Multi-Channel Customer Intelligence


As mobile and social are quickly becoming new channels for customer acquisition, customer engagement, delivering customer service and generating additional revenue streams, many brands in retail, hospitality, health care, media and financial services are using mobile, social and digital channels as multiple customer touch-points.

With the exponential growth of these channels, it is critical that brands are able to create a 360 degree customer view by aggregating data from these interactive channels. Without holistically understanding the consumer, brands run the risk of not being able to personalize the messaging for the consumer as they visit the brand from a diverse number of channels.  Despite the availability of brand monitoring tools (e.g. Radian 6, Alterian and Scout Labs) and brand analytics tools (e.g. Crimson Hexagon, Crowd Factory, SAS and Oracle), brands face the challenge of closing the gap between aggregating data from diverse channels and drawing actionable business insights. Additionally a feedback mechanism needs to be created to channel these insights towards product improvement, business process improvement or trend recognition.

The Challenge

Harnessing the power of data and analytics to drive business decisions and organizational decisions is not without challenges.

Real-time analytics: Real-time analytics is hard because of signal-to-noise ratio. Twitter is especially hard given the high rates at which tweets are created and the minuscule number of those tweets that are relevant to a campaign.

Sentiment Analysis: Sentiment Analysis is about the meaning of the content. Knowing the sentiment (positive, negative or neutral) is good but not enough. The data needs to be analyzed to derive improvement opportunities e.g. product innovation ideas, business process improvement etc. Additionally the human interaction component cannot be completely eliminated. 


The true benefit of aggregating structured data from weblogs, social CRM, application data and unstructured data from social applications such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, customer comments and product reviews is being able to derive actionable insights. Additionally brands need to provide a feedback mechanism to channel these insights for product improvement, business process improvement and trend analysis.

Aggregating and analyzing data across channels provides the following additional benefits:

Identify New ‘Niche’ Customer Segments – People who share the same characteristics (e.g. female in the age group 35 – 45) does not imply that they share they share the same passions and interests. Building a community of loyal followers, deeply engaging with them and actively listening and participating will help to identify new niche customer segments.

Deliver Targeted, Personalized Content and Advertising – The future of competitive advantage lies in managing and analyzing all the critical data entering a business environment. Data which provides user preference and location information such as product reviews, check-ins, ratings etc. collected across the mobile, social and digital channels provides a wealth of information in improving our understanding of our customers and targeting them with personalized content.
Increase Customer Loyalty – Customer loyalty and satisfaction can be improved by creating a 360 degree view of the customer and gaining deeper insights into existing customer segments as well as discovering new customer segments by developing a multi-channel strategy and aggregating data across mobile, social and digital channels.  
Drawing business insights such as determining ‘top performing regions’ or ‘top influences’ can relatively easily be accomplished by aggregating and analyzing structured and unstructured data, however,  the hard part is in drawing subjective business insights such as determining ‘product improvement ideas’ or ‘future trends’. The key to successful subjective analysis is in empowering and training the personnel at  various customer touch points to ask probing questions of customers and flag answers which require deeper analysis. Flagging answers will allow nuggets of information flagged as ‘key data points’ to be highlighted and not get lost in the sea of information.  Additionally forming a deep relationship between people interfacing with customers at multiple touch-points such as social media channels, customer service channels, website etc. and subject matter experts such as product managers and designers who are within an organization will allow for business insights to be captured in ‘real-time’ rather than ‘after the fact’.