As UK customers become ever happier to part with personal information – if it means a better experience – today’s top service teams are the ones turning increased insight into swift action.

Our second annual State of Service report, based on interviews with 275 UK service leaders and thousands more across the globe, shows a chasm exists between service teams who are empowered to use customer data proactively, and those who aren’t.

Through apps and the Internet of Things (IoT), empowered service agents and technicians are gathering data in the field and the office. Using analytics, they’re turning this data to into action – predicting everything from product faults, to a customer’s evolving needs. And that means reduced support workloads, better experiences, and new chances to sell.

In the UK, however, only 39% of service teams currently rate their ability to gather insights across the entire customer lifecycle as either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’.

Here’s why it’s time to turn that figure around…

Embrace insights for happier customers and more productive agents

With ever easier, faster access the full spectrum of customer data your brand collects, it’s possible to delight customers in unexpected ways – like anticipating their needs, even before they arise.

Many UK service teams are already taking greater advantage of customer data to deliver truly proactive service interactions. Indeed, 59% of UK service teams say they’ve made a move towards proactive service over the past 12 to 18 months.

A service agent with proactive insights – who can see a customer’s purchase and service history the moment they answer their call – won’t just resolve that issue faster. They’ll have a better experience themselves.

With 77% of UK teams agreeing agent satisfaction plays a significant role in overall service productivity, brands that equip their agents to act on data are in clear win-win situation: creating happier customers and more productive staff.

Your service agents and field technicians – data producers and users

Your service agents and field technicians are an incredibly rich source of customer data themselves. Every phone call, every site visit – they all produce data begging to be analysed.

The challenge is capturing that data quickly and efficiently, and then putting it back at their fingertips. It’s a challenge the majority of UK service teams are making moves to address, with 69% reporting they’re already using mobile apps or are planning to invest in them over the next 12 to 18 months, and 83% reporting the same regarding service analytics.

But today, it’s not just human beings that can provide your brand with invaluable customer data. A massive 65% of UK services teams use or are planning to use the Internet of Things to learn more about how customers are using products.

How empowered service teams can enable greater sales and marketing

Helping your agents, technicians (and products) collect and act on customer data is a great start. But the smartest customer service teams are going one step further, and turning these insights into a valuable source of revenue across the entire customer lifecycle. 

Sales reps thrive on deep customer understanding. And now 69% of UK service teams agree they can proactively provide Sales with new intelligence on customer issues and needs.

But helping colleagues in Sales is just one way better-connected service teams can boost revenue. Three in four UK teams agree that a shared, single view of the customer empowers service agents to deliver greater cross-sell/up-sell opportunities – driving extra sales themselves.

Who’s already getting it right?

One UK company that’s serious about empowering it agents to act on data is Virgin Media.

With the help of Service Cloud, Virgin Media has made all its customers’ previous interactions – regardless of the channel they occurred through –  visible to its service agents, allowing them to personalise each customer conversation appropriately.

As Christopher Coleman, Head of Multi-Channel Sales at Virgin Media, says: “Having amazing products and great offers isn’t enough; you’ve got to deliver a brilliant experience too […] Salesforce allows us to do that in a way that’s never been possible before.” 

Virgin Media has also deployed Wave Analytics to better understand its customers and prospects. This, as Coleman explains, has let the company identify their end-to-end, cross-channel journeys like never before:

“We always knew where a prospect started their journey and where they completed it, but had limited visibility of what happened in between. Now we can see the whole journey in detail and can make smarter decisions on which parts of the journey to optimise.” 

Make the move to a more insightful future

Customer data is an incredibly powerful resource for UK service teams. And right now, the most forward-thinking companies are helping agents act on it like never before – to delight customers and drive revenue.

Check out our Second Annual State of Service report to learn more, and to discover how the UK customer service trends compare with trends from around the world.