Feeds

Don't bother with Big Data – listen to customers instead

Analytics has a role, says telco innovator, but better insights come from your ears

Boost IT visibility and business value

Dabbling with big data won't produce insights into how to improve a business as rapidly as listening to customers' interactions with a business, according to Michael Ossipoff, the Director of Capability and Innovation and Australia's dominant telco, Telstra.

“Insights wont come from data, they'll come from observation,” Ossipoff told delegates at Genesys' G-Force 2012 event in Sydney. The insights on offer from such observations will yield information on which business processes work and which mess customers around.

Ossipoff used the example of a customer who walked into a Telstra store and requested the cancellation of a mobile phone contract due to the death of his wife. The shop assistant mentioned a penalty for early cancellation of the contract, as specified by the company's process but of course utterly inappropriate under the circumstances (the cancellation request was dealt with appropriately).

Listening to that kind of interaction, Ossipoff told the audience of customer service professionals, is more likely to tell you what you need to change in a business than deep analysis of enormous piles of data. He therefore told the audience they need to listen to tapes of calls to their call centres, and not just read transcripts, in order to understand the nuances of what happens when real, live, customers have a query.

As another illustration of the importance of listening he revealed than 70% of support calls to Telstra come about because customer expectations have not been correctly set.

Which is not to say Ossipoff sees no role for some heavyweight data-crunching. Indeed, he said Telstra can now profile its customers and undestand where they live, what their experience of its products has been and wher it will be most appropriate to provide them with service.

In the future, he expects business will also want to use big data generated by smartphones. A scenario he offered was inspecting a home, an event that could trigger real-time analysis by a person's bank of whether or not they can afford it based on property market data, the person's credit history and more. That action could, in turn, alert those who might profit from home moves, such as utilities providers eager to capitalise on a churn opportunity, furniture stores (Ossipoff said house moves result in AUD$15,000 of new furniture purchases).

Standing in the way of such innovation, he said, is a tendency for business to atrophy and “defend legacy positions, cash flows and sunk capital.” Such tactics, he said, are unlikely to survive at a time when technology is changing consumption behaviour, especially among the young. Only by listening to their interactions with a business, and “always being in beta with new services”, can business thrive. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.