Big Data is the buzzword du jour. Geeky and glamorous at the same time, it’s almost impossible to avoid these days. Google returns over 25 million results for “Big Data”, which makes it more popular than “Disney World” (with only 24 million results)! The problem is that the Big Data term has been hijacked by so many interested parties to describe so many different things; it’s hard to really know what one means when using this term.
According to Jay Parikh, Facebook’s VP of Engineering, “Big Data really is about having insights and making an impact on your business. If you aren’t taking advantage of the data you’re collecting, then you just have a pile of data, you don’t have Big Data.”
So let’s talk about customer insights. Contact centers have been in the Big Data business for years. With millions of customer profiles, billing and IVR transactions, web logs, chat logs, and related branch or retail activity, that’s a huge amount of data.
Now add interactions to the pile. To make things worse, interactions are unstructured. Think about call recordings. You can’t plug a bunch of audio files into a spreadsheet to see why customers are calling or what drives customer issues. Same goes for text-based interactions like email and chat. Interactions are very rich in data, but this data remains untapped unless you use sophisticated technologies such as speech and text analytics.
So what does it all mean? Let’s be practical. You are already likely doing some level of transaction analytics around your customer activity. You may also be doing some level of interaction analytics, likely siloed around specific channels such as speech analytics or chat analytics. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. Pull in interaction and transactional data from all customer touch points along with CRM data. Sequence all customer events across the time line, and gain a holistic view of your customer journey across channels.
A telco that sequences customer interactions, for example, may find that a big portion of customers that call in to activate a smartphone will call again within a few days for help setting up their email account on the phone. Imagine how many calls can be saved now by proactively offering these customers help setting up their emails during their first call, and how far this action will go to improve your customer experience.
As Jay Parikh says, don’t get stuck with a big pile of data.