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Personalized Marketing Solutions

You might have noticed that I talk a lot about customer experience. Perhaps this is because of how important the experience of your customer is–but how little time companies seem to put into making customer experiences special. One thing I’ve noticed is that over the years, companies big and small have made changes to incorporate a better customer experience. Whether this is because of the dawn of the internet, where company reviews will never die or because companies realized a shift of power was happening no one can really say. Maybe it’s a little bit of both. Either way, the customer experience has certainly changed–and will continue to do so throughout 2017.

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Big Data Versus Thick Data

It seems like a lot of people talk about data. It’s important to note that data plays a big role in today’s world. There is so much that can be learned from data, assuming you know where to look and how to analyze it. The good news is that even if you don’t know how to do these things, there are plenty of individuals out there who can–and who are for hire. That being said, most brands aren’t really focused on the data. Instead they’re focused on their customers–the very people they want to service.

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Providing Better Customer Service in Finance

Almost everyone will find themselves falling on hard times financially at least once in their lives. As a customer, we know that the best thing to do if we’re falling behind on bills is to be honest with the financial institution we’re working with–but that isn’t always easy. However, in today’s tech driven world, what IS becoming easier is financial organizations finding way to provide better service–while still watching their bottom line.

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The Power of Data (and How it Applies to Your Business)

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The following is from the foreword in my book, Blue Goldfish. Written by Shep Hyken, the following words really get into the core of the Blue Goldfish philosophy–and why it’s so important to businesses. I hope you’ll enjoy his words as much as I do.

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The Art and Science of Personalization in Customer Experience

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Looking to companies like Westpac and Erste Bank you might conclude that personalization is mostly science. Companies today are also turning to subjective data as a part of their personalization efforts. One such company is Stitch Fix, which offers online personal stylists for women.

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The Importance of Leveraging Little Data to Improve the Customer Experience

Guest Post by Shep Hyken

Untitled-design-760x760The big data conversation in business today is hard to miss. You can’t go far without running into it. Big data, as a definition, is a collection of data that’s difficult to process due to its size and complexity. Most commonly the big data conversation is all about extracting trends from massive amounts of customer data. While the collection of data is broad, based on a large amount of information and customer feedback, these companies can filter through it to understand general customer behavior and trends.

Is Bigger Better?

Blue Goldfish co-author Evan Carroll has challenged the conventional wisdom that, “bigger, so the establishment believes, is better.” He believes that many companies embrace a different concept of big data, a trend called little data.

Little data is a collection of information on individuals or smaller groups of customers. Rather than using data to spot a trend, companies leverage the data to deliver a personalized customer experience. These little things that leverage technology, data, and analytics are what authors Stan Phelps and Evan Carroll call a Blue Goldfish. For example, the manager at a restaurant knows a specific customer’s favorite table. Or a car rental company that knows a particular customer likes a four­door, mid­size car. The data or information the company has acquired about the customer is specific and is used to enhance the individual experience.

Kimpton Hotels is a chain of luxury boutique hotels that understands the power of little data. They focus on the individual guest versus their customers en masse. Any company can make business decisions based on general feedback and trends. However, successful companies recognize customers are not numbers nor anonymous segments. Those successful companies zero in on individual customer needs, preferences, likes and dislikes and attempt to give the customer an experience that is exactly what he or she wants.

What’s the payoff? According to Retailwire, Kimpton Hotels has some of the highest satisfaction rates in their industry. They earn repeat business with the highest loyalty and emotional attachment of any hotel chain in the United States. They are successful because they know who they are as a brand and who they want as a customer. Because of big data, they know the typical guest who stays at their hotels. And, once the guest is there, they have a system that takes advantage of little data and allows employees to individualize the guest’s experience.

From Trends to Personalized Insights

Big data gives you trends to make major decisions. Little data gives you information to keep your best customers coming back. It’s that simple. The question is really about whether or not a company is willing to invest in technology and analysis to recognize customer preferences and are then willing to train employees to deliver an experience based on this information. Turning insights into actions on an individual level.

Another way of saying this: Many voices, or big data, may say the same thing and spot a trend. A few voices, or little data, may say something different and spot an opportunity. The best companies take advantage of both, doing the little things that enhance relationships, responsiveness, and readiness. They create Blue Goldfish that drive both profits and prophets.

The Challenge

Do you continue focusing on big data trends or choose to be better and focus on little data insights? You’ll soon realize that bigger isn’t better—better is better.

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE (www.hyken.com) is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author of The Amazement Revolution.

Editor’s Note: This post was adapted from Shep’s foreword to Blue Goldfish.

The Case for Little Data Not Big Data – Providing Proactive Real-Time Response for Customer Issues

How many times have you heard “big data” in the last year? Likely a few dozen and that estimate may be on the low side. We have more data today than ever before. Analysts and technologists are often excited about the expanse of data and all of the possible big data problems they can solve.

I’m a big fan of big data. But I’m a bigger fan of little data. Most customer experience problems only require little data to solve. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Proactively rebooking a customer when his or her flight is cancelled
  • Notifying a customer if an order will ship later than expected
  • Understanding who your top customers are and rewarding them

In fact, if you spend too much time trying to wow your customers with what you can do with big data, you may miss out on many of the little data opportunities. And if you don’t get the basics right, your customers will see your attempts at wowing them as a sign your company isn’t aligned with their needs.

Last week, I was pleasantly surprised by UPS. I had a package en route and I needed it sooner than expected on the delivery day. I used an option in UPS My Choice to confirm a two-hour delivery window for a fee of $8.00. Imagine how I felt when the package was delivered twenty minutes late? I wasn’t angry because I know delivery mishaps are normal. What I dreaded, however, was the process of filing a claim to get my $8.00 back. The idea of spending the time to get $8.00 back felt like a waste, but I knew I had to do it. I have principles, after all.

Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 10.05.05 PMAnd then it happened. One simple email. Three simple sentences:

“We were unable to deliver the package(s) shown below during the confirmed delivery window you requested. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. You have not been charged for this request.”

Bam. There it was. Proactive, real-time action within 40 minutes of my package delivery. And them my mood changed. I was no longer irritated. I was relieved I didn’t have to take any action to ensure I wasn’t charged the $8.00 fee.

One of the 12 types of Purple Goldfish is “Handling Mistakes.” While we all try to avoid mistakes, how you handle them matters to customers. And doing so proactively and automatically? That’s a fine Blue Goldfish.

Want to learn more about using little data?
A great first step is downloading a sample chapter from Blue Goldfish. Based on over 300 examples, Blue Goldfish explains how successful companies use technology, data, and analytics to drive customer loyalty and advocacy.

Sign up for a PurpleGoldfish.com account today and receive a Free Sample Chapter of Blue Goldfish.

The difference between BIG DATA and little data

blue goldfish cover The following post is an excerpt from the book, Blue Goldfish. It is the foreword written by Shep Hyken:

The Big Data conversation in business today is hard to miss. You can’t go far without running into it. Big Data, as a definition, is a collection of data that’s difficult to process due to its size and complexity. Most commonly the big data conversation is all about extracting trends from massive amounts of customer data. While the collection of data is broad, based on a large quantity of information and customer feedback, these companies can filter through it to understand general customer behavior and trends.

As co-author of this book, Evan Carroll has said, “bigger, so the establishment believes, is better.” However, many companies embrace a different concept of big data.

On the other hand, little data is a collection of information on individuals or smaller groups of customers. Rather than using this data to spot a trend, companies the data to deliver a personalized customer experience. These little things that leverage technology, data and analytics are what authors Phelps and Carroll call a Blue Goldfish. For example, the manager at a restaurant knows a specific customer’s favorite table. Or a car rental company that knows a particular customer likes a four-door, mid-size car. The data or information the company has acquired about the customer is specific and is used to enhance the individual experience.

Kimpton Hotels, a chain of luxury boutique hotels, understands the power of little data. They focus on the individual guest versus their customers en masse. Any company can make business decisions based on general feedback and trends. However, successful companies recognize customers are not numbers nor anonymous segments. Those successful companies zero in on individual customer needs, preferences, likes and dislikes and attempt to give the customer an experience that is exactly what he or she wants.

What’s the payoff? According to Retailwire, Kimpton Hotels has some of the highest satisfaction rates in their industry. They earn repeat business with the highest loyalty and emotional attachment of any hotel chain in the United States. Kimpton is successful because they know who they are as a brand and who they want as a customer. Because of big data, they know the typical guest who stays at their hotels. And, once the guest is there, they have a system that takes advantage of little data and allows employees to individualize the guest’s experience.

Shep HykenBig data gives you trends to make major decisions. Little data gives you information to keep your best customers coming back. It’s that simple. The question is really about whether or not a company is willing to invest in technology and analysis to recognize customer preferences and are then willing to train employees to deliver an experience based on this information. Turning insights into actions on an individual level.

Another way of saying this: Many voices, or big data, may say the same thing and spot a trend. A few voices, or little data, may say something different and spot an opportunity. The best companies take advantage of both, doing the little things that enhance relationships, responsiveness, and readiness. They create Blue Goldfish that drive both profits and prophets.

This book is an open challenge to your company or organization. By the end of this book, you’ll face a choice. Continue focusing on big data trends or choose to be better and focus on little data insights. You’ll soon realize that bigger isn’t better—better is better. And once you do, you’ll ask yourself, what’s our Blue Goldfish?

About Shep: Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a customer service expert, professional speaker, and New York Times best-selling business author of The Amazement Revolution.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – here’s Shep talking about legendary customer experience with Frank the cab driver in Dallas: