Customer Data: Making The Most Out Of It

In this digital era where most business decisions are driven by customers, it’s more important than ever to know your customers on a deeper level – by understanding their experiences, behavior, and purchase needs. In that light, customer data is becoming a valuable asset for every business even as companies strive to tap into critical behavioral insights that can help them build strong customer relationships. 

So ask yourself, do you have the data required to understand your customers’ experiences and behavioral patterns? Can you personalize your interactions using that data?

The amount of customer data generated every day can be so overwhelming that you may not know where to start. Nevertheless, you must come up with an effective plan to organize and analyze this data so that you don’t miss out on important insights and trends. Here are essential tips that can help you create customer data strategies to gain insight from customer interactions and consequently get a competitive advantage.

Go Big With Your Customer Data Strategy

It’s common to focus on short-term insights instead of planning a long-term data analytics strategy. It’s essential to know that you might not be able to learn your customers’ purchase trends and behavioral patterns in a single interaction. It takes time to develop meaningful information from customer interactions.

Most organizations capture data in various forms, ranging from individual data elements like contact information, to macro level information like trends in customer inquiries. Analyze the data you are capturing and prioritize what’s important to your organization’s goals.  

Analyzing business intelligence generated from your customer interactions is one way to gather input to your long-term data strategy. Understanding changes in behavior, such as an uptick in questions about a certain product, can help you understand your customer needs and desires. Or, tracking service levels by communication channel might help you understand where customers are feeling the most pain. Over time, you can use this information to come up with an engagement strategy that meets the overall needs of your customers. 

Prioritize Quality

Do you know which customer data is most important to your strategy? While most people strive to gather as much information as possible about their customers, depending on your data analytics goals, you might not need everything you’ve collected. For this reason, it’s important to identify the needs of your customers and your business objectives to ensure collected data adds value to your business. 

For example, if your customer data analytics strategy is meant to give you insights for a promotional campaign, you’ll want to gather metrics on product sales by product line. But, you’ll also need data at the customer level, so you can target your campaign to the right customer segment.

What are customers saying about the product in online reviews? Are they looking forward to new products in the same product line? Do you have a hot product within certain customer segments? While things like a customer’s location and preferred channel of communication are important data, getting into the details is very important if you want to get the most out of your customer data analytics strategy. 

Know the Rules Governing Customer Data

Are you familiar with the rules that govern customer data? While your business benefits by leveraging customer data, any form of data violation may turn things upside down. In almost every country, there are data privacy laws in place to regulate how customer information is collected, how data subjects are informed, and the extent of control they have over the data once it’s transferred.

As an entity, failing to follow applicable data policies might lead to heavy fines, expensive lawsuits, or prohibition of your site’s use in some jurisdictions. Get to know the rules both within your borders and internationally so that you know how to leverage customer data in a way that’s both useful and legal.

In some cases, you must get the consent of a customer before using or sharing their data. Also, it’s important to assure your customers that their data is safe and well-protected so they can share their information freely and with confidence in your ability to protect it.

Your support center is a great way to give customers and prospects this confidence. Data they provide, such as product preferences or contact information, should be available for them to review, update, or remove within a customer engagement center. This not only benefits them by giving them control, it improves the quality of the underlying data because they can update it proactively. 

Centralize Your Customer Data

When it comes to data analytics, centralization is important. Your support team, sales agents, and marketing personnel should use the same data for brand consistency and a unified support experience. As customers interact with your brands through different channels, all the data should be universally accessible.

One way of achieving this is by integrating an omnichannel support platform in your website. With that, you can keep all your customer data in a single platform where everyone can access at any time. For instance, an omnichannel support platform like iService provides a single view of all your customer interactions. Whether it’s a customer email, live chat, or form submission, your support team and sales agents need to access this data in a single view of the customer’s interaction history. 

Focus On Customer Benefits

When you collect customer data, the first thing that often comes to mind is how you can use this information to improve your business. However, don’t overlook the value to the customer themselves. To encourage your customer to help you build your knowledge about them, it’s important that they understand the value they receive in return.

A common strategy for gathering data is offering a financial incentive to provide information. But in many cases, your customer will receive a better service experience when they collaborate with you. Educating them on the benefits of providing data, like specifying a preferred product or subscribing to a mailing list, can often yield a better return than offering a short-term reward, like a coupon.

The success of your business depends on customer satisfaction, so it’s important to focus on benefiting the customers when collecting data. From the data analytics insights you get, you can come up with better interaction strategies to improve your customer experience. Find out how you can use the data obtained to build meaningful relationships with your customers instead of focusing on the company’s exclusive benefits. Remember, when your customers are happy they’ll want to do business with you again and again.

Are you making the most out of your customer data? If yes, kudos for that. However, there’s always room for improvement. So, start leveraging these strategies to take the quality of your customer data to a new level.