Everywhere there are customer service and workplace mantras. The most common is “The customer is always right”. Another is John Maxwell’s “Teamwork makes the dream work”.
But what actually fuels such mantras?
Data is perhaps the best fuel. In 2020, every person generated 1.7mb of data per second, providing a massive amount of data on customer behavior that can inform future business decisions.
If used correctly, data can help transform customer service. Here are six possible benefits…
Improve service efficiency
Similar to the previous point, some customers prefer faster transactions and interactions while others prefer a more guided process. These preferences can shift depending on the situation. Understanding these needs is critical to customer retention.
A contact center helpdesk, for example, can use different call tree templates depending on the situation. This can save customers time by avoiding repetitive automated instructions on how to reach specific business expertise.
Data from CRM systems can help determine which call trees to use in a contact center.
Preferably, customers prefer to call a department and then be directed based on their inquiry? Do they want an overview? Do they want a tree that focuses on their most common queries? Getting these right could make or break your customer service.
Provide a tailor-made service
Making recommendations based on a customer’s past behavior is now standard online. Consider how data is used to recommend new videos and shows to watch on video streaming websites like YouTube and Netflix. These data-driven algorithms can help viewers curate their viewing lists.
RPA and machine learning can help you tailor your service to your customers’ needs. RPA bots can automate tasks by following set conditions or rules. They can help fill out forms or calculate. With more human input, RPA can be trained to perform these tasks more precisely.
RPA bots can now benefit from machine learning. Instead of promoting the most popular content, machine learning helps replicate more human characteristics. This could reveal which users viewed certain keywords the most frequently or for the longest time. So you can improve your customer service.
Remove flawed subjectivity
Internal debate can be beneficial when making business decisions. Updating your customer service team on the latest software testing news and expert insight can help inform the work that goes into your latest software update.
A range of cognitive biases that influence our decision-making can be reduced by using data. Given the human mind’s vulnerability to these biases, the value of data-driven decisions is undeniable.
Even customers don’t always know how to express their desires. Studying their actions is more important than feedback. According to Salesforce research, 73 percent of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, but only 51 percent believe customers do.
Ineffective or misleading feedback is not the only source of discrepancy, but it does support the idea that studying customer behavior is more beneficial than customer satisfaction surveys (CSATs).
Aid your employees in aiding customers
As the world’s leading data collector, it’s no surprise that Google uses data to improve internal processes. Their People Analytics team studied what made a great manager and team.
You may have more immediate or specific business needs. The best way to promote a new service to your customers may require training. For example, directing customers to new FAQ videos may help your ticket volume KPIs. Regardless, data-driven decisions can empower customer service teams.
As previously stated, call trees can help contact centers be more efficient. Using IVR (interactive voice response) technology, some queries can be handled without ever speaking to a live agent. Online chatbots are a similar story.
This could allow agents to focus on other tasks like training or software testing. The increased focus on other needs can increase customer satisfaction, creating a positive cycle for a business. Similarly, high-street stores do not require constant staffing if their online channels are easily accessible and equally useful.
Best of all, these strategies aren’t just for big corporations. Small business call centers can be easily implemented using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions, and there are many advantages for businesses of all sizes.
Data can help remove potential obstacles that can arise when releasing new product lines or software updates.
Using data to understand your distribution capabilities may help you avoid supply issues. For example, supply issues exacerbated by a global semiconductor shortage hampered Sony’s Playstation 5 launch.
While Sony has plenty of data, why not use it to better understand customer demand and supply chain capabilities?
Ultimately, data-driven decisions help you understand your customers and improve customer service.
From there, you can improve internal processes, provide more resources to support teams, and eliminate cognitive biases in decision-making. Those internal changes may not directly affect your customers, but they will benefit your business.