01 Sep

Seize the Data: Putting the “I” into Intelligent Customer Service

In the good old days of “Customer Relationship Management” we used to talk about a 360 degree view of the customer and creating customer intimacy at every touch point. It did, of course, rely on the fact that customers actually wanted a relationship in the first place.

We are now in an era of “big data”. Although a lot of this data has been hanging around casually and waving at us for a very long time, the difference now is that we have the analytics tools to make sense of it. And we are about to be in an era of bigger data as the Internet of Things, Wearable Technologies and the Cloud of Clouds becomes a reality.

I always find IoT slightly disturbing on a psychological level. Either I am one of the “things” or my devices are starting to talk about me behind my back. Neither are reassuring, particularly since one of my esteemed research colleagues at Adastral Park tells me that the latter is true.

How do I as a customer start to use this “big data” to my advantage? Is this the way to more effectively shape “CRM” that puts the customer in control?

It is very true that an economy is developing that is all about ME (actually it’s all about YOU as well, my ego is not that wildly inflated). It is sometimes called the ME-conomy or the “ego” system – and it is all about how much of my data am I willing to trade for some kind of return.

In our recent “Autonomous Customer” research, 63% of us in the UK expect that we will get better customer service as we share more information about ourselves (that goes up to 75% for the young, urban, connected population of India). 55% of us say that we would share our location data IF we think we will get enhanced service as a result. Fewer (44%) of us said that we would trade social media data but again we would expect to get better service.

However, there is currently a lot of cynicism amongst customers as to whether organisations are capable of becoming more proactive in shaping customer experiences – with 54% of saying that organisations never listen to their feedback, even if they ask for it.

It is ultimately all about the WIIFMs (What’s In It For Me?)

I might be willing to trade my data for more intelligent service – but what does that mean?  If it reduces my effort, saves me time, by-passes the queue, saves me money, gives me exclusive access, tailors offers to my personal tastes or provides me with the “WOW” factor I will probably share more of my data with certain trusted brands.

It is trust that is a big factor here. 55% of us put a lot of effort into protecting our rights and there are growing concerns about security (particularly around payment information).  There are also enormously grey areas around regulation and permission here (did you actually read the 50 pages of terms and conditions that you just agreed to?)

The opportunities for personalisation, simplification and proactivity are there if you are prepared to seize the data.

Are you putting the “I” into intelligent service?

Take a look at the latest Autonomous Customer report. Find out more about BT’s CRM solutions.

 

By Dr Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insight & Futures, BT Global Innovation team.

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