Big Data distracts from CEM basics

16 Oct 2013

Jouko Ahvenainen, co-founder of peer-to-peer investment firm Grow VC Group, makes a great point about customer service in his article on churn management.

In a world where all we hear about is how Big Data can improve customer experience, Ahvenainen notes that improving the skills of customer service advisors is a simple, and largely cost effective, way of achieving the same goal.

It’s a wonder either of us have to comment on this, but let me add another example, just to really hammer the point home.

A colleague recently visited her mobile provider’s local retail outlet to upgrade her phone. As in the cases cited by Ahvenainen, this was not a straightforward transaction. My colleague married recently, so wanted to change her details at the same time.

Despite having her marriage certificate in hand, staff claimed they could not make the change, and instead directed my colleague to send a copy of the certificate to an address they “scrawled on a piece of scrap paper” (her words), a process staff said could take up to two weeks.

Aside from the obvious comment on why it would take two weeks to change your name, my colleague left the store without her new phone, and deeply frustrated with the whole experience.

It is shocking that operators across the globe are missing such easy opportunities to give customers a quality experience and so build and maintain loyalty.

In this context, Big Data analytics seems too big a step for telcos at this time – perhaps even a distraction from the basics of customer service.

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