Taking Control of Information
We live in a time where consumers have the power. With choice and access to information at their fingertips, consumers can flip between service providers with relative ease. Attracting and retaining customers is more about customer service than anything else. Provide good customer service and you will be rewarded with loyalty but offer customers a negative experience and you will lose their business.
Customer service has become about more than just offering a good quality product and managing complaints, although these are still of utmost importance. In any organisation or industry, a business needs to know their customer in order to offer their customer exactly what they want.
Just as customers have an information advantage, so too do organisations – if they know how to use it.
Take a bank, for example. Effectively using the data to which the bank has access will give them a full view of their customer. Apart from knowing all personal details and the financial standings of customers, , banks know the spending patterns of their customers in detail, their behaviour, and external product holdings, to name a few. Using this data, a holistic view of the customer can be developed, giving banks the ability to service their customers end-to-end. Banks potentially have the ability to provide solutions for their customers as they move through every stage of life, meeting all of their banking needs along the way – whether customers realise their own needs or not.
Imagine a bank that proactively offers you an extended home loan for home improvements, because they notice your recent spending at a building supplier. Or a bank that knows that your vehicle will soon be paid off and offers you an investment option for your soon-to-be spare funds with an attractive interest rate. The opportunities for a bank to effectively meet their customers needs are endless.
It is one thing to have access to data and a completely different thing to make effective use of it.
Ingesting data is a complex issue and a journey that should not be underestimated. Sourcing the right, quality data, with the correct architecture and governance in place, is key. This needs to be managed and integrated end-to-end across the business, and constantly aligned to strategy to ensure that the data sourced will allow leaders to make the right decisions. Once established, advanced capabilities such as machine learning and artificial intelligence can be incorporated to analyse the data, make decisions for the business and elevate the data capability within any organisation. However, the basics need to be in place first.
While the complexity of harnessing data differs across industries, the principle remains the same – use as much data as you can to fully understand your customer and adapt your value propositions and offerings as your customers’ needs change. In short, organisations should focus on using data to offer their customers the best service and offerings that they can.
If customer service is key to business success, data should be a strategic priority for any organisation.