For those businesses intent on seizing upon it, big data is proving to be an effective way to optimize operations, producing new and exciting results that before could only be theorized. Indeed, big data opens up vast new avenues wherein a company may maximize opportunity, particularly in improving the relationship with the customer. Make no mistake–behind all the latest social media trends, sensor-embedded devices, and cloud computing advances, business success often depends on the age old rule of keeping the customer happy. That’s why big data is proving to be such an effective tool. To emphasize this point, here are several examples of companies that are utilizing big data in a variety of ways to improve customer satisfaction.

1. Southwest Airlines

Well-known company Southwest Airlines is no stranger to using data to improve how they run things. One of the areas Southwest is most famous for is their customer service, so it should come as little surprise the company is constantly looking for ways to improve. By utilizing big data analytics, the airline informs workers through KPI dashboards on the latest numbers in relation to company goals. Southwest also uses speech analytics to better examine customer interactions and search for ways to improve one-to-one communication. Southwest also mines social media data to offer customized deals that are tailored to individual customers, leading to not only better conversion rates, but also increased customer satisfaction.

2. BMW Group

When it comes to improving the customer experience, a lot of companies do work behind the scenes. Car manufacturer BMW Group has started using big data gathered from dealerships and manufacturing outlets all over the world. For example, BMW’s prototype cars produce an average of 15,000 data points from the engine and transmission down to the suspension and brakes.

With big data analytics, BMW Group can detect and even fix vulnerabilities that show up during the manufacturing process. What normally would have taken months to analyze can now happen in just days. Based off of test drives and other processes, faults can be found and fixed before new cars go into full production. By taking these extra steps, BMW Group improves customer satisfaction by producing higher quality cars. These cars will need to spend less time in the shop, and any repairs that are needed can be taken care of in less time. Needless to say, the less time and money customers spend on their cars, the more satisfied they will be.

3. Hertz

Found in more than 140 countries, Hertz is one of the most popular car rental companies in the world. With so many different locations, the company has a wealth of data it can analyze to improve the customer experience. From emails, text messages, and web surveys, Hertz is able to gather more information on their customers, understanding what makes them tick. Through this greater understanding, Hertz has worked to enhance the company’s performance by improving the relationship between workers and the customer. One particular example comes from analyzing the data to adjust staffing levels at an office in Philadelphia. By making sure a manager was on hand during peak activity hours, customer questions and complaints could be resolved more quickly and effectively, essentially improving each customer’s experience.

4. Utility Companies

While big data can prove really useful, a recent survey showed that only about half of utility companies are fully taking advantage of it. For those that do, they’ve quickly found out how much of an advantage it can provide. Big data brings valuable information about energy usage for every customer. This can lead to more customized services and segmented offers based off of the needs of each customer. Big data can also be used to make for some more reliable services and better response times for the times when services fail. Utility companies can also increase safety with big data by helping to prevent gas leaks.

Tweet This: A survey shows only about half of utility companies are leveraging #bigdata to the full effect.

5. Singapore Healthcare Companies

The healthcare industry has viewed big data as a great way to improve patient outcomes, and some providers are already well on their way to making it a reality. In Singapore, big data analytics are helping providers manage diseases such as diabetes. By looking at the data about each patient’s condition, environment at home and work, and even lifestyle, providers have been able to personalize each individual’s treatment plan for maximum effect. The result not only leads to better quality care but lower costs since patients are less likely to need hospital treatments. By improving patient outcomes, there’s greater customer satisfaction, and as big data is used to protect patient records through better computer security, and while doctors become more agile to responding to emergencies, expect big data to be more widely used for healthcare providers all over the world.

Big data brings to the table many advantages for all types of businesses. To keep customers loyal, companies are leveraging big data analytics to improve each customer’s experience. The data is there; all companies need to do is figure out how to gather it and use it in the most effective way.


Rick Delgado is an independent writer and tech commentator with interest in the latest enterprise tech trends, data centers and security. He has contributed to Wired, Virtual-Strategy Magazine, DataCenterKnowledge, ITProPortal, and many other publications.


(Image Credit: Tam Tam)

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