6 ways big data can improve customer experiences
As a business leader in the digital world, you prioritize customer experience (CX). You know you need data to understand and improve the way customers interact with your brand. But you might not know how big data fits into the conversation — how it differs from traditional data and why it’s so closely tied to CX.
The amount of data that businesses have access to is growing every year, but few companies are taking advantage of these large datasets as they should. Read on for a better understanding of what big data is and how you can use it to elevate the customer experience.
What is big data, and how is it different?
Big data is data that comes in sets so large they are difficult to manage all at once. That might sound subjective, but it’s more technical than that. To be considered “big data,” it needs to have all three Vs:
- Volume. There has to be a lot of it. Think of the clicks tracked from every user across multiple platforms and channels. Even one source might contain an enormous amount of information, but it’s probably low in density. The meaning of this vast amount of activity isn’t easy to interpret at a glance. And most companies track far more.
- Velocity. It has to be coming in fast, and it needs to be handled fast. You’ll find this type of data more useful when you can receive, record, and respond to it in real time.
- Variety. It has to come from multiple sources and in multiple formats. Data can be structured or unstructured, meaning that it can appear in a numeric and streamlined form or require more interpretation in forms such as text, video, and audio. Also, it may not flow at a steady rate. It may come in large waves at different times, and its sources may change.
Think of the difference between traditional data and big data as the difference between the water coming from a sink faucet and the water coming from a fire hose — or several fire hoses at once. Normal data is easier to control, monitor, and process, either manually or using simple tools. However, traditional data techniques and software cannot process big data. Normal data analytics simply can’t keep up.
How can big data improve customer experience?
With this flood of digital information, you might think that big data is just about crunching numbers and that it has nothing to do with real people. However, when you know how to handle it, big data opens the door to connecting with many more customers at an individual level. And those interactions with real people are what customer experience is all about.
You can use big data to improve customer experience in these six ways:
- Treat every customer interaction with your business as a data point.
- Use this data to create personalized ads or recommend specific products.
- Help customers feel that they are important to the company with personalized content and a custom user experience.
2. Reduce friction
- Learn which parts of your website are moving too slowly or causing confusion so that you can fix them and make the site more useful.
- Discover which aspects of your customer service are leading to dissatisfaction, where the system needs work, or where your team needs training.
- Make the work of customer service agents much easier and faster because they have robust data on hand.
3. Understand customer behavior
- Learn why customers are acting a certain way without having to ask them directly by looking for behavior patterns or performing a sentiment analysis.
- Enhance personalization by targeting customers based on their behavior. If you know why a customer bounced, you can address the issue and let them know that you resolved it.
- Understand and appeal more effectively to new customers’ emotions.
4. Target the right customers
- Track customer interactions to create a customer profile with an accurate picture of what’s common among your best customers. Then you can target new customers who have similar traits. The more data you have, the more confident you can be in your ideal customer.
- Discover whether your marketing campaign is reaching the right people. Look at the engagement data to see if people are clicking through and converting, then make any necessary adjustments.
- Attract people who are likely to be interested in your brand rather than wasting your efforts on a general audience and hoping they don’t bounce.
5. Predict future trends
- Track customer trends across datasets and forecast what might be popular in the future. The biggest bonus of big data is that due to the high volume of it, you have a substantial sample size to analyze.
- Gain insight into what’s happening now to predict what might happen next and be prepared for it.
- Reduce the risk of big trend swings or stock shortages by preparing in advance and preventing customers from ever knowing there was a potential problem.
6. Build customer loyalty
- Stay ahead of customers and proactively build customer loyalty.
- Track trends and customer behavior consistently to improve the parts of your customer experience that are lacking and keep customers happy.
Getting started with big data and customer experience
With big data, you can gather information and recognize patterns that would otherwise be impossible to understand, and you can respond to it in real time to create consistent and impressive experiences that will keep customers coming back for more. Customers love it when you cater to them and when they feel they are important to the company. With big data, you can save them time and perform a service that benefits you both.
The first step in using big data to improve your customer experience is having a platform that makes real-time customer experiences possible. Adobe Experience Platform does that and more.
Learn how it works by watching our platform story.