On the one hand the information on hand provides a huge opportunity to know and understand customers better and, therefore, sell and serve more effectively. But on the other hand, unstructured data has traditionally been notoriously difficult to analyse. As such, turning it into actionable business intelligence is also difficult. For instance, think of the thousands of e-mails that a large company’s sales or customer service operation typically receives every week. In it there will be feedback on prices, the usability of the website, opinions on competitors and a huge amount of information on customer buying preferences. The trouble is that no two e-mails are the same. The data collected is not only random (to some extent) but also hidden within text. The question is, how do you extract what you need? It’s a major challenge.
But it’s one that should be addressed. Think for a moment of the wealth of data sources and what they offer.
Businesses typically collect internal data through a diverse range of channels, including:
1. Chat. A hugely valuable source of unstructured data, chat (along with video chat) captures customer interaction in real time.
2. Call centre conversations, with key points entered into CRM systems.
3. E-mail. From queries about products and requests for further information through to questions about delivery status and complaints, a complete spectrum of customer experience is wrapped up in e-mail contacts.
4. Face-to-face communication.
5. Voice recordings.
6. From the Outside Looking In. Your customers – or at least some of them – are posting on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, and often starting far-reaching conversations in the process. That’s very much on the fly, but you’ll also find more considered views on your company and its product within blogs, in reviews (internal and external) and across special interest forums.
Which brings us back the real challenge, namely how do you make sense of all this data, not just in respect of the volume but also in terms of bringing together and understanding information from a diversity of sources.
This is an area where LivePerson’s live engagement platform can be of enormous value.
LivePerson enables real-time customer contact through chat, video chat, multi-media and content, with the interactions triggered by behavioural indicators that the consumer requires help or assistance. But in addition, LivePerson’s Insights software collects and collates unstructured data and provides the analytics that transform it into the actionable information that can be used to improve service and customer experience. As you would expect, collecting and analysing chat transcripts plays a key role in this, but Insights can also factor in data from all the sources listed above and others, providing the merchant with a 360 degree view of the customer.
This is important because it is the unstructured data that provides the deepest insights into why customers buy and why they don’t. Equally important it shines a light on what delights and frustrates them about your offering. This in turn offers a means to correlate the specific experience of customers to those ‘big’ metrics based on structured data, such as conversion rates, bounce rates and shopping cart abandonment.
And once you know not just what customers are doing but why they are doing it, you have a real competitive edge.
Article sourced from Chatonomics.