The need for companies to maintain a database focusing on customer acquisition and retention is not new.
While marketing strategies focus increasingly on building the right campaigns, customer experience and loyalty are aspects that every company needs to excel at. Customer retention rate is what drives Apple’s growth – they have made their customer base fall into their ecosystem and depend on Apple products, from the traditional Mac to their recently launched iWatch. Companies like Amazon, Apple and Google have revolutionized their business models by focusing on their customer’s behavior patterns via analysis of vast databases. Using predictive analytics they can spot business trends or potential problems within their systems that their clients interface with.
In this context, it’s important for organizations to understand how to connect best with customers. The two most common words that you hear in this regard is consumer analytics and big data.
Collecting customer information.
While smaller business do not have access to the information that the tycoons above utilize, they still can actualize on data if they take the time to collect it. Your organization can collect information in a number of ways, from online feedback forms to purchase details. However, you can only reach your full potential once you assemble the disparate sources of information together. Once the information is collected and and stored it can be properly analyzed.
What can you do with the information you collect?
Imagine being an auto manufacturer. You need to approach a potential buyer differently based on whether he has just started his research or whether he has already zeroed in on the vehicle he would like to buy. If you’re aware of the customer’s interests, you can automate the entire process and save both parties time and money. This reduces overhead while creating a better purchasing environment for those looking at your products. Knowing how to best improve the system requires adequate knowledge of multiple factors before, during and after the transaction takes place.
Wouldn’t it be easy to have a single view of your customer preferences? What if you could track everything from when emails are opened, marketing responses, mobile app activity and social media interactions all in one place? This becomes possible if you combine the data from different departments.
How can companies keep track of everything?
1. Look at improving customer experience
Keep track of customer interests. Do not invest in email blasts or mobile marketing based on location alone. Aggregate consumer research and cross-channel data together to reveal demographics, and interest based trends that will help you discover unexpected insights. The technology to give these insights exists and it is up to the business to properly utilize it. The money saved and earned through proper use of this information can be immense.
2. Check out the metrics
Check out metrics from different sources and find out what’s relevant. For instance, you can look at whether your social media strategy is right by looking at geographical locations.
3. Invest in Big Data
There are scores of information and voluminous amounts of data. Big data refers to an amount of data that is so large that it’s difficult to store using traditional databases. Organizations need to focus on big data to improve operational efficiency and make more intelligent decisions. Understanding the huge sources of data would mean improving customer efficiency as well. You can attain this data from different sources.
- Through stakeholders of the company: customers, vendors, and partners.
- Data that is about business or relates to functional, financial and operational aspects.
- Data on company culture that includes employee engagement levels.
- Data that relates to competition, brand leadership and customer loyalty levels.
After data is centralized, it needs to go through an in-depth analysis to separate the various bits of relevant information. Different sets of data may be significant for different purposes. For instance, to analyze flaws in customer service you will need to look at various factors (such as employee discontent) to understand the areas which need improvement. The data can then be used to refine existing strategies, make new ones and decide the future course of action. Predicting customer buying trends, behavior and ensuring customer satisfaction becomes easier too. Used properly, data analysis can reduce overhead, increase sales, elevate customer retention and improve company culture.
About The Author
David Moskovitz is a Co-Founder at BrainiUX.