In recent years, the seat of power has moved from companies to its customers. Empowered customers have an ocean of knowledge about a company and its competitors at their disposal. Social media, online blogs, and reviews provide information about everything customers want to know.
This vast knowledge bank makes customer intelligence an integral part of online retail sales. The goal of customer intelligence is to generate sales, understand customer needs, and optimize the customer journey from induction to retention. Truly understanding its customers is crucial to an online retailer’s success.
However, the collection of data is not enough to optimize strategies. Intelligence, which involves the contextual, flexible, and holistic understanding of data, is that extra mile that needs exploring.
The importance of Customer Intelligence
Thanks to the emergence of new devices and platforms associated with ecommerce, retailers today have more customer touchpoints to take care of.
Often, this multitude of touchpoints results in a fragmented customer view, which can inhibit a marketer’s ability to offer personalized services to customers. Due to this, retailers are now turning towards customer intelligence to understand customers better and optimize their journey.
As retailers adapt to the digital era, marketers must embrace technology that maximizes available customer touchpoints. The right customer intelligence platform can help marketers deliver a smooth omnichannel strategy that builds lasting customer relationships.
Current Customer Intelligence Obstacles
A major obstacle that stands between a company and its success is omnipresence. In the digital age, there are many channels of interaction. Social media, online websites and mobile applications are the most recently introduced touch points. According to research conducted by Research Live, 87% of companies believe that an omnichannel presence is crucial for success. However, only 8% believe that they are successful in doing so. Customer intelligence embraces technology and provides solutions to overcome this obstacle.
Overcoming customer intelligence obstacles
- Personalized customer experience – Customized experiences that cater to their needs and desires leave customers satisfied. An Infosys report notes that 78% of customers engage with the company because of personalized experience. Personalization almost always leads to brand loyalty.
- Seamless transactions – As the number of company-customer touch points increase, a need for seamless exchange of data and dialogue through each touch point increases. Statista reports show that by 2020, the average customer will possess 6.9 connected devices. This calls for an increase in resolution capabilities. Sensible and timely assembly of all the fragments provided by each source goes a long way. In this aspect, customer intelligence is incredibly helpful. It gives context and perspective to raw data.
- Organized data – Unorganized, raw data is of no use to a company. After going through the process of analysis and valid perspective, the data becomes useful to the company. This analyzed data helps effectively generates sales and bring in new marketing strategies.
How retailers can leverage customer intelligence with technology
- Omni-channel strategy – If any sales channel is untouched by the company, customer intelligence provides help to optimally use the channel and generate sales. Customized strategies for a particular channel brings in greater company-customer interactions.
- Maximize touch points – Customer intelligence reaches all channels of customer engagement to gauge the efficiency of present strategies. It provides methods of improvement to previously applied strategies to maximize customer engagement and sales. It also helps in building strategies for new, unexplored channels of sales and marketing.
- Personalized approach – Each customer seeks unique services and products from brands. Customer intelligence personalizes the customer experience by tapping into past transactions, customer preferences, and trends of purchases. A personalized exchange leaves the customer satisfied and increases the likelihood of purchase and interaction in the future.
- Lasting relationships – Personalized services and an omnichannel presence build a lasting relationship between the company and the customer. A happy customer tends to come back for more and recommend the company’s services to others, thereby increasing the company’s customers and sales. Another important factor in building a durable relationship is good customer service. It is essential to record the customer’s complaints and employ effective methods to eradicate the shortcomings of the company.
- Real-time engagement – Data collected is real-time data. Relevant and current data helps to make more effective strategies. New trends in sales patterns of engagement as the customer passes through the customer cycle will change the applied strategies. It helps monitor change in trends and patterns too.
Customer intelligence has a lot to offer. It can help the company foster great relationships with its customers. This, in time, translates into lasting brand loyalty.