In today’s “Age of the Customer,” companies are discovering that the channels they use to engage with customers are expanding almost as rapidly as the data available about consumer behavior.
Analytics to Organize Data
To adequately mine the insight presented by social media posts, call center recordings, notes, text messages, chat, web scripts, and other unstructured data, companies need advanced analytics, according to new research from Ventana Research. However, more than half of companies are still using spreadsheets as their main analytics tool.
“Given the sheer volume of these types of data, many companies cannot process it all and therefore can’t produce a complete view,” notes Richard Snow, who leads Ventana Research’s Customer and Contact Center Performance Management research practice.
“Although spreadsheets meet individual users’ needs for ad-hoc analysis, they are inadequate for enterprise processes such as customer analytics.”
Moreover, almost 57 percent of companies in the survey note that using spreadsheets makes it difficult to produce accurate and timely customer analysis. Because of the limited visualization of spreadsheets, 72 percent of companies limit their analytical outputs to 2-D charts and graphs.
“Spreadsheets are limited in capabilities to share outputs, and so most companies put that data into PowerPoint slides and share the results through email,” according to Snow. “Under such circumstances, it is likely that not everyone is using the same customer analysis, which in turn raises the likelihood of employees making decisions based on inconsistent information.”
Benefits of Customer Analytics
Those companies using customer analytics, on average, note these six benefits:
- Improved customer experience
- Improved analysis across a wide range of business needs
- Better alignment between business units
- Improved productivity
- Faster response to opportunities
- Enhanced competitive advantage
“Customers are the lifeblood of all businesses, so having a complete view of them is essential to marketing, sales, customer service, and financial success,” Snow concludes. “As such, I urge companies to look at the benefits others have gained using dedicated customer analytics tools and use them to build a case for change.”