In today’s technologically focused world, there is a surplus of consumer data. In 2017, annual revenue from the global big data market was expected to reach $33.5 billion, with predictions suggesting this could double in size within the following four years. 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past two years alone. Every minute, we create 200 million emails in addition to videos, photos, files, and apps, all contributing to an exponential rise in data creation. Cloud computing traffic was forecast to reach 320 exabytes per month in North America alone and as the amount of consumer data increases, businesses resort to storing their data in the cloud. It’s the cheapest it’s ever been to store — over the past couple of years the cost of data storage has declined as much as 15–20%.
Not only do companies have large amounts of data storage, but now they also have a large number of services they use. The SaaS market is expected to grow 20.1% to reach $46.3 billion in 2017. We’ve found companies using a myriad of services early on, from tracking applications like Mixpanel and Segment.io, to order applications like Shopify and Magento, marketing tools like Marketo and Hubspot, and internal admin tools. As a result, customer data is scattered across multiple external systems. Companies have rich customer information which independently provides business value, but most of the customer information and data exists in siloed systems.
Data is one of the more critical components of information that companies can use to leverage and better understand their customers to help achieve their goals. It’s easy to compile more customer data and store it, but with data surplus comes the challenge of consolidating, analyzing, and understanding customer data. Companies are often storing a ton of data in order to analyze it, finding customer trends and behavioral insights. Data storage occurs whether or not they have the tools today, or are simply preparing for the ability to analyze in the future.
When data is consolidated, companies can get valuable insights, which is easier said than done. Some businesses hire data engineers and data scientists to build data pipelines, analyze data, and provide insight into the business and their customers. These teams go through the expensive, time consuming, complicated process because they understand the value of the insights locked within the data. Major companies like Walmart, Amazon, and Target analyze everything about their customers buying habits, so much so that they can accurately predict pregnancy due dates.
Data consolidation can also play an important role when it comes to improving the customer experience. As a service provider, we often find that companies have integration needs that include common services such as Shopify or Magento as well as their own proprietary systems that store important customer data and historical information. We’ve seen companies go to the extent of forwarding of orders by BCC-ing their support address in order to populate search results for those customers in the future in the event the customer called in about an issue with an order. Now, businesses can consolidate their data by integrating their applications, from internal to external, into one platform. When all of your customer data is in one place and presented around a customer as the atomic unit, companies can truly see their customer for the first time. Businesses are able to gain value by visualizing their customer data, resulting in stronger analytics and real time actionable insights that can help solve significant issues like customer churn. For example, if a company had an issue where a few customers complained about color inconsistency in an item, their customer service team could search for all orders that were fulfilled using that particular lot number, identifying all customers who received the defect item, and proactively reach out to replace the order before the rest of the customers complained. When only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain, proactively reaching out to the other 96% who didn’t complain, solving their problem, and increasing their lifetime value could have a large impact on your business.
Data integrations help bring data together into one place, which makes it easier to segment your customer data or surface information to you agents. We’ve seen situations where a customer was unable to find an order directly in their ordering system because the system lacked some of the customer’s contact information or had an incorrect spelling of their last name. When searching for that order from a centralized location with the data integrated with services that enrich the customer profile, that customer was able to find the order information properly.
Additionally, customers expect agents to know everything about them: recent purchase history, products they own, questions they’ve already asked, etc. Agent’s want to be empowered with the above data, as well as additional data points around app usage, buyer journey, self-help history, and more, all without having to switch between multiple apps and tabs. By integrating their many sources of data into one place and orienting it around the customer, agents have instant access to the necessary data and end-customers have a better experience. This empowers service reps to be more productive and informed, giving them the tools they need to provide superior service.
For many companies, the biggest hurdle around data consolidation is effort, time, and money. At Kustomer, our vision is to overcome that hurdle by easily providing companies with a window to their customers, giving them the ability to get answers to the multitude of questions that arise every day. We want to give customers the ability to slice and dice data in interesting ways to gain deeper, actionable insights that provide business value.