Using data and insight to equip your Customer Service department
In the past customer service typically took place offline – either face-to-face or over the phone, but now in a world dominated by websites, online shopping and instant messages, customer service has had to move with the times and go digital.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With the amount of customer activity online, this opens up an opportunity for businesses to leverage the use of data to improve customer service and experience through data and insight.
By 2020 the Walker 2020 Customers report predicts that customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator. This prediction is only 2 years away, yet a separate survey showed that an alarming 79% of businesses fail to put customer experience first due to poor quality data1.
But how can data help improve customer service?
The better the quality of your data, the more insight into your customers you gain – this quality insight can be used by customer service departments to enhance customer experience. Here are our three top tips for incorporating data and insight into your own customer service:
- Improved interactions
Customer service departments are often inundated with calls, emails and instant messages all with different queries relating to different products or services. If your customer data is up to date and accurate, the representative answering the query could potentially have a lot of the customers details readily available to them – cutting down on unnecessary questions.
- Single customer view
A single customer view has benefits in almost every department of a business, but in customer service it can help ensure a smooth transition between representative and often between channel.
In an ideal world a customer would talk to the same representative every time they called, realistically this isn’t always possible – but provided the right data is collected, a single customer view will highlight each interaction a customer has had with the business, better equipping the representative to handle the query.
- Knowing your customers pain points
Collecting feedback from existing customers is an efficient and effective way to identify pain points.
Whether this information is collected through one-on-one conversations, a Net Promoter Score (NPS) or via feedback software – once a pain point is identified and a solution decided, this insight leaves customer service representatives in a much better position to resolve the problem should it occur again.
What can you do to help make the most of your data?
- Undertake a data audit – not only is it best practice to know exactly what data is where, you’ll need to know this in order to be able to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Regularly cleanse your database to ensure any old or duplicate data is removed and handled appropriately. Remember to manage those contacts who’ve opted out of communications correctly and according to regulatory requirements
- If you don’t already have a single customer view, introducing a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for each customer is a great starting point
- Consider external help – services such as Experian B2B Prospector assist with the cleansing and enhancement of your existing data
- Finally, remember the GDPR is now in force – meaning you must be considerate of the data you collect, how it’s stored and used. For more information, visit the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
It’s important to remember that data is the enabler, it must be used in conjunction with existing systems and interpreted correctly by employees to gain the valuable insight that will help drive customer service forward.
With businesses now operating in a GDPR-world, we’ll certainly see an increase in businesses taking the collection, storage and use of personal data seriously. But it will be a waiting game to see how many of these businesses will utilise data in a way to improve customer service and ultimately each customer’s experience, differentiating them from the competition.
Experian B2B Prospector can help you keep on top of your data management with services such as data cleansing, email address validation and Telephone Preference Service (TPS) checking. Speak to an Account Manager today by phoning 0870 012 1111 or by visiting Experian B2B Prospector.
Source: 1. Xperience group