Today’s market is all about data. Consumers want to capture information relevant to their user experience; marketers want to capture that information to customize offerings for the consumer; enterprises want to turn data into business intelligence so as to secure a core competitive advantage; and data center vendors want to push virtualization so as to support the massive amounts of data to be captured, stored, mined and managed.
From an enterprise standpoint, there are a number of opportunities to capture data. In fact, companies throughout the world are capturing data at every touch point and market feed, hoping to extract the information they need to improve their product offerings and their market positioning. Without a clear strategy in place to direct the capture, organization and management of that data, however, it does nothing more than consume space on the server.
To truly make the most of the data capture, the enterprise needs to understand the source and why it’s selected, the type of data they want to capture and what they hope to do with that data once they have it in hand. Let’s examine a few possibilities:
- The mobile consumer – this individual is in a position to share an immense amount of information with the enterprise, including location, purchase history, preferred communication channel and even the information they want to receive via email, text and social media channels. When captured, this information should not only be stored with the contact information, it also can be categorized according to the consumer profile, compiling the likes, dislikes, habits and preferences of a specific target customer.
- The point of sale – whether in person or through the contact center, the point of sale is one of the best places to capture valuable data. Customers will share a wealth of information about their lives, their preferences, their plans for the future and so much more during this interaction. When that information is captured in the right format, offers can be generated that match their preferences perfectly, creating an opportunity for a cross-sell or upsell conversion. That information should also be stored in the customer account and associated with the profile so as to develop broader-reaching solutions in the future
- The free offer – individuals who respond to the free offer or complete a form for more information provide a goldmine of consumer data. The first data capture must be short to ensure completion, but the follow-up call is the perfect opportunity to ask all the right questions to qualify the person as a lead, promote them to another buying opportunity or simply move them to a non-sale opportunity. Regardless of the classification, the point is to classify the individual and their information so the company can turn that information into intelligent data and potential opportunities.
The sheer volume of data being produced by consumers and the enterprise is putting significant pressure on today’s businesses to capture that data and turn into a business opportunity. Companies must pay attention to how they capture, the speed in which they capture, how they organize and then use that data. The core strategy needs to focus on each of these elements with a clear direction on how captured data will be used to promote the core competencies of the business. It also needs to ensure data capture is immediate as sometimes two minutes is too late. With valid channels to capture the information in real-time, the enterprise is well on its way to turning big data into business intelligence.