When it comes to big data, everyone wants the same thing at the end of the day: insights that can have a positive impact on the business.
More and more, that has come to mean insights that are immediate in addition to being actionable.
This column will take you through the thought process necessary to make the best use of the myriad sources of data about your business. Let’s start with some definitions, and discuss “immediate” and “actionable.”
What does “immediate” mean to you? This is going to depend on two things:
It’s critical not to confuse the two goals (immediate versus systemic) and never try to make systemic changes based on a single comment. In other words, don’t get caught in the trap of “nothing matters but the last person I talked to.” I’m looking at you, Sales Team.
Next, what is “actionable?” Actionable has two important components:
Last, what is “customer satisfaction?” This all comes down to the question of measurability. If you don’t have a strong method of measuring customer satisfaction, you will not be able to tell if you have more satisfied customers, and you won’t know if your use of “immediate, actionable data insights” made any difference at all. Some common examples of how to measure customer satisfaction are Net Promoter Score, Review Star Rating, Social Buzz, Returning Customer, and Dollars Spent.
Now that you know the timeframe, what is actionable, and how to measure whether or not your actions made any difference at all, let’s go through two separate cases, each with a few options as to how you can handle the situation.
One of the most interesting things about social media is how the balance of power is reversed, or at least companies seem to think that it is. Anytime someone complains on Twitter, writes a bad review, or leaves a nasty Facebook message, there’s a knee-jerk response to do something about it.
Let’s consider the case of @DavidTheComplainer. David, not surprisingly, is a verbose Twitter user with a large following who enjoy his never-ending supply of pitchforks, tar, and feathers for any company that dares to make a mistake. @DavidTheComplainer is having a bad experience with your brand and tweets right @You.
What do you do?
Option 1. Respond quickly with a direct fix to his problem. The obvious advantage of this approach is that, if you can fix his immediate issue, you look really fantastic and even a professional hater like @DavidTheComplainer will be happy with you.
But you better have the resources to do this for everyone, 24/7/365, because by doing this, you will be setting expectations that you are going to respond this quickly to everyone. If you don’t, you are going to upset someone else. In addition, you may not have an immediate fix, and may not even want to solve his particular problem.
Option 2. Respond that you have heard him and will get back to him with a fix. The advantages of this approach are that you buy yourself some time to understand the issue and what your options are. But keep in mind that the amount of time is limited by the sort of poor experience he’s having. If it’s something like a flight, you have very limited time. If he’s having trouble assembling something (unless it’s Christmas Eve), you have a bit more time.
The disadvantages of this approach are that it might not be enough for David, as he’s right in the middle of a bad experience. And if you say you are going to get back to him, you have to follow through or you look bad.
Option 3. Do not respond, but make note and see if there is a consistent pattern in need of a fix. If you have limited resources, you can’t fix everyone’s problem immediately. This is one of the great issues of the social age, this expectation that, if you complain, the company will drop everything to fix your problem.