Bringing Dell Shoppers New Levels of Convenience

Every morning I go to my favorite coffee shop. I spend between 10 and 15 minutes waiting in line, ordering, paying, walking to the end of the counter and waiting again for my drink. 15 minutes a day is almost three days a year!

That’s a lot of time in an age when we increasingly expect new levels of convenience from retailers to make our lives easier. Advancements in technologies such as social, mobile and cloud have made almost anything possible. Even though these advancements and many others have increased customer loyalty by letting us engage on our terms, there still remains far too much friction in customers’ experiences.

diagram of customer journeyNow imagine if my coffee was just waiting for me? What used to take up to 15 minutes of my day now just takes 15 seconds? Continuous small tweaks and changes, not monolithic overhauls of the customer journey is all it takes to enable new levels of convenience. There are three things that we can do as retailers to bring these new levels of convenience: FIND patterns in data, MAKE technology invisible and CONNECT to the global network.

Today, I’m going to focus on the first, finding the patterns in the data, and will explore the other two in subsequent posts.

There are currently four zetabytes (four trillion gigabytes) of data on the planet, 90 percent of that data was generated in the last two years and the vast majority is connected to an IP address. Our information behavior is changing faster than the information systems, so how do we make sense of it? We need to invest in our information systems to find the patterns in the data.

Most online companies already analyze patterns from customers including past purchases, website visits, glace views and circles of personalization. But, what if that data could be integrated with a host of other data including web behavior, social media interaction and geographical locations? We could actually predict customers’ actions – their what, when, where and how.

Utilizing social media to identify patterns of customer behavior is one of the critical ways to achieve this level of personalization. Dell is a pioneer in the social media listening space and opened our Social Media Command Centre in 2010. We analyze real time data and feedback about Dell to identify trends and issues. The Social Media Command Centre has enabled us to respond to you more quickly. In fact we have a 99 percent Customer Satisfaction Resolution Rate – so we’re not only responding to you quickly, we’re getting you the answers you need. With smarter tools, we’ve been able to nearly double our reach.

And we’re not only using this tool internally. We’re also helping our enterprise customers, including companies like the Fortune 500 retailer, Staples, so they too can become more responsive to your needs. Staples wanted a better solution to sift through the over 150,000 monthly social media posts about their brand to find relevant data from their customers. Staples hired Dell Services as a managed service to oversee all of the data collection, tagging and analysis and deliver useful intelligence.  Through our social media listening we have enabled Staples to reduce the social data noise by 75 percent, amplify the customers’ voice in day-to-day decisions and improve their responsiveness and offerings.

So, as you can see finding the patterns in data, such as social media, is crucial to the future of commerce. What do you think? Are you intrigued by the new levels of convenience it will bring? Let me know in the comments below!

Be sure to come back for my next blog post in this series where I will focus on how making technology invisible enables new levels of convenience by enabling the consumer to focus on their commerce experience rather than the technology.

About the Author: Paul Walsh