3 Ways Customer Data Can Increase Workplace Efficiency

Judi Hand

Contact center employees have one aim: using the information at their disposal to solve a customer’s problem. Companies provide these workers with data, contact history, service history, and so on to help them answer whatever questions the customer asks.

But companies focus so much on the relationship between customers and data that they often ignore how smart data practices affect employees. More contextual knowledge lets employees do their jobs better, leading to happier employees and lower attrition rates, especially in industries famous for high burnout.

Less burnout yields a more gratified and focused employee. And those more engaged employees always are a welcome boost to your customer service arsenal.

Listening to Employees Like Customers

Companies routinely use smart information to create opportunities for personalized engagement, and they can evaluate employee engagement the same way they evaluate customers. Hiring trends, Glassdoor comments, and internal reviews all reveal insightful data and information related to company culture. After accumulating that snapshot of employee trends, it falls on the leadership team to use those data to improve employee satisfaction and productivity.

A single metric rarely tells the whole story of employees’ performance and engagement levels, just as it doesn’t tell the whole story about customer satisfaction. By combining insights about employees across the company, leaders can identify trends affecting employee happiness and productivity and take quick actions to correct issues.

Regarding customer data and employee empowerment, the best companies solicit feedback from their employees on the types of data they want. If you provide your sales team with national trends when it asks for region-specific information, for example, you could hamper the unit’s ability to succeed, dampen morale, and increase the likelihood that team members will leave for a company that listens.

Use Analytics to Improve the Team

By following these strategies, you can measure your data’s effect on employees and use that information to create a more efficient, more productive marketing team:

1. Start with one data set. Begin with a small demographic of customers and learn everything there is to know about them. Seek third-party sources of information, leverage your internal data, and work to create a comprehensive view of a single group. Once you learn how to use data in a controlled setting, scale your process to the rest of the company.

The best way to link your customer data together is to use a unique identifier such as a URL to collect your information. Without a unique identifier, information becomes disjointed and less useful to employees. This strategy helps avoid duplicate entries and keep your customer database consistent.

Once you have the information, evaluate its usefulness. What does the data say your company can you do for these customers that you cannot do for other groups? Can you create custom advertisements or more personalized services? Evaluate your data and the power it provides, then get ready to test your theories.

2. Perform a pilot test. Target your selected customer group with your new data. Encourage your employees to leverage their new insights to solve customer problems; ideally, your new information will better prepare your employees to handle stressful scenarios and make them feel more empowered.

Peform A/B tests with different employees and user groups. Have some employees try things the old way, without the extra data, then poll the groups on their experiences: Did the group with the data independently report better results? If not, evaluate the data and the strategies you are using to take advantage of it. Try new approaches until you start seeing positive results.

Booking.com used A/B testing on its employees to develop many of its tools and processes over an eight-year period. Rather than having ideas, executives asked employees to look at the site’s data and results up to that point and come up with hypotheses that could either be verified or disproven in order to improve the customer experience. Booking.com’s conversion rates are two to three times greater than the industry standard, according to research done by Evercore Group LLC.

3. Measure the experience and implement changes. Once your test is complete, measure the difference in employee engagement and satisfaction. Gallup offers extensive surveys to measure both the rational and emotional employee experience. Once you gather information on what factors make a difference to employees, implement any beneficial changes.

Bank of America did this. The financial giant recently tested its call center employees to see what factors boosted production. By attaching motion-sensing badges and reviewing the results of their findings, the company recognized that employees with regular social interactions were more productive than other groups. Because of this study, the company scheduled more group breaks and team activities. After implementing these new practices, productivity in call centers rose by 10 percent.

Once you discover a data strategy that works for your customers and empowers your employees, start scaling that strategy across the rest of the company. Continue to test and iterate your approach as new data becomes available, and listen to your employees to discover what they need and how you can help. The more experience you have with data strategy, the more powerful — and more satisfied — your employees will be.

Judi Hand is chief revenue officer for TeleTech, the award-winning company that helps brands create incredible experiences, deepen customer engagement, and drive hyper growth.