Evolution of BI in customer experiences

Disparate. Disrupted. Disorganised. The face of intelligence is changing.
Read time 3min 20sec

When business intelligence (BI) first entered the hype cycle it was considered the answer to all the ills that plagued the organisation.

It was proclaimed the seer that could sift through the depths of data that was wasted within the company and that could unlock hidden gems of insights that would transform business strategies and customer engagements.

But it never quite delivered. For many, BI failed to hit the proverbial target. Why? Because organisations didn’t realise that a successful BI strategy is more than a technology investment, it’s a culture shift.

Most companies focused on getting the data together in an accessible space, using BI to create dashboards and reports that did little more than clog inboxes and create beautiful visuals.

Only a small percentage harnessed the potential of BI and used the data to change the business. And only that small percentage experienced the benefits that the technology had to offer.

This is changing

Today, organisations have made the implementation of BI solutions into a holistic journey that focuses on consolidating the data, discovering the insights, and then really leveraging these insights to make fundamental change.

These three steps – consolidate, discover and visualise – underpin a truly successful BI strategy and are fast becoming best practice in an industry in need of fresh ways to engage with customers and markets.

The quality of data and the capabilities of BI have also improved. The technology is targeted, the data more relevant, the insights cleaner and more focused. This has changed how companies approach their BI investment. And it is transforming how organisations engage with customers across multiple platforms and departments, particularly the contact centre.

Imagine, for a moment, being a customer. You contact a company about an issue. It’s not the first time you’ve had this problem and you’re dreading the long explanation, the ‘please hold’, and the relentless cycle of having to wait, explain and repeat.

Personalising the customer experience is not an easy ask.

Now imagine if the company knows who you are from the outset and the call centre agent immediately understands the context and has visibility into all your other interactions with the company.

Imagine if the entire problem is already being worked on and you’re provided with an immediate status report. Imagine if the business contacted you proactively – letting you know about a product, a service or a problem resolution without any need for you to chase and chase?

These scenarios are not implausible. These are the reality of the modernised contact centre that leverages the capabilities of BI to create seamless customer journeys.

Personalising the customer experience is not an easy ask. It needs the BI to facilitate it, but it also needs for the organisation to have embedded a culture that’s capable of really using what BI can offer to engage with customers.

Use the BI to reshape how the call centre operates – reduce the amount of time customers spend waiting or listening to options that have nothing to do with them by customising each engagement.

Use BI to solve customer problems – proactively uncover issues and provide the kind of service that transforms users into loyal customers. Use BI to venture into new markets – access customers that will benefit from what you have to offer thanks to intelligent insights and data visualisation.

If a business understands each and every customer, recognises their preferences, and talks to them in their language, then it is really getting the most out of BI to fundamentally transform its future.

Wynand Smit


With over 10 years of operational and strategic experience in the South African contact centre industry, Wynand Smit's understanding of technology and its application to business has benefited multiple organisations across a variety of industries. As CEO of contact centre solutions provider INOVO, he is passionate about using the contact centre as a platform to drive positive change in a business.

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