Here’s a common scenario: An organization’s website and marketing materials are filled with slogans like “We put customer service first,” “Our mission is to surprise and delight our customers,” and “Customer service is our top priority.”

But when customers actually need service, they’re neither surprised nor delighted. Instead, the customer experience is characterized by disappointment and dismay. Customer service seems like an afterthought, not a top priority.

A visual analytics solution for customer service helps ensure that the promised customer experience matches up with reality. How? By providing visibility into every interaction between your customers and your customer service reps (CSRs). Your team will also have an easy way to visualize relevant data, so they can focus on identifying issues and improving performance, not interpreting spreadsheets.

The right visual analytics solution for your company should integrate directly into your existing customer service processes and CRM system. After all, time is of the essence when resolving customer service issues. If analytics are locked away in a separate Business Intelligence tool, the team has to spend extra time accessing it, and it may be seen as more of a hassle than a help.

Of course, the best way to demonstrate the value of a visual analytics solution like iCharts is to show you what it can do. Read on to learn how three data visualizations can help you improve the customer experience.

Analyze Product Performance Patterns

Let’s say you offer three different products. Two of your products are beloved by customers, while one is beset with problems. By analyzing the number of customer service cases by month per product, you can quickly see which product is the cause of the most gripes and you can assign extra customer service reps to handle those cases. You can even share your insights quickly with the rest of the company—it may be that your development team needs to spend some time fixing product issues.

You can also use this specific data visualization to spot trends in your customer service caseload. If customer service cases for one product spike in a particular month, as the chart above shows, the logical next step is to dig in and seek out the reason for the spike. Once you’ve uncovered that information, you can develop a game plan for the future. Perhaps a new version was released that month, leading to unforeseen issues. If that’s the case, you can staff accordingly for future releases.

product performance chart

Proactively Address Customer Issues

By creating a data visualization to show the number of cases per customer, you can see which customers are experiencing a high number of problems. If necessary, you can assign additional CSRs to those accounts in order to expedite the handling of their issues. You can also reach out to those customers and let them know that you’re aware of the issues and you’re doing everything possible to get their issues resolved quickly.

customer issues chart

When you can clearly see the number of open cases for each customer, you can develop a plan for closing those cases quickly. And if you notice that your VIPs are experiencing multiple issues, you might develop a special customer care team devoted just to them.

Drill into Open Cases to Prevent Escalation

Data visualization helps you get a grip on the status of all open cases. One glance tells you how many cases haven’t been started, how many are awaiting reply, how many are in progress, how many had to be re-opened, and how many have been escalated.

customer service open cases

Once you know how many cases are open, you can drill into all the cases that haven’t been escalated, analyze the issues, and formulate insights to prevent escalation by comparing escalated cases with non-escalated cases. With proper analysis, patterns may emerge. A robust visual analytics solution allows you to manipulate the data virtually any way you please. Plus, you’re tapping into real-time data, not pre-aggregated information that doesn’t reflect current realities.

Best Practices for Customer Service Analytics

With the right visual analytics solution, you can improve the overall customer experience by reducing the aggravation customers feel when their products don’t work properly, they have to wait too long for a resolution, or their issues aren’t addressed adequately upon first contact.

At iCharts, we’ve developed pre-built interactive dashboards that have been proven to improve the customer experience. Our iCharts CloudScale customers can access these dashboards as a standalone product or integrated within leading ERP and CRM systems, including NetSuite and Salesforce. Best of all, anyone can use these dashboards to create data visualizations—no IT involvement necessary.

Want to truly surprise and delight your customers? Start by improving overall customer service.