22 Aug 2018

BI technology can achieve big customer experience improvements

The maxim ‘the customer is always right’ has never been more important than it is today.

An organisation’s success is increasingly based on their speed and ability to understand and then react to a customer’s individual needs, which today often relies on the use of powerful digital platforms.

In reality, however, the average organisation can actually achieve a great deal in terms of improving customer experience (CX) without making big investments in new technologies and by utilising the tools that might even already be a part of their existing subscriptions: Microsoft’s business intelligence platform ‘Power BI’.

It’s fair to say that conversations about extracting business and market insights from customer and operational data have been dominated by exciting-sounding concepts like big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), but business intelligence technologies are commonly a far better place to start. Of course, organisations with massive numbers of customers and transactions, as well as deep pockets, can afford to invest in complex bespoke artificial intelligence and machine learning systems. However, for the rest of us, powerful technologies such as Microsoft Power BI are available for as little as $12 per month, come with much reduced timelines in-terms of implementation, and will enable you to achieve huge leaps forward by operating in the ‘real world’ environment in which your organisation already exists.

Low-hanging fruit

For all the talk about technology creating new expectations and possibilities around customer service, we all know that change has been a slow process for many.

For example, it might surprise you to know how common it is for organisations to not know how many customers or service users they actually have, let alone have any sophisticated understanding of them.

It’s this ‘understanding’ element that is critical to providing great customer experiences. Without even a basic knowledge of how your customers are interacting with you, key touch-points, main interest areas, or whether there’s holes in your user or service journeys, you cannot begin to make the changes necessary to improve even the most basic of experiences.

I was recently managing a project for a large Australian educational-provider who needed help to create a more efficient on-boarding system. All we had to work with was a big unwieldy website with lots of information and landing pages cobbled-together in no particular order.

Using simple BI tools, we were able to create some 15 different information streams that the client was then able to not only view more clearly, but use to generate their own queries and reports from to get a better understanding of how their students were behaving.

The organisation then used these insights to offer a better service to their students through re-engineering their information architecture (IA) and comms structure. The net result was that they could better personalise and distribute comms to individuals that contained information that was directly relevant, meaning that read rates went up and that there was a reduction in the number of manual queries that staff had to respond to – a better experience all round!

Self-service BI technology

It’s the easy accessibility of BI tools today that makes them a no-brainer for any organisation that deals with customers and information. Being able to predict the future is all well and good, but it’s a bit of a reach if you still haven’t got your best handle on what’s happening day-to-day.

At a minimum, information like how much money a customer spends, when and on what, should be regularly updated and accessible any time.

Once fundamentals like these have been bedded down, more ambitious goals such as being able to generate reports correlating information from different departments – such as sales, supply, logistics or even HR – can be considered.

BI technology can be used to generate a complete holistic view of how an organisation is functioning, but it’s always best to start small and grow out your usage – what better place to start than with customer experience and something that can have an immediate impact on your bottom line?

 

Brennan IT is Australia’s leading managed services provider. We make our clients’ lives easier by allowing them to focus on their business, leaving the intricacies of their technology to us. Speak to us today to about how we can help you to implement, integrate and then utilise a powerful BI technology solution today.

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