In my last post, I said I’m a data junkie. But more and more I find myself enamored with context, that which brings meaning to data. And I’m fascinated with the power that context has to improve the speed, efficacy and pleasure of remote customer service interactions.

The advent of social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn and ubiquitous public forums like Twitter and Pinterest have produced an ocean of data that can be mined for macro trends and micro interactions. For providing the best possible customer experiences, both are important.

The macro view helps you understand the market — the voice of the customer. It gives a great overview of what people are talking about or what products are getting positive or negative feedback. And, while that is important, delving deeper and taking a micro view can truly make your customer service exemplary.

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BTW, here’s a video version of this blog post.
Not exactly the same content, but similar points.
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By taking those conversations and wrapping customer information around it — putting context around it — you not only provide your customers with an individualized service experience, but you also help improve the performance of your service agent.

value-my-timeThe biggest issue customers have with any company regarding customer service is time. Customers don’t want to waste their time, especially when  trying to resolve an issue. If a customer is already having problems, the last thing they want when they contact you is more problems. They don’t want to repeat the same information over and over and they expect you to have relevant information about them and their relationship with you at your fingertips. (According to Forrester Research, 71% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide a customer with a good online customer service. (Source: Understand Communication Channel Needs To Craft Your Customer Service Strategy)

By utilizing this deep history and breadth of information about the customer, your agent saves time by not having to ask the same questions over and over. As soon as the customer contacts you, the agent has a full history of previous interactions, shopping preferences, any prior issues and even social posts.

Having all of this knowledge at their fingertips empowers your agents to quickly resolve any customer issue. Context helps your agents turn a potentially troublesome situation into a positive and profitable one. Once the agent skillfully guides the customer to a successful resolution of their issue, the agent can use all of the available information about the customer’s history to provide special offers or customized products that fit the customer’s needs. If these offers are directly related to the customer’s issue, such as an extended warranty for an electronic device or a new data plan for cell phone, the customer will be more receptive after already having an issue resolved quickly and after receiving exceptional service. And, after successfully resolving the problem, you have a happy and (most likely) loyal customer who will now use social channels to talk about the positive experience you just provided.

That’s the power of context and the micro view (“Little Data”) of social monitoring and response.