In a previous Storyminers article, we shared insights about this year’s trends in customer experience. It was mentioned that innovations like AI, the IoT and virtual reality will change how consumers interact with sellers. That was at the start of this year, and many of those projections are happening already, with smart virtual assistants, augmented reality shopping and other similar retail advancements now becoming mainstream.
But what do all of these innovations have in common? They are all run by data, or more specifically – big data.
Various businesses now have a powerful medium to better understand every aspect related to their customers. Big data makes it easier to conduct any type of analytics in order to accurately predict or adapt to customer behavior.
The article ‘Unlocking the Big Data Goldmine for SMBs’ on Wired explained how SMBs can benefit from the utilization of big data. Considering that many companies in this category target specific customer groups, big data may be used to formulate marketing strategies which are tailored for their clients. Plus, SMB proprietors can stay in the loop in terms of spending habits and buying trends through social media, product review sites as well as public forums.
Big data is also responsible for other processes early on within business operations such as the procurement of products. Fleet operators which ferry goods are reducing their delivery times through the aid of sensors and electronic logging devices. Fleetmatics specified how these devices provide necessary information to drivers for them to increase efficiency, thereby streamlining the flow of the supply chain. The result for end-users – in this case customers – is a faster and better service.
In relation to the previous section, Customer Think stated that big data may be used by SMBs in the automobile industry to aid customers when it comes to the maintenance or repairing of their cars. The complexities involved in such tasks can be laid out in a customer-friendly way which may even develop customer-seller relationships in the process. This is just one example, and similar approaches can be integrated in other industries.
While everything above sounds impressive on paper, what’s more amazing is that there are now actual examples applications that have enhanced customer experiences made possible through big data. Business Wire relayed how a US-based front office software provider for SMBs uses big data to assist owners in tasks such as monitoring customer feedback, analyzing comparative revenues, and more importantly, creating unique programs that bring better customer experiences.
Furthermore, Business.com identified some SMBs that adopted fully digital solutions in terms of product processing and payment methods. The “checkout free” business model is now being explored by SMBs and big firms alike as it’s deemed to be the next revolution since scan/swipe payments.
Most important of all, big data can serve as the foundation for conceptualizing and implementing projects and programs that allow SMBs to give something beyond products and services – customer value. At the end of the day, it’s not about simply attracting customers, but rather, fostering good relationships as mentioned earlier. Customer retention is as vital as any other aspect of business, especially if you belong to the small and medium classification.
Written by Alisha Chistin
Exclusive for storyminers.com