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Over the years, big data has developed into an entire industry. In 2012 alone, harnessing big data resulted in generating revenue worth $11.59 billion. And what’s more? By 2017, big data is forecasted to be worth at least $47 billion. (Source: Wikibon).

Does this look familiar to you?

E-commerce Personalization

Recommendation engines are just one of the many ways big data is unassumingly inching its way into our lives. Companies like Netflix and Amazon are using big data in their re-targeting campaigns, which also includes processes such as segmentation and real-time bidding, to provide visitors with highly personalized purchase suggestions, which has had a huge impact on ramping up their sales and revenues.

Big Data has proven to be very efficient in the healthcare industry as well. Healthcare providers are now able to analyze customer data in order to devise highly personalized, better quality treatment plans that have the incredible potential to save lives. Healthcare sectors in Singapore have successfully employed big data insights from various platforms to completely transform how they manage chronic diseases.

Professor Gary King makes an astute observation in his 2014 Harvard Magazine article, Why Big Data Is A Big Deal – the miracle of Big Data is not just that we have accumulated it, but that we can now do something with it.

Finding diamonds in the rough

Analyzing massive agglomerations of data gives companies access to understanding customer behavior across the entire life-cycle. As the customer traverses his journey across various departments in an organization, such as marketing, sales, product management, the executive team and others, he/she leaves behind a trail of valuable insights. Gathering these insights and analyzing them to understand customer behavior allows organizations to better align their efforts to maximize customer retention.

Harnessing these insights is not only good for retaining customers, but it also enables companies to identify and position up-sell opportunities and improve customer satisfaction.

Sounds like a win-win situation, doesn’t it? Let’s delve further into how big data is transforming the customer insights area.

Climbing the big data analytics ladder for customer loyalty success

How does this success formula work?

  • Companies analyze data
  • They compare results in real time to the customer decision making process
The result? Huge increase in revenue

Leveraging data correctly can have a transformative impact on a business’s capability to be agile and innovative, and most importantly, profitable.

Businesses today have an enormous volume of customer data and it continues to grow at a staggering rate every second. This includes extremely valuable inputs such as financial information, usage data, CRM details, support tickets, Net Promoter Scores℠, social media information, and various other data that will help you analyze customer behavior.

Too much data. Too soon

During the initial days, companies typically pay a lot of attention to every customer. They are in constant contact, and somehow find the time and capacity to personally monitor relevant data associated with each customer. However, when the client base grows, this process becomes increasingly cumbersome and at times, just plain impossible.

Big data offers the only solution to get past the oceans of data coming at you

We would like to present to you a few practical examples of how leveraging “Big Data” is instrumental in deriving key insights from large collections of customer data and using them to achieve customer loyalty.

Obtaining a Highly Personalized View of the Customer

Having a meticulously maintained knowledge base is a great first step. But, managing and making sense of this data requires automated effort, in addition to manual analysis. Handling data entirely manually gives rise to the risk of introducing discrepancies and inherent biases, that will fail to give you an honest and exhaustive picture of the customer.

Harnessing big data can help businesses derive relevant insights from both structured data, such as usage data, CRM, etc. and unstructured data, such as insights from phone calls, thus empowering customer teams to devise an effective customer loyalty strategy.

Developing an Early Warning System

Business success does not lie in tackling issues after they crop up and spiral out of control; rather, it depends on whether the business is able to effectively quell problems even before they have a chance to escalate. A 360 degree view of your customer coupled with an accurate customer health score, will be indispensable in building an effective early warning system. Harnessing big data to analyze every single touch-point a customer has with the business is key to identifying both issues and opportunities.

Deepening Customer Touchpoints

Customer on-boarding, training, mapping the customer journey and scripting customer touch points are all strategies that can help drive early adoption besides generating customer value.

Customer success teams can also use big data analytics to get better insights on the customer lifecycle at both the account and individual level. Tools can now track the customer journey from the first point of contact/engagement to sale and after-sale experience at account as well as individual level.

Data Analytics can also help in better customer segmentation and throw up patterns and trends that can reveal which of your customer-touch points are most effective at driving sales.

Personalization – Key to Retaining Customers

Customer satisfaction is passé – businesses should put more thought into how they can delight their customers.

Big data plays a crucial role in helping you build deeply customized and personalized campaigns. It provides you detailed knowledge of the end user and allows you to identify and map their journey in using your product. As your prospect maneuvers through the typical customer lifecycle, you can leverage insights at each touchpoint, to engage with them on a truly personal level. This will help you create brand loyalists and establish product value in a much more meaningful way.

Human touch is still imperative

Did you ever turn on Pandora only for it to blast unsavory songs into your ear drums?

Do you ever get flooded with emails from airline companies advertising discounts for flights departing from airports 1000 miles away from your city?

Have insurance companies ever asked you to have your toddler tested for cholesterol levels before they could be approved for a health insurance plan?

These are just a few examples of baffling incidents that have occurred when companies chose to use big data results that did not feature human intervention and common sense. They failed to recognize the fact that big data without human touch can only result in severe embarrassment and in extreme cases, also put their business and brand at risk by alienating customers.

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

-Albert Einstein

Sure, we have the capacity to analyze and extract insights from colossal amounts of data. But, does that alone qualify these insights as relevant or meaningful?

Raking through mountains of data manually is impossible and with this limitation, big data analytics tools, with their tantalizing promise of automation and its convenience and speed, seem like the right answer.

However, that’s not how it really works.

A report by Forrester reveals that understanding customer emotion and empathy are important elements of a successful customer experience.

As companies start to rely more heavily on data, marrying data driven solutions with common sense and human intuition are key to building superior customer experiences.

Do you wish to use Big Data to better understand your customers? Why don’t you let one of our IT experts walk you through various techniques you can employ to harness big data?