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Building Trust with Big Data

Last update on April 14, 2016.

Big DataIn this ever evolving technology-driven world, customers now more than ever want to have exceptional experiences with the companies they choose to open their wallets to. The great companies are able to know what customers want even before the customer figures it out. How do companies do this?

According to the Global Vice President of Marketing of a major hotel chain “Big data helps us build trust because it allows us to offer more personalized experiences that are increasingly more relevant to each guest – experiences that show we are listening to them.” Trust is a key word in this quote. Companies are using big data to better understand their customer and build a special bond between them. Technology is making it easier for customers to switch to competitors with minimal switching costs. When a customer trusts a company, they are less likely to switch to a competitor. A customer already trusts the company when they give up their personal information. They trust that their information will not be sold and that they won’t be spammed with junk mail. This data is being used in good faith to build a better customer experience.

Some companies continue to use old tricks instead of seeking better ways to build trust. Only 44% of companies are using social media and only 28% are using mobile data to study the customer. No matter where the data is being gathered from, companies use it to study the past but also to learn for the future and improve. Companies are also using big data to find out where the customer had a bad experience in the purchase lifecycle. When companies do this the right way, the customer will know that they are being understood. For example, a customer that frequently shops with a specific brand on their desktop website may one day want to shop on their smartphone. The customer is expecting to have a mobile friendly website that handles the entire transaction on their mobile phone. If this does not happen, they will feel that the company does not understand them and could easily move on to a competitor who does. This is what makes collecting and analyzing data so important now more than ever before. Companies are able to study customer trends, where customers are shopping, how they are shopping and what they find enjoyable in order to keep them coming back.

Another trend that is rising is that business units are collaborating to build a better customer experience. It is no longer up to the marketing department alone to build trust. Business units are sharing the analytics, the insights, and all the findings about their target customers to improve their experiences. A great example is that a customer service team that continuously hears customer complaints is able to record these complaints and work with marketing or operations to fix an issue that the specific business unit would have had no idea of otherwise. Without data and without collaboration, it is difficult to continuously improve the customer experience.

The original report was published by Forbes Insights.

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