Monday, May 21, 2012

Knowledge ‘works’

Many service providers especially telecom players seem to have the fantastic ability to drown customers with offers that they will never use or have a record of declining. These very service providers are the ones who also have reams of data about their customers, data most of us would think should help them make the right offer to us. But we are often faced by the same static messaging which has ruined many an experience of our service provider for us. The problem does not lie with the amount of data they have, it also isn’t the fault of the lack of desire to give the customer a good deal. It all seems to lie in the much hidden and embarrassing fact that a lot of our service providers do have a lot of data but very little knowledge.

Companies have many storage hubs today. The Contact Center, Point of Sales, customer feedback and many more depending on the company and the various customer programs they have in place. The amount of data available here will be enough to piece together a decent customer outreach strategy. Yet service providers in most cases such as one of our friendly neighborhood telecom providers make the fundamental mistake of not making these hubs speak to each other. Due to this a lot of customer data gets lost in translation as its not being mined to get the relevant data points which can be used to market the right offers to the customers or at least – close to the right one. The key, one should believe lies in converting this data to knowledge which should be shared across relevant departments. A customer complaint may be voiced over a simple transaction related call into the Contact Center, but is that being sent over to the guys at Customer Service? A customer refuses an offer for an upgrade on her current calling plan at an authorized center. Is that then transferred to the Contact Center so that the customer is not pestered about it again?

The opportunities to use customer data are many and can prove to be both profitable for the company and improve customer service. Service providers will be more focused and relevant in their approach to the customer which only involves a better use of resources already available to them. Getting over the embarrassment of having customers come down upon the service provider with all their fury for every unnecessary offer made to the customer can be very easily avoided. And what better then turning that embarrassment into a meaningful opportunity for both?