Leveraging Analytics to Meet the Needs of Customers
Posted by Erica Bell on July 25, 2013 in Business Management, Business Technology [ 0 Comments ]
Companies are continually looking for ways to both meet the needs and exceed the expectations of their customers. Focusing on developing better products and building stronger relationships are just two of the goals retailers and consumer product companies have in mind. Those that are customer-centric and strong analytics users are likely to outperform their competitors. In fact, a recent IBM study found that the 16% of companies that are consumer-focused and strong users of analytics have more clout with customers (Tweet this stat!). They’re also less concerned with plan processes and execution. Here’s how your business can become more customer-focused and incorporate more analytics into its decision making processes.
Cutting to the Core
While the core to operations may be your teams and processes your business has in place, the core of your business is its customers. Returning customers, on average, will spend more than new customers and it’s well known that it costs less to keep a customer than it does to acquire a new one. Cut to the core of your business and focus on becoming more customer-driven. Analytics can help you do that. Here are three customer-centric steps your business can take through the use of analytics.
- Consolidate Your Analytics. Use customer feedback, web analytics and social listening tools to consolidate your analytics to see what it is your customers are talking about and how you can modify current strategies to better meet their needs.
- Understand Market Demand. Use your sales and customer service teams to collect customer feedback; then, use this information to enhance your sales strategy and decision making.
- Train Your Team. Customer service training shouldn’t be limited to sales or support. Your teams, from top executives to new interns, need to be trained to understand the needs of your customers.
Collaboration: From the C-Suite to Customers
You’re already getting insight and analytics from your customers. What about your C-suite, marketing, IT and other teams within your company? Collaboration can’t just exist between product and marketing, or marketing and customers via crowdsourcing – it needs to be companywide. Sales and marketing alignment, a buzz word for many modern businesses, is key, but with often times great insights can come from IT. They see what’s going on behind the scenes, behind the clicks, and behind the marketing campaigns. Your tech team can take a look at and modify your software so that your sales team can have access to forecasting analytics, your marketing team can what areas of the site need further optimization, and where your designer can provide more visuals to enhance the customer experience. Meeting the needs of your customers is often times optimized when you collaborate and communicate more with your tech team.
Digging into the Data
“Leaders” from the IBM study use analytics more extensively than their competitors. 83% of them have access to purchase history data and 78% get access to point-of-sale data (Tweet this stat!). The use of analytics can help you make better sales decisions as well as new products and current product enhancements. Really dig into the data to create action items.
- Make sure you’re using the wealth of information available with your Google Analytics and webmaster accounts and dedicate an individual or team into turning this Big Data into insights you can use.
- If possible, buy syndicated data. Purchasing patterns data and data about the behaviors of buyers similar to yours can help you make better decisions if you don’t have the tools to collect that information yourself readily available.
- While consolidating analytics can help you understand customers better, it can also give you better information as to where your company is falling short. Consolidation can give you the broad overview you’re looking for.
The most successful companies will be consumer-oriented, collaborative, and strong analytics users. Because a business is successful when it attracts and retain customers, you need to pay attention to the different areas of focus to optimize the three areas that will make you a Leader.
(Image: bulldogza via freedigitalphotos.net)