Real-time data for customer service has the power to customize, prioritize, and synthesize the needs of your customers. Gone are the days when customer service data is simply logged by agents to be compiled and reviewed later by managers and analysts. Rather than using such data after the fact, agents now have access to real-time data for customer service in order to provide the best possible customer care.
Here are 9 ways you can use real-time data to improve customer service.
1. Monitor traffic
Real-time data can show you who is visiting your site, when the peak traffic times are, and even which specific areas of your site are getting the most traffic at a given time.
This gives insight as to the most popular products, features, or services of the company, allowing you to steer curious or floundering customers in the right direction to generate leads.
2. Get ahead of the storm
Real-time data for customer service can give call center agents insight into who and how many people are having problems with the company’s system or services.
Knowing what queries, needs, or concerns are surging up can help call centers to manage these concerns in a timely and satisfactory manner for customers.
Furthermore, real-time data resulting from such interactions can indicate to agents which resolutions are making customers the happiest, informing how best to problem-solve with current and future customers on the same or similar issues.
3. Gain perspective
Real-time data gives perspective from the past to inform the needs of the present. Someone who has called for help on the same issue 5x should be dealt with differently than a first-timer.
Knowing a customer has already been transferred three times to resolve the issue spells out a different approach as well.
Call center agents who can pull up some up-to-the-minute stats on the customers they work with are at a significant advantage to making the customer feel valued and resolving the issue in the most satisfactory way.
4. Harness social media trends
Whether good, bad, or merely mentionable, people flock to social media to post their experiences with a company. Call centers need to be privy to these interactions in order to best gauge their customers’ interaction with the company in real time.
What do customers want? What are they buying? What problems are they having? Keeping a finger on the social media pulse of their customer base means call center agents can be better poised to serve their needs.
5. Integrate channels
If all goes well, a customer who calls in with a service request may end up wanting to make another purchase right there on the phone. Keeping customer data updated in real time for agents across all channels (phone, email, social media, face-to-face) and for all purposes (marketing, sales, service) means never missing an opportunity to provide timely, relevant service and maximize customer sales and satisfaction.
6. Target promotions
Being able to see customer purchases in real time allows you to promote other goods/services at the right time, to the right person. A customer whose data indicates that she has been lingering in a bookstore for over an hour on a Saturday afternoon could be sent an offer from a local cafe about their coffee specials and comfortable lounge area.
Putting real-time information in the hands of sales, marketing, and service agents means they can target promotional goods and services to the right customer who is in the right place at the right time, rather than blasting out annoying (and often ignored) spam offerings.
7. Use real-time data for customer service ratings
Customers can be asked to rate their overall experience via text message, email, or at the end of a call. Agents can constantly monitor these stats, digging down to see what solutions lead to the highest customer satisfaction outcomes and using this insight to inform current and future responses to customer service issues and queries.
8. Help agents up their game
A skilled sales or service agent knows how to be perceptive of a customer’s wants, needs, and concerns, and how to package and pitch an offer accordingly. Whereas this skill can often be attributed to good instincts as a salesperson, experience also plays a vital role.
Combining real-time customer data with machine learning means a system can suggest to the agent what offers are most likely to appeal to customers. A real-time system such as this has the potential to improve the effectiveness of even the greenest salesperson or service agent, to the advantage of the customer and ultimately the company.
9. Maximize agents’ time
Sales and service agents with access to real-time data about their customers spend far less time dealing with commonplace issues. Since accurate real-time data makes mundane issues easy to resolve in the beginning phase of the call, agents are freed up to spend their time and valuable expertise resolving complex issues or inquiries from their customers.
The ubiquitous nature of customer data demands that companies harness it for the best possible competitive advantage. Those who fail to do so will surely fall by the wayside of their more data-savvy rivals. By tapping into real-time data for customer service, agents position themselves to best serve customers who are living in the now.