Monday, June 11, 2007

Data Will Present Itself - What Would Your Heat Map Look Like?

Well, I have to say, I saw this one coming. Having seen a sickness tracking mashup, to track how colds, flues and other illness are geographically dispersed, I thought that it was only a matter of time before people started adding crime related statistics onto real estate maps. These guys could get a double impact by tying into a Trulia API. Then you could track the effect of crime rate on house and commercial property prices. These kinds of statistics will become presented as easy to read Heat Maps. What's this got to do with customer service, and marketing? It has to do with information asymmetry, and the roles that people play in a service exchange. Can you imagine if your car owners network began posting data about parts failures? But this is far from being bad news for the enterprise. How many times have you spoken with someone about a restaurant they were at only to have them tell you "oh, actually, it wasn't that great, I felt kinda ripped off because the meat wasn't good", and when you ask them what did the restaurant do when you told them, they say "Oh, I didn't tell them, I just didn't tip that well!". Surfacing the customer issues and dealing with them well is what this new data availability will enable you to do. Imagine if your marketing person left a message on this car parts network with all the name and number of their local dealer, telling them that they are within warranty etc., or better still, with a click to call option that lets that network contributer contact the marketing person to resolve this issue to everyones benefit? If all the data you currently hold in your customer care system was available on the web how would that change the way you think about what the purpose of your customer service?

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