Applying Data Analytics to Customer Experience and Service on Social Media

August 9, 2011
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Recently we interviewed Amir Dekel, Director of Marketing and Communications for ClickFox, a provider of “customer experience analytics.” In results just released concerning a survey they’d administered to a broad group of client customers and employees, they discovered perceptions of social media as a customer service channel.

Recently we interviewed Amir Dekel, Director of Marketing and Communications for ClickFox, a provider of “customer experience analytics.” In results just released concerning a survey they’d administered to a broad group of client customers and employees, they discovered perceptions of social media as a customer service channel. The social media-centered part of our interview is available on our sister site, Social Media Today.

In this part of the interview, we concentrated on the analytics part of their offering.

SDC: Amir, let’s talk about ClickFox’s data analytics side. To help your clients find better results in customer satisfaction, you need to be able to gather and interpret a lot of information, right?

Amir: We track billions of interactions each month for our customers. We’re talking about data…we just signed a deal that I can’t talk much about here …but this telco is going to feed us 19 different data sources – structured and unstructured – in order to look at something from a purchase point all the way to an activation point, and all the data that’s associated with that, whether it be ERP, CRM, POS data…and looking at all this data, industry experts are saying that companies can only analyze or see about 5% of the data that they have. How do you get through all that?

How do you sift through that big data quickly and get immediate results? Solving that is the other thing that we do. Process all that data, make sense of it and, instead of putting in place a BI tool on top of that data – where you actually have to know what questions to ask – you actually let the system find the dominant path or do an automatic anomaly detection and tell you what the outliers are and where the problems exist.

SDC: Tom Davenport speaks about the need for enterprise culture to adapt to the increasing availability of analytics, and to not only be able to make sense of it, but also to emphasize its use internally and learn to understand it, and then to react to information the organization has never had before. Does ClickFox help its clients adapt to this new world? Aside from bringing them new information, do you also help them to learn what to even ask?

Amir: Yeah, definitely. A big part of our company is our managed services solutions organization and they’re full of smart analysts who have seen a lot of these kinds of implementations and are helping customers understand what they need to do.

Another issue is that a lot of companies out there aren’t ready. They still analyze in silos, each focused on its own specific part of the puzzle, and that’s usually where we come in. There’s a lot of educating the market, but we definitely do that for our customers. They might have business issues where they don’t even know where to get the data from, and we’ll help them figure that out and once we have that data, show them what the issues are. And again, a lot of the issues are emerging out of the data, even knowing what questions to ask is usually a big problem. Let the data tell you the problem.

For example, if you take a churn issue or a customer retention issue, what we do is look for that event of a customer leaving or canceling a contract, and then we tie up all the data above it to see what paths people took to eventually end up in that canceled contract. That’s hard to do if you don’t have the data or you don’t have the model for that data.  And that’s what our product does automatically. So it might tell you that most of a company’s churn comes from billing issues. Maybe at another level deeper, churn is coming from a specific vendor who is doing your billing for you. That’s the kind of stuff that comes out of the product.

SDC: It makes sense to me – not being an analyst – that visualization of this information would be helpful. Do you also provide that service – help your client make a picture and a story out of it?

Amir: Definitely. The product is a SAAS- based product. We have very easy-to-use visualization tools. We have something called ClickFox Pulse that makes it very easy for an analyst or executive without any SQL or coding skills to use the product and understand what’s going on. 

A lot of what we’ve focused on over the past couple of years is making the visualization easy. The other problem with BI is that you need to create a model and update it every time something changes in the system. And then you need to run these reports, which, in an Oracle environment, can take days to get an answer. And meanwhile people are living in a Google world where they get split-second answers, so that’s another part of what we offer – the ability to run it on an infrastructure that can return these responses very quickly.

SDC: Where do your analysts come from? What kinds of education to they have?

Amir: Our directors and top analysts usually come from management consulting backgrounds in companies like Bain and Booz. They come from working with other silod products like call center analytics where they’ve seen the limitations and want to expand their work.

We don’t need someone who focuses on model creation and data manipulation because our product does that on its own.