we think of “Big Data” – we usually say that it really boils down to “smart(er) use of data”.

What does that mean for Customer Service organizations? Setting aside the technical challenges – let’s look at some of the potential benefits of Big Data Technology for your business.

Big Data Enables Predictive Analytics

Have you ever wanted to get inside the mind of a customer and know exactly how they were using your product or how likely they were to stay a customer?

If companies can tap into big data and analyze it effectively – there’s no need for them to wonder. Practically speaking this could mean all kinds of improvements to the customer support experience, like:

  • More relevant self-help resources (feeding off of previous customer ratings)
  • Less customer satisfaction surveys
  • Identifying customer churn before it happens
  • More accurate and meaningful performance measurement of your agents

As more companies figure out how to make use of their data, this will no longer be a differentiator, but a requirement to stay competitive in the market.

What can you do to get started?

  1. Look forward to built in SFDC functionality
  • Salesforce’s acquisition of Prior Knowledge is exciting news
  • It means that eventually a Service Cloud customer may be able to use predictive analytics out of the box
  • The possibilities are almost limitless – better knowledge base results, more targeted product/service offerings, and a whole host of other applications
  1. Capture & consolidate
  • To make the magic of predictive analytics work – you need data
  • If you’re not already capturing data – think about how you can tap into different sources of customer info
  • Next, consolidate this data or make it accessible to a system that can actually do the analysis
  1. Pay for talent
  • Don’t forget the final challenge: the actual analysis
  • Service Cloud will likely have great out of box product features, but you may want to slice and dice your data in a different way
  • McKinsey & Co. have predicted a major shortage of qualified data analysts by 2018 so be prepared to invest in talent

As Big Data technology matures – there will be many more options for Customer Service  to make smarter use of data, but there’s no reason to not start with what you have today.

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