What is Customer Intelligence?

Customer intelligence is the process of collecting and interpreting data from consumers to find the best ways to serve them. People create significant data points every day, including information about their online habits, spending preferences, favorite stores to shop at, and more. Regardless of the industry, consumer data helps companies derive better insights and allows them to develop better strategies to reach their target audience. More than just collecting information, consumer intelligence is about using that information to drive future development, understand preferences, and create strategies that resonate better with customers. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, having these insights can mean the difference between an okay month and a great one. Here are five reasons why, no matter your industry, you should start using customer intelligence.

1. Create Loyal Customers

Market research used to take days, weeks, or even months depending on the scope of the information needed. However, in a market that changes from one day to the next, a long-term approach to research will leave you behind and your customers looking elsewhere. To convert and retain loyal customers you must understand their preferences and needs now. Not in months. Want to explore dashboards that can help you understand your customers? Check out our interactive dashboard examples. Often, it’s a matter of simply exploring how consumers interact with your website or company. You can track their purchase history, satisfaction levels, time spent on certain pages, and other habits to give you an idea of how to deliver a better service. Customer intelligence combined with the right sales dashboard also gives you the ability to present personalized offers, advertising, and incentives to motivate repeat consumers and encourage loyalty.

2. Visualize Real-Time Changes in the Market

The ability to understand the market has evolved into an everyday challenge. For companies in more crowded fields such as eCommerce, retail, and other consumer-facing industries, this means that a lapse in market knowledge presents a big setback. Falling behind the industry curve can be a matter of seconds, and those can be the difference between revenues and piling losses. Customer intelligence focuses on providing a steady stream of data that quickly converts into actionable insights. On a macro level, the aggregate data of your customer base lets you comprehend broader market trends. In turn, this lets you incorporate predictive analytics and practices into your business. This ability to forecast and project also improves areas such as inventory, marketing, and even hiring.

3. Improve Your Sales Efficiency

Businesses need to keep selling to continue operating. Sales are qualified not by their short-term value, but by how they translate into repeat business. Returning customers convert based on a variety of factors, but a more prepared and efficient sales team can help make the process significantly easier. Customer intelligence, in this case, is used to improve productivity and create a more streamlined sales process. Customer data and feedback can help identify sales tactics that are working and show ways to optimize underperforming strategies. By homing in on the aspects that work while rooting out those strategies and products that don’t, customer intelligence can reduce waste and help you train a better sales team to drive your ROI.

4. Reduce Waste

Often, sales feel like throwing strategies at a wall and seeing what works. These strategies can include ordering random products, shifting sales tactics frequently, creating promotions, and more. These efforts sometimes produce remarkable results—a promotion that drives significant traffic to a store—but often, they create inefficiencies in your operations. Instead, focusing on actionable insights derived from your consumer intelligence can give you a better way to create a sales strategy that’s agile. Prioritizing a consumer-driven approach can help you reduce the number of superfluous efforts you produce, as well as create more effective marketing, sales, and retention strategies.

5. Build a More Relatable Persona

Your focus should always be on your customers. Regardless of the promotions, strategies, deals, and sales you offer, consumers react the most to characteristics that resonate with them. As an added benefit of understanding customer preferences, you can use data to understand your customers better and build well-informed personas that speak to each of your customer types. With a clearer picture of who your customers are and what they want and like, you can craft a corporate and brand image that more closely aligns with their preferences. These personas can, and should, permeate into your marketing campaigns – touching on everything from the images you post on social media to the content in your emails. Creating personas that speak directly to your customers helps you build a loyal following at little cost to your bottom line. Want to explore dashboards that can help you understand your customers? Check out our interactive dashboard examples.
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