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Don’t Just Read Your Telecom Bill—Watch It

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Personalized videos can be used to help companies engage consumers and improve customer retention. Now, companies are adding big data to the equation.

AT&T (T) sends out personalized videos to customers when it bills them, and the telecom giant says more than 85 percent of customers who use the service have found it helpful.

Several retailers and technology companies say they have improved customer relationships and ultimately boosted revenue through the use of personalized videos, according to SundaySky, a company that sells those video services to AT&T and others.

SundaySky President Jim Dicso said companies use the service to “take cost out of their customer service operation, reduce churn, improve loyalty, and improve the customer experience.” In the videos, customers see and hear their own account information.

SundaySky isn’t alone in its field: Competitors include video marketing platforms like Treepodia, which has worked with Wal-Mart (WMT) and Buy.com.

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Big data comes into play when a video application gathers behavioral data on clients’ customers. For example, when a customer browses a company’s website but then leaves the site without making a purchase, SundaySky’s software remembers what products a customer viewed. When the user goes on to another video website, such as YouTube, it will show the user an ad for that same product.

That could of course raise privacy concerns among customers, but Dicso said that the firm’s data-gathering is focused on “the product, the plans, or service” involved.

Besides AT&T, New York-based SundaySky works with Verizon (VZ), Office Depot (ODP), eBay (EBAY), Lenovo (LNVGY), Sears (SHLD), and Dell (DELL).

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