Knowing your customers well can help you personalize interactions with your contacts, build loyalty, improve the customer experience and, ultimately, boost your sales. At the time of Big Data and customer-centric strategies, the customer knowledge is a key to good business development and to differentiate from the competition. Yet, many still do not know how to collect actionable data on their customers. In this article, we will return to the 4 rules necessary to improve your customer knowledge. Let’s discover step by step how to gather quality data in order to exploit them for the benefit of quality marketing operations.
1. Improve your customer knowledge by collecting quality data
The Big Data is the nebula which represents the set of data that can be collected about users, prospects and customers. Companies today have the means to collect countless amounts of data; but how to use this information to exploit them to the fullest?
For starters, the best is undoubtedly to identify the most relevant, those that are quality and that can serve you in your marketing strategies: this is called “Smart Data”. This information, carefully selected, must be exploitable, up-to- date and accessible:
- Exploitable to help you in the implementation of your strategy.
- Updated to allow you to always have the most relevant information about your customers.
Accessible so that each service in your company can easily exploit them and thus ensure consistency in the overall speech of the brand.
Rule #1: Objectives of collection, you will define
The first step in sorting out all the data at your disposal is to define collection objectives. What is your goal from a strategic point of view? What do you want to know about your customers and why?
For example, you may want to understand their buying journey to improve your omni-channel approach. You may also want to develop the loyalty of some consumers by studying more closely their buying motives. You can try to boost the customer experience or simply define more precisely your targets to fill some gaps.
As you can see, the collection goals can be varied and the corresponding data too. That’s why it’s important to identify the points you want to improve. This will let you know what you need to collect.
Here are some examples of information you can collect:
- Socio-demographic data: identity, sex, age, profession, address…
- Navigation data: products and pages viewed, cookies, abandoned baskets…
- Transactional data: history of purchases and returns…
- Interaction data: customer service, technical support, published opinions…
Rule #2: Ways to collect data, you’ll find.
Once you have defined your goals, you can look at the question of how to collect the data that interests you, and what are the means at your disposal to obtain qualitative data?
There are many ways to collect customer data. On the Internet or in stores, turn to simple and effective solutions. Here are some examples of actions you can take to collect customer data:
- Offer downloadable content: it works very well in B2B
- Conduct polls / questionnaires to know the uses of consumers
- Make satisfaction surveys
- Organize contests
- Ask questions to customers when they visit the store/checkout: it is a good way to collect information to complete your database (name, surname, phone, email etc.)
- Set up a loyalty program that will allow you to collect information about members
- Collect data on your customers’ purchase history with your cash register software
This is not an exhaustive list and you can very well imagine new ways to address your prospects and customers, depending on your core business. Be innovative and, to be transparent so that the consumer is more inclined to share his personal data.
2. Improve your customer knowledge by analyzing customer data
The data you just collected, however, needs to be analyzed. It is now necessary to study them to better understand your client and, ultimately, know exactly how to address him. This is especially what will allow you to offer him more effective and relevant marketing operations.
Rule #3: A Powerful CRM Tool, You’ll Dare
We could as well put this in rule #1: your CRM is the cornerstone of your customer knowledge strategy. With a powerful and complete tool that adapts to your different services and/or interlocutors, you will be able to organize, analyze and correctly exploit the collected data.
Your client file must be as complete and relevant as possible. Knowing that 30% of data become obsolete each year, take the time to update it regularly, remove duplicates, fill in missing information, and so on.
With a digital solution, you combine efficiency and simplicity . Do not forget to choose a solution that will allow you to connect to your other business tools: cash register software, customer service tracking software etc.
Rule #4: Segments, you will create
This is your data collected, organized and ready to be exploited. The last rule (but not least) to improve your customer knowledge is to exploit them properly, and to do this, nothing better than segmentation!
It is an essential step for the realization of relevant marketing operations. Why? Because it allows to target different types of consumers and therefore to adapt your speech to each of them.
The time when one addressed in one and the same way to the whole of its client file is long gone. Now, the consumer is looking for customization. They want their favourite brands to offer content tailored to their needs, their desires, their way of life…
Segment your client file to match similar profiles based on your goals . Segmentation can take place, at a first level, by following the declarative information of your customers: age, sex, place of residence for example. But we recommend going further by segmenting on more refined criteria such as the average basket amount (Small, Medium, Large customers), frequency or recency of purchases (Recency, Frequency, Amount). You can also segment based on the purchase history.
It is with a 360 ° knowledge of your customers that you will succeed in offering them what they are looking for, with relevance. Hence the importance of creating segments, or more generally consumer profiles, that will enable you to define purchasing and consumption behaviors to be used in your marketing operations.
To conclude, customer knowledge, while seemingly daunting, is based primarily on a rigorous strategy that must be adopted as a priority. It is indeed thanks to the definition of your objectives that you will be able to collect qualified and relevant data which will be used to the implementation of marketing campaigns adapted to each customer. In addition, customer customization happens to be the basis of any marketing operation today. It is then important to take care of your client file for the wealth of valuable and important information it represents.