Big Data : The Next Magic Potion for Customer Loyalty?

Big Data

Big data has long been seen as a resolution for many of the corporate world’s problems. Be it managing your supply chains, building a foolproof sales strategy, or just keeping your work process sleek and up-to-date – big data was ‘the thing’ to fetch back things on track and create magic. The latest area where big data is viewed as a magical solution is that of customer loyalty.

In an era when automated customer experience programs have gained immense popularity, businesses are dedicating a good amount of time to decipher the message in the huge volume of data generated by mobile devices, social media, and other customer engagement platforms. This message is apparently the tipping point of engaging new customers, retaining the existing ones, and building brand and customer loyalty. Customer loyalty has traditionally been seen as a post-product of sales, but has now emerged as a process that goes beyond sales and marketing gimmicks. Thus, more than ever, it has become more critical to understand what your customer thinks and wants, in the most accurate fashion.

The shift from brick-and-mortar outlets to online stores is another major trend which has forced businesses to change their attitude on building customer loyalty.

Big data and customer loyalty – Where are we heading?

Big data analytics, no doubt, throws a broad and in-depth light on the sales and marketing patterns as well as the customer behavior and response to your products. And, even our market experts believe that this is one technology that has eased the entire business process and revolutionized the way businesses see their customers. However, one major area which is forgotten or rather ignored is that big data in itself cannot earn you customer loyalty.

Customers still need the ‘human touch’

While algorithms of big data analytics do suggest remedies after a poor interaction with the customer, this is not sufficient for brand building and gaining loyalty of your customers. Also, when it comes to digital channels, there is always scope of one platform outperforming the next. Therefore, we need the human element to bridge the gaps between the customer and the company.

Human interaction is imperative for better customer engagement – right from product design, testing it on the field, and building troubleshooting support systems. By analyzing the human emotions which a product arouses, it becomes easier to address issues (if any) and to improvise on the existing features. In fact, it is a false assumption that data alone can build improved customer experiences. Even now, customers prefer to get a telephonic call to resolve issues and get a better understanding of the product.

It is safe to conclude that tools like data analytics, customer analytics, and big data, are just means through which the goal of building customer loyalty can be achieved. By itself, these tools are not competent enough to build a brand or retain the customer base.