Businesses exist to offer services that will solve a customer’s problem. Customers thus are the core of every business. The relationship between a business and its customer is built on the attention that the customer receives from the business during the service offer. The more customised a service is, the happier a customer is.

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How do you understand your customer? How do you make them feel that your primary concern as a business is to make them happy? The answers to these questions lie in the data generated from the interactions the customer has with your business. Data analytics now plays a major role in customer service within emerging business models.

The number of customers you have, the sales you make; these are the usual metrics used in the measurement of success and growth in a business. These metrics however fall short in providing reasons for the results achieved.

Why did we gain or lose this customer? What did we do right? What did we do wrong? Which customers are at risk of leaving? Which customer will remain loyal for long?

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Data analytics explores these questions and provides answers that help the business optimise its processes; it also helps it to efficiently manage resources.

For a business that is able to properly identify and classify its customers based on certain demographics, it can first of all identify which customer segment is more profitable, which one isn’t, and the common factors between members of the groups identified.

With this information, the business can efficiently distribute its resources to prevent wastage on non-profitable customer pursuits. In the end, knowing which customer to focus on or not, maximises the business’ profits.

Product research and development is the life support for any business that looks to stay competitive for long. Businesses are utilising data on customer activities and feedback to establish customer preferences. This knowledge helps the business understand what else a customer might prefer next and acts on it early. Amazon is a prime example of a business using this big data strategy.

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According to Qualtrics, more than two-thirds of a company’s competitive edge in the market is based on the experience they deliver to their customers. Customer retention is therefore more critical to the survival of a business than customer acquisition.

The business that is able to adapt quickly to a customer's changing needs eventually gains the upper hand in such a market place. To adapt quickly, the customer’s activities have to be constantly monitored and analysed. Big Data offers the best opportunities in undertaking these activities.

One of the best applications of data analytics is in the prediction of customer behaviour. Human behaviour is very volatile, and the ability to understand it to a degree, even to the point of

predicting a person's actions has become a necessity for businesses that want to be always prepared for customer requests.

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Businesses are transforming their customer service activities with data analytics to stay a step ahead of their competitors. The more a business delays in exploring its data, the more it delays in acquiring information necessary for its growth. As a business, you can know your customer way better than you currently do. You just have to take a proper look at your data.

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