Understanding your customer better isn’t as complex as you might think, but it does require a thoughtful analysis of where and how you can collect meaningful data. By better defining which aspects of their behavior or profiles are most significant to your business, you can start to measure and analyze better ways to engage them and ultimately sell more.
Here are some important areas of customer data that you must look to clean up or improve in order to reach your customers better.
1. Key Factors That Set Your Customers Apart
Everyone has different customer types. Not all customers are created equal. Identify what key factor(s) set one apart from another and segment your users from one another. It could be geography; it could be specific products they buy or it could be a demographic detail. Once you understand that, you are better able to target messaging, develop product and drive value for both the customer and your business.
2. Customers’ Real-Time Behavior
To understand your customers better, you have to get greater insight into how they actually behave. Surveys are fine and generalizations drawn from basic demography are still important, but businesses today need to gather as much data as possible on the way that customers are behaving in real time.
How long are they staying on your site? What links are they clicking? What triggers them to share your content on social media? What are they uploading or downloading and at what times? The holy grail that Big Data seeks to discover in industries of all shapes and sizes is needed anticipation. The businesses that are ahead today are the ones who can harvest, blend and analyze real-time customer data to identify patterns and predict customer needs before they’re even aware of them themselves.
3. Customer Service Records
When people call to return products, get more information and the like, it is the perfect opportunity to ask them a few questions about what they like/dislike, how they found you and how they are using their product or service. Have a list of questions on hand for your customer service representatives and make them use it!
4. Referral Source
Many times on a sales call you are busy tracking all the information about the client that is relevant to them closing a sale, but you forget to track the referral source of the lead. Without the referral source, it’s hard to understand how you can better reach your customers because you don’t have clear data about where your existing customers are coming from.
5. Personal Tastes and Preferences
By specializing in collecting data about consumers’ tastes and preferences, you can use this consumer intelligence to create content that resonates with your users. In particular, you can use aggregated statistics about your customers to provide information that’s more engaging than any other content types.
We love to keep our members as part of the conversation on Instagram, for example, by using the information they provide in real time to spark conversations about the newest trends. For instance, we can say that “Seventy-five percent of you love metallic nails,” provide a captivating image of the newest metallic nail art trends from fashion week and provide entertaining content for users grounded in their interests. Look for opportunities to create a feedback loop with your customers using data.