Get smarter about customer data

We hear so much about how data can help enhance the customer experience, streamline processes and make operations more efficient. Now while this is appealing, the downside is that most businesses don’t understand how to collect and effectively analyse the data so they have information they can use. Additionally, big data can come at a big price tag, and many are hesitant to invest in it because they aren’t always convinced of a return on their investment. Here’s the thing, it’s not big data that matters most, it’s smart data, and it’s not necessary to blow your budget in order to access it either.

Data is everywhere and it’s accessible

What many businesses don’t realise is that they already have a vast amount of data on their customers. Every phone call, email, webchat, or online interaction delivers customer data. The problem is that it is unstructured and voluminous, which presents the idea that it could be both complicated and expensive to sort through. The good news is that there is a way to analyse the data and gain actionable insights by using speech and text analytics that don’t break the bank.

The reason that speech and text analytics can do this effectively is that advanced sampling techniques are used to get a cross-section of the data that accurately reflects the business. The scientific and mathematical method of sampling eliminates the need to sift through all the data in order to get information that highlights what is important to customers. This makes analysis quicker and easier, and more importantly, more cost-effective.

Text analytics at work

Most good CX platforms will include a text analysis feature. This can be tweaked to pick up on key words deemed important in terms of customer engagement.  The essential thing is to know what information you are after, as this helps to narrow down the search criteria. Even off-the-shelf text analysis software is fairly effective in bringing structure to data that needs to be analysed.

Text analysis can be used to help understand why customers are contacting business, get to the root cause of failure demand and even evaluate the effectiveness of sales conversations. Having these insights enables decision makers to identify knowledge gaps and training needs, and focus on ways to improve customer retention.

The power of speech analytics

Like text, speech analytics is another powerful tool that can be used to mine unstructured data for useful customer insights.  Using the same scientific approach for sampling, it is possible to get accurate results from sample sizes as small as a thousand calls. Whereas manual call listening can be a time-consuming process, speech analytics, with the right search pack, can churn out actionable insights in a fraction of the time. In particular, it can be used to improve the quality framework, as well as highlight areas where operational efficiencies or new sales channels can be explored.

Transforming data into action

The question remains – even after data has been extracted using text or speech analytics, how can it be used to improve the customer experience? Smart data will provide you with information on customer touch points in terms of engagement. It will also highlight areas of failure or customer frustration. For example, if speech analytics highlights that customers are expressing their frustration of being sent to multiple departments before finding someone who can help them, it is a strong indication that the IVR needs to be updated so that customers are routed more accurately. If customers are calling in because they can’t find the information they need on the website, it means that needs to be reviewed also.

Each of those touch points represents an opportunity to make customer engagement more positive. The action could be as simple as restructuring or reorganising the way that information is presented so that it is easier for customers to find what they want to know. Or it could involve introducing other customer engagement channels such as livechat or social media, which may be more convenient.

CX failures may also highlight knowledge gaps in customer-facing staff or the need to implement training on soft skills. Once learning programs have been conducted, speech analytics can be used once again to evaluate the transfer of skills and determine if the learning has been embedded and resulted in the desired improvement in the customer experience. So the value of analytics is ongoing, enabling businesses to continuously work towards a customer-centric business model.

Data is fast becoming the key to gaining a competitive edge in an industry. The companies that are able to effectively analyse customer data and use the information to improve the customer experience are the ones that are winning over more customers and improving on their revenues and business bottom line.