We asked Paul Tasker, Managing Director at REG UK, “what role does data play in customer service and how do you see it evolving?”
“I think we can start by making the comment that traditionally, data wasn’t utilised by firms in the financial services sector in the most effective manner to enhance or increase the effectivity of their customer services efforts. Since the advancement of the internet age, firms have been aggregating more and more data about their customers. Data very often sits within multiple silos all using different tools to manipulate or store it.
The holding and processing of data is highly regulated and regulatory requirements insist that there must be legitimate reasons to hold and process customer data. As a result, businesses are having to decide: do we want to keep this data? If we are going to keep this data, why are we keeping it? Firms must now put the data to use rather than stockpiling it. We are not saying that using data has been driven by regulation, but ultimately regulation supports the concept that data should be used, but for legitimate purposes and in the right manner. So that is making businesses think, how you can demonstrate that the data is being used legitimately. Which means businesses need to be more intelligent with their data.
Within a customer services environment there are two key areas in which data is having a discernible impact. The first is better understanding of your customers’ wants and needs. This is important because it enables you to tailor your products and services accordingly. Data can be employed to identify interesting segments and target groups across the full spectrum of the firm’s portfolio enabling specifically relevant products, additional products or services to be directed at the relevant customers.
The second key area is the insights data can provide around customer behaviour. Research tells us that organisations that leverage customer behavioural insights outperform peers by 85 percent in sales growth and more than 25 percent in gross margin. (Behavioural economics, Gallup, Gallup.com)
So, what does the future hold? We see an amalgamation of data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in the future. The future of data in customer services is in the automation of responses, and it has already begun; telematics within insurance, the internet of things (IoT) tools within homes, water sensors, leaks sensors are all examples. It takes your customer services to a whole new level and ultimately benefits your firm because there are going to be reduced costs in claims and benefits to the customer through cost savings as a by-product of efficiency gains.”