James Cherkoff had written a post a couple of months back:
"... as people increasingly lead their lives online, we have information about what is actually happening in a complex world. So, for example, instead of mocking-up profiles of typical customers to help guide strategy - we can let the data describe the reality. And we can see how that reality changes. All of which, on the face of it, sounds like a good thing. However, in fact, the move from reference to reality is tricky. For starters, there's A LOT of this reality stuff and it's VERY messy. But as with all technology, that bit will eventually be solved by some smart folk, a few machines and a bit of Gordon Moore's magic. No, the tricky part is moving away from the reassuring, grand planning environment into one where you know who the customer is - because you can smell him. It's The Cathedral And The Bazaar all over. In the networked world data isn't an extrapolation or a sample - it's behaviour. There's no need to second guess the market when you can just wander around it."
Here's my experience with a wireless service provider in India - Vodafone
I had this experience with my Vodafone account in India. I walked into their stores and had a query on my bill recently. As I walked out( in just a few minutes), I had an SMS requesting me rate the customer care associate. I was quite impressed with the way they managed the data and my interaction real time. Since my query was addressed well, I went to pay the bill and immediately I got an SMS thanking me for the payment. I had paid the bill fairly early - a week or ten days ahead. Just a couple of days before my due date for the same bill, I received an SMS reminding me to the pay the same bill! I was quite pissed and angry. To me it looked like one part of the organization was using the real time data for customer service & delight and the other part of the company - billing and collections department have not woken-up to this new world order. So is the case, when I go to their website and spend time subscribing or unsubscribing to specific services. They don't use this rich data of mine available online to leverage the relationship in the same manner. I think enterprises need to connect data across channels and experience and build what I call a DUET( Data-led User Experience Testing). It will help them map the data to the user experience clearly and ensure there are sign-offs at every stage of the interaction.