Customer intelligence is a process that uses customer data and business analytics to generate insights into consumer behaviour. These insights can help companies understand consumers’ decision-making processes, their lifestyles, their pain points and their preferences. Put simply, consumer intelligence helps businesses know their customer better.
Customer intelligence can be used to understand what consumers value most in a business and why they choose certain products or services over others.
Some of the biggest business benefits of customer intelligence include:
Frictionless purchasing experiences.
Improved customer service.
The ability to identify and capitalise on new trends.
Better cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Improved brand management.
By understanding customer behaviour and preferences, companies can identify new markets and develop products and services to meet emerging needs. And in a climate where customer expectations and needs are rapidly changing, these insights can provide a valuable competitive advantage.
Data is everywhere. In fact, businesses can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of customer data at their disposal. To be useful, that data needs to be turned into actionable information. That information can then be used to power business improvements, with the customer at the heart of that strategy.
Here are nine tips for using customer intelligence to build a smarter business.
Use a reliable CDP (Customer Data Platform). To unlock the full potential of customer intelligence, you’ll need to put your data in the driver’s seat. A good customer data platform is a powerful tool for centralising data and providing hyper-personalised customer journeys. For example, by using the real-time data provided by a CDP, a service rep can become a highly effective salesperson by offering the right product to the right customer at the right time.
Identify the data that will be most helpful in achieving your goals. Not all data is created equal. When diving into your customer data, it’s important to know what you ultimately hope to achieve with it. Decide what areas of your business you’d like to improve first, then look at what information will be most impactful in driving these improvements. You can then set KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, to measure your progress towards those goals.
Use your customer intelligence to create new offerings. Consumer intelligence is vital for developing new products or services. After all, you’ll want to know there’s a market for new offerings before spending valuable time and money to develop, launch and promote them. Some businesses have even gone beyond just analysing existing customer data, instead inviting customers to actively join in product development. This process, called co-creation, can not only lead to exciting new offerings; it can also drive brand loyalty.
Monitor your online reputation. Sometimes it’s easy to know where improvements are needed, as your internal data will tell you where issues exist. Other times, customer feedback will be helpful in identifying problems. But look beyond this and keep an eye on your online reputation as well. Listen in on social media and see what customers are saying about your brand. Does your business have a positive reputation? Are there recurring problems being mentioned? Online chatter can help drive improvements, but it can also be a great way to identify brand advocates.
Preferred shopping channels.
Interests and lifestyle.
Purchasing behaviour (i.e., frequency of purchases, average spend, etc.)
Having a fuller picture of your customer will help you provide more targeted, relevant messaging on the channels they use most.
Perfect your pricing strategy. Finding the right price for your offerings is essential for business success. After all, pricing not only affects profitability – it affects your products’ perceived value. Customer intelligence can provide valuable insights into what consumers are willing to pay for your product or service. It can also show how they view it against competitors’ offerings. Use your customer data to find your optimal price point.
Optimise your marketing. Use customer intelligence to see what your customers value most. Is it price? Brand values? Functionality? Style? Availability? You’ll want to put a spotlight on this when communicating with your customers. You can create various marketing campaigns with different messaging, contact your customers through their preferred channels, and run A/B testing to see what generates the best results. Then, just tweak and repeat.
Let customer pain points guide you. If customers have problems, offer them solutions. By addressing customer pain points, you can differentiate your business and create a competitive advantage. This differentiator will not only provide a smoother customer experience and create goodwill; it can help lead to new products. After all, Kevlar was accidentally invented while trying to make car tires more efficient.
Customer intelligence is a good guidepost for reducing costs while connecting with consumers. By knowing your target audience, you can provide the right products at the right price, just when they need them most. And by identifying new opportunities in the marketplace, you can take your business in exciting new directions.
To learn more about how you can create exceptional customer experiences that stand out from the crowd, check out our guide, Thriving in the Experience Economy.