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What high-quality data reveals about customer service

One of the key uses that any organization has for consumer data is in customer service. In any line of work, whether it's with a health care company that organizes people's medical records or a retail organization that sells them goods, it's important to keep in touch with customers. Managing consumer information helps organizations know exactly how people like to communicate.

That's the beauty of data quality in many industries - it helps companies better meet people's needs and preferences. According to Forbes, companies are doing an admirable job in 2014 of tailoring to their customers.

The news source drew upon Dimension Data's global contact center benchmarking report for 2013 and '14, which surveyed 817 contact centers across 79 countries. The firm found that 80 percent of companies still have responsive in-house contact centers in place for meeting people's demands, and those centers are tapping into a great deal of data and using a wide variety of modern technologies.

Customer service data tells companies a great deal about the people they work with - and sometimes, they uncover lessons that are surprising. For example, Dimension Data found that email is still the most popular means of communication between companies and their Generation Y customers - people born after 1990. Amid all of today's texting and tweeting, email is still king.

"Email is still important for a number of different age groups and shouldn't be written off," consultant and author Adrian Swinscoe wrote. "Email, like the phone, may not be sexy. It may be labor-intensive and therefore expensive. But it's what many customers want. Therefore, why not give it to them?"

This is just one example of the valuable lessons that companies can learn from tapping into data about customer service. The more accurate information that IT leaders are able to gather about the consumers around them, the smarter their companies will be.