Customer insight: the secret of successful businesses
The term “customer insight” is one of the most important buzzwords of the Western world’s marketing strategies. What exactly do we mean by customer insights and how can they help grow your business?
What are customer insights?
Customer insights (CI) means identifying consumer behaviour patterns based on data that’s available, and the use of these patterns when creating and developing a business model. Customer insights are much more than business data analysis. In order to create customer insights, you need both quantitative and qualitative analysis, so that you can work with the most accurate set of data.
By analysing the habits of your customers you can have valuable data – such as buying habits, or the process through which the customer gets from browsing products to actually buying something. And why is that important? By knowing the customer insights of your clients, you can learn about your customers’ needs and even problems. You can also identify those points where the customer may hesitate or give up buying something from you altogether. By finding these points, you can work out an appropriate business model which helps the consumers make their way to the final checkout. With that, you can improve customer satisfaction (since it becomes easier and faster for them to find the products and services they need), which means your company can reach more income, and you can draw more and more customers to your business.
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In today’s digital world, analytics has an ever-growing importance. For example, in a webshop you can get an insight into the process through every single customer interaction. If your analytics and data analysis strategy is worked out to perfection, you can monitor and reproduce every single step of the customer. This is an opportunity which is overlooked by most companies – so if you apply it appropriately, you can have a big advantage compared to your competitors.
How does the process work?
In order for you to be able to work out the perfect strategy, it is important that you follow every step of the analytics process in the most accurate way possible. If needed, you can tailor it to your own business model. Below you can find the four steps you need in order to apply customer insights.
1. Collect the data
In order to create the appropriate strategy, you will first need the raw data from your clients. Once you have them, you can make predictions about how they are likely to behave in certain situations or how they make their final decision.
The more data you collect, the more appropriate predictions you are able to make in the future. That’s why having an analytical software and setting it up properly is one of the most important things. Many enterprises use different analytical tools to create a business strategy – however, even the best and most modern software is not enough if you don’t know what exactly you want to measure.
In most analytical softwares, there are many settings available, which make more and more data available to those who use it. Your task is to filter out the data which are important and relevant to the company’s goals. You should collect the data from more than one source (such as an analytical software and the CRM system of the company). This way you can gather more data; moreover, you can filter out errors more easily if you compare the values measured by the two different systems.
2. Identify behavioral patterns
This is one of the most important steps to make customer insights improve your company. After you have analysed the data and filtered out those which are the most relevant to you, it is time for you to identify the correlations and the patterns in them. One of the most important and common use of customer insights is the creation of so-called buyer personas (meaning the identification and prediction of the behaviour and features of a typical client). By understanding the motivation and decision process of the consumer, you can determine what types of products or messages are needed in order to encourage them to buy your product.
This step is particularly important if your business is only available on the Internet – because that is the only platform where your clients-to-be can learn about your brand. This is also the platform which is the easiest to analyse from the point of view of customer interactions. Moreover, you are in complete control what content is available to clients and when. The analytics of your website can be a real treasure chest if you can make the appropriate conclusions about the data.
3. Turn insights to strategies
Once you’ve got the data, and you have analysed them in order to identify customer behaviour, the next step is creating a business strategy that complies with those behavioral patterns. Based on the insights gained from the data, data professionals and market researchers have the opportunity to work together with strategists to create a business model which is best for your company at the given time.
In the strategy, you must also include more types of consumers with more types of behavioral patterns; because you can be sure that there is not just one type of target group that is interested in your product or service. After you have created the different types of buyer personas, you can start experimenting with different content, landing pages, or targeting.
4. Follow-up on insights, change the strategy
The work is not done yet when you have the appropriate business strategy – since in today’s ever-changing world you can be sure that customer behavioural patterns change continuously as well. That’s why you need testing, collecting more data and data analysis even if you have a model that’s working at that moment.
If your company has been doing analytics for a long time, your job will be a bit easier: you can learn for example how your clients behaved during Christmas time, which of your campaigns were successful, or what were those messages which made the customers go from browsing the website to actually buying something. That way you can develop new campaigns, products or services by relying on these customer insights. That’s why it is important that as a first step of strategic planning you collect the most data available from your clients’ behaviour; and that you analyse these data properly, so that you can make your business strategy perfect.
In conclusion, customer insights can be the best friend of your company – if you gather the appropriate data and analyse them appropriately. This means that the digital trail of your clients must be monitored and analysed constantly. Those companies that build these insights into their strategy are proved to be able to acquire more clients and thus, more profit; plus, customer satisfaction will be higher as well.