Big data, part 1: How data can improve customer support


If there’s one thing business decision makers understand more today, it’s that happy customers are the key to consistent revenue and overall growth.

A major component of keeping those customers happy is their WiFi and smart home device performance—and that really comes down to focusing on two key areas:

  1. Ensuring your product or service works properly the first time
  2. Having a strategy in place to fix issues quickly and effectively

In both cases, you need to be able to strike the right balance between exemplary customer service and minimal operating expenses. 

Here’s where big data comes in. Done properly, big data has enormous potential to reveal unique insights into how well your business can address both of these areas in a way nothing else can—which can be a major differentiator for you.

What is big data?

At its most basic, big data refers to data sets that are too large for traditional data-processing solutions to handle. In practice, this term is a bit bigger than that; it encompasses collecting a high volume and variety of data, analyzing this data both manually and through solutions like machine learning and artificial intelligence, and visualizing the results.

This data can then provide insights into consumer behavior and patterns, which can help with more effective forecasting and modeling for future business decisions. (And of course, we’re assuming that you’re being fully transparent with how you’re using customer data and that your business is complying with all the regulations that govern privacy and data protection.)


What exactly constitutes big data? Big data can come from many sources. It is years of information stored in consumer databases on past activity. It comes from documents, emails, driving records, medical records, internet history, social media activity, computer logs and mobile devices, to name a few.


How to find valuable data in support calls

Big data holds a lot of potential for ISPs and smart home brands in how much it can tell you. And surprisingly, support calls can be a fantastic source of useful information that could influence future business decisions.

Most businesses that have a customer support team in place monitor calls as part of their quality assurance. On these calls, agents typically need to ask customers about key components of their networks, including routers and other devices, to be able to properly resolve the issue—and that’s something the customer agrees to share by being on the call.

After the call is over, you can use the information gleaned to better understand the makeup of consumers’ networks and how that impacts you. After about a week, you’d have enough information to understand approximately how many of your customer base have certain routers or devices in their homes. And after a couple of months, you’d be able to see that information down to the tiniest sliver on the pie chart.

By using an ISP customer support platform to compare data like this to your call records, you could identify issues you may not have been able to see otherwise. You could identify when certain devices and patches impacted your customers, for one—which could help inform future support and development initiatives.

That way, you’d be better equipped to prevent churn for problems that were entirely external—and to keep more consumers on board for longer.

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