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Use Customer Data to Create a Better Customer ExperienceBuying Experience

We’re going to talk about data and analytics. Now, before you roll your eyes, I promise this will be interesting. And it definitely ties into customer service and customer experience. I just came back from the IBM Insight conference in Las Vegas, and what they shared about data is anything but boring. We’re all familiar with “Big Data” – the data that help us understand trends and general customer preferences. But, this is about customer data (or “Little Data”), which is much more than a name and email address. This is deep information that gives you insight into why a customer buys from you, what they buy from you, when they buy from you, and much more. Now, tell me that wouldn’t be interesting to you or your business. One thing that was abundantly clear: there is a lot of data out there. You would be blown away at how this information can be used. Here are a few examples. The Weather Company provides data on the weather so retailers know when to stock certain items. In its most simplistic form, if there is going to be a lot of rain, a store that sells umbrellas may want to increase the umbrella inventory to meet the anticipated demand. Keep in mind that an out-of-stock item makes for a bad customer experience. And by the way, if there is a way to anticipate the demand for any item, whether it is based on a weather report or any other telling information or data, take advantage of it. Social media channels provide data on your customers’ likes, dislikes, interests, occupations, and much more. If I make a social media post on my birthday, that information becomes important data that someone or some company can use. If I show pictures of my dog on Facebook, my love for “man’s best friend” becomes part of my profile. Perhaps there is something that I buy on a regular basis, such as dog food for the dog I just mentioned in the Facebook example. My dog food purchases have a pattern. That important data gives the retailer the information they need to market to me based on my “predictive purchases.” All of this may seem basic, and some of this type of data has been around for years, but the increase in the ability to mine data from different sources and the ease in obtaining it can be a game-changer for any company that figures out how to use it properly; which is to give the customer a better experience. That experience can tie to a better customer service experience as well as a better buying experience. So the question is, what data is important and will help improve your customers’ experience? Is it weather, economics, buying patterns, social media postings, online buying behaviors or something else? Once you have this information, how do you exploit it? Here is the point of all of this: Data is worthless unless you have the right data and then do something with it. Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn. (Copyright © MMXV, Shep Hyken)

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