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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
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
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
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
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.