Today, while big data is providing big benefits to businesses of all sizes, many are still struggling with ways to use these analytics to their benefit. In fact, 95 percent of Fortune 1000 business leaders say their firms have undertaken projects involving big data within the past five years, but only 48.4 percent say they’ve yielded any positive results, according to NewVantage Partners.
In particular, one of the roadblocks many businesses run into is integrating the various data streams they utilize into something actionable. To that end, 89 percent of all U.S. companies say they plan to invest in tools to better integrate their big data into day-to-day operations, according to an International Data Group study.
Ultimately, integrating your data streams successfully is essential for gaining a 360-degree view of your customers, enabling your business to improve upon its existing marketing and sales efforts. Here is a three-step strategy to help you gain a comprehensive view of your customer data.
1. Define Your Data
Before you attempt to gain a clearer snapshot of your customers, you first need to define which data you plan to collect. In the world of sales and marketing, this process means segmenting or classifying your data streams.
Now, data sources will no doubt vary by company and industry, but typical sources include usernames and other account information, order history, call center logs, support tickets, email data and social media data. Some of this information may be located in internal company files, while other sources of information may be found in social media analytics.
Ultimately, you’ll need to take an inventory of your company’s data and determine which sources are most optimal in gaining a 360-degree view of your customers.
2. Coordinate the Information You Collect
After defining what data you are recollecting, the next step is to integrate this information so that it can be better analyzed. Integrating your data effectively requires a suitable platform that allows you to manage all your information from a single interface. A best practice for centralizing your customer data is to deploy a cloud contact center, which can be managed from virtually any location and device.
Cloud contact center tools can be used to manage data from all of your service channels, including phone, email, texts, interactive voice response systems and chatbots. You can also integrate contact center data with data from other key software tools, such as customer relationship management apps. Today’s leading cloud contact center tools include RingCentral, Five9, and 8×8.
It’s also important to choose robust tools to secure the data you collect so that you’re not vulnerable to a ransomware attack or other cyber attacks. Using an automated cloud-based backup tool with encryption will ensure your business will always be able to recover its data.
3. Analyze Your Database
Once you have collected your data and centralized it in one location, it needs to be analyzed in order for it to be put to practical use. The key to this step is making effective use of business intelligence tools. Today’s best business intelligence tools are designed to make it easy for non-IT users to generate actionable reports from various data sources. Some user-friendly business intelligence tools include Zoho Reports, IBM Watson Analytics, and Microsoft Power BI.
To translate business intelligence analysis into action, you’ll need to determine which key performance indicators are most relevant to track in order to measure your business performance and make adjustments to achieve your business goals. For instance, you can improve your customer retention by tracking contact center KPIs that impact customer satisfaction, such as average response time, average resolution time and the percentage of times support tickets are resolved on initial contact.
Once you’ve selected which KPIs to track, you can set up your business intelligence tools to display key information to managers and employees so they know what’s working, what isn’t and what needs to improve.
Defining, coordinating and analyzing your customer data will help illustrate a complete picture of your customers. By implementing this three-step strategy, you can gain a better understanding of how your customers choose to interact with your business. Using this information effectively will translate into more satisfied customers, more sales, and higher profits.