Big data has become one of those catchphrases that businesspeople like to bandy about and slip into conversations. The phrase may be trite thanks to overuse, but the concept is extremely powerful. While most people think of big data in relation to spreadsheets or as a way to inform financial decisions, it can actually be used for numerous other facets of your business.

If you’re seeking a way to inject new life into your customer service, don’t rule out giving big data a second look. Here are three ways to successfully incorporate it to the benefit of your customers and bottom line:

Give Customers What They're Asking For

Have you ever called a business, just to be routed to several departments? If so, you likely understand the frustration that accompanies automated systems with no foundation in data. A customer calls with a complaint, and speaks with Customer Service Agent A. Unfortunately this individual isn’t familiar with the technicality of the question, so her or she directs the caller to Agent B. This person thinks she understands the problem, but ends up realizing she’s in over her head and needs to send the customer to her supervisor. By the time the supervisor starts delving into the issue, the customer is exasperated.

You can avoid this common problem by engaging with a service that nixes such circuitous calling pathways. One idea is to use a service like Zipwire, which allows you to make decisions based off customer data. Through a platform like this, you can use skills-based routing when a customer has a specific issue, so he or she can be directly routed to the person who can help. This prevents wasted time for all parties, and ensures that your customers will have positive experiences that keep them coming back.

Don’t Forget to be Social

Social media may be largely thought of as channels that are all about fun and games, but it also can mean big business. If you have a presence on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you shouldn’t stop there. Producing relevant and valuable content is great, but these arenas give you much more expansive opportunities than that. It’s time to look into social media analytics and monitoring solutions. By using a service that combs through the feeds and interactions of your followers and fans, you can get to the heart of what’s really on your customers’ minds.

Instead of shooting in the dark with your content, you can meet them where they really are. And rather than guessing about how your customer service is meeting expectations, you can use an analytics tool like Brandwatch to virtually listen in on the conversations about your customer service and make improvements according to what your buyers really want. Southwest Airlines is a perfect example of a company that has used social media analytics to its advantage, using the results to tailor the products it promotes and consequently ending up with higher conversions.

Eavesdrop for a Purpose

You’ve probably heard the message on many a business’ phone line, warning you that the call may be recorded. If you haven’t been recording your customer service calls yet, you may want to consider doing so. By recording and analyzing customer conversations, upper management can get an intimate view of the experiences their customers are receiving. Before it’s too late, they can properly train employees on how to treat each caller so the odds of repeat customers can be greatly increased. And you don’t have to limit yourself to using recorded calls just as a customer service insight exercise. You can also play pertinent conversations to your sales and marketing teams to give them a taste of what’s going on in the field.


If you thought big data was only for financial buffs, think again. You can gather information and analyze it to the advantage of your customer service department—and your entire business. If you put a focus on the experience your buyers are having when they give you a call, you’ll see the rewards when they come knocking for future purchases. So try skills-based routing, paying attention to social media data and analyzing recorded calls. Your customers will have a reason to want to be loyal to you, and your business will be far better for it.