How iWorkers Can Draw Customers Closer Using Big Data
iWorkers, reliable and skilled employees with 24/7 access to all the information they need, can make significant contributions to better customer service through effective use of big data.
Leading organizations are transforming their customers’ experience and differentiating their services, increasing competitiveness and revenues. For example, in a global survey1 of over 1,300 business executives across 19 industries, increased customer insight through big data collection and analysis was ranked first by respondents in their strategy to connect with customers – ahead of investment in mobile applications (second place). The third and fourth drivers involved leading edge technologies and social media, also used to better their connections with customers and gain insights into “individual customer preferences.”
Source: “The Rise of the Customer-led Economy”, Economist Intelligence Unit, 2013
One of the challenges is that customer communications generate big data across the organization from a range of diverse channels in different formats such as documents, email, chat and social media. And as I pointed out in a previous blog, the most valuable, timely customer information is likely buried in these unstructured communications.
Capturing, analysing, and making the right information available at the right time for improved customer engagement must involve more than just technology; success will require a transformation of the business processes that generate and make use of the information.
This is where I think the true value of iWorkers may be underappreciated. They have an increasing sophistication with the applications for managing digital information; some are becoming more familiar with the new channels of communication, for example using social media. This background arguably makes them more adept with managing and extracting the information they need, when they need it, to communicate with customers via these new channels. This experience with new tools and methods of information sharing certainly makes them more comfortable with different ways of communicating important information.
When encouraged and fully supported, I believe these talents can benefit the business and its customers significantly. The enterprise whose staff can develop processes to better leverage customer information – not just technology but streamlined workflows and how people share information – will be the one more likely to accelerate their competitive advantage.
So, continue to optimize the core data collection and analysis of big data – which is indeed where the enterprise appears to be making substantial investments. But don’t forget to empower your iWorkers so they can help you build stronger customer relationships and drive your business forward.
1 “The Rise of the Customer-led Economy,” Economist Intelligence Unit, 2013.