Making Big Data Work for the SME: Call Management and Analytics

How can analytics be used as a source of new business?

With analytics, businesses can understand how to achieve the best performance possible within the constraints of their technical and commercial resources. There are two key ways: customer segmentation and customer experience.

  • Whilst previously the domain of larger enterprises, SMEs can now access essential analytics to continuously evolve segmentation, delivering insight into successes and highlighting new trends. Businesses of all sizes can then focus on the customer profiles that generate the best value and replicate them via new business activities.
  • Analytics also makes it easier for organizations to build a complete picture of customer experience. This is where monitoring interactions across the whole business – not just a contact center, and over multiple channels – becomes important, particularly for SMEs with more informal customer interaction processes.

Customer segmentation and customer experience must inform business strategy, ensuring that the feedback guides the way the company grows and prioritizes its activities. It should also feed directly into customer service and product development – a key lever for differentiation and competitive advantage, and a critical ingredient for generating new business.

What is the answer to the question of whether Business Intelligence can exist without Big Data?

Without data, businesses have no idea of when they are operating at their best, and when they’re at their worst.

It is important to be aware that big data doesn’t just present the answers, but it can help you decide which questions to ask, steering the focus to what makes the biggest difference to the bottom line.

The main issue is that big data always has a subjective element. It can highlight general trends, but the data is never exactly applicable to every business situation, you have to consciously choose what to look at.

So, while big data can steer an SME’s focus, an analytical layer and individual context is required. This ensures that trends emerge in a truthful way, rather than through the lens of the industry at large or a different department with different KPIs.

The key challenge is effective knowledge sharing. Insights must be transparent, translating raw data into information that can be shared with the right people, at the right time, and in the right way. This helps companies to understand, replicate and maintain the conditions required for the greatest business performance.

What do you say to a customer if they ask you ‘What information do I get from your communications platform and how can I productively use it?’

By embedding its technology at a platform level, Tollring ensures that all customer data from the system can be considered for analysis. This presents a big opportunity for the channel to offer margin-rich consultative selling, highlighting the most valuable metrics for specific verticals.

For most SMEs, scientific certainty is near impossible. The recommendation is to focus on metrics that support pragmatic decision making, with the aim of reducing risk and uncertainty. Big data is helpful in this regard since increasing the number of datapoints reduces risk.

However, it’s important for SMEs to not obsess over demanding absolute certainty from their data. The quest for the optimal is never-ending because there are just too many variables. The most productive use of analytics is to choose which analytic levers to pull in order to exact the most effective result at any given time.

What about some real-world examples of how business is benefitting from Big Data and Analytics?

The biggest benefit for businesses comes from involving their channel partner’s expertise in specific verticals.

For example, GP surgeries are using wide datasets to directly influence customer experience and their resellers know that key metrics like caller tolerance needs to be the starting point for improvements.

We’ve had considerable success with car dealerships. Smaller dealers are often in direct competition from large national brands for car servicing, MOTs, etc. Partners working in the sector know that increasing average order value is a key priority, alongside good call handling. Providing analytics around these KPIs increases staff awareness and feedback, ultimately increasing ROI as staff are empowered to make decisions that can make a real impact.

Tollring’s analytics suite has evolved over time to meet customer needs, resulting in features that reflect the metrics that SMEs most require. This understanding of what businesses need to know about their customer experience is a proof point of how important it is to acknowledge the trends presented by multiple datapoints.