Understanding your customers through the use of analytics

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With the technology available today, customers are more connected than ever before. Your customers have all the information that they need even before they come to you to buy goods or services. The challenge lies in the fact that customers expect a business to know their needs before they come to them. This also means that organizations need to be able to predict where customers are in the buyer journey. The deeper your understanding of your customer, the easier it will be to create a strong competitive advantage and build exceptional customer service.

You can use customer analytics to improve your bottom line by doing the following:

Website Improvements
According to a study by the Baymard Institute, 7 out of 10 shopping carts are abandoned by users. While some of these might be due to unavoidable reasons, there are other buyers that leave half-way because of basic design flaws. These might include problems with pages, complex check out processes, JavaScript errors or ineffective forms. A good customer analytics tool will be able to tell you the causes, help you make changes and ultimately improve your bottom line.

Identifying Referral Sources
Analytics can help identify which marketing channels your customers use to reach you. Using this information, you can focus a majority of your marketing initiatives into attracting more customers. This supporting data will help you ensure that your strategy is cost-effective and resonates well with your customers.

Customer Retention
Marketers are well aware of the fact that it costs more money to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. A happy customer is the best brand ambassador that you can have. According to a study by Ogilvy, Google and TNS, 74% of respondents said that word of mouth was a major source of influence. Analytics will be able to tell you how long it took for your customers to receive a response on a query and how satisfied they are. Looking at this data will help businesses make important decisions that will ultimately lead to customer satisfaction and have an impact on the bottom line. An IBM and eConsultancy study found that only 37% of customers think that their favourite brands understand them.

When McDonald’s faced a slowdown in growth they discovered that their customers would like the breakfast menu to be available all-day. McDonald’s rolled out an all-day breakfast menu and experienced a 5.7% jump in their sales. This shows that simply listening to your customers has a direct impact on your bottom line.

Efficient Data Analysis
The problem with many companies today is not that they do not have data available, but they are not sure what to do with all that information. According to research conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Service (HBR-AS), while half the business leaders surveyed said that customer experience was a top-two differentiator for their business, only half of those said that they perform well in it.

What complicates matters is the vast amount of data that is available. Before you begin collecting data you need to define your objective. This may be increasing customer engagement, improving user experience or building targeted campaigns. Once you know your objective, it becomes easy to identify the source from which you can obtain the data.

It is also important to remember that multiple sources will provide a more rounded picture of a customer’s needs. These include regular surveys, web traffic analytics and call center logs.

Testing Customer Interaction
Customer analytics can help you conduct tests to see what type of information is the most meaningful for your customers. For example, you may choose to change the content of your home page every few days to see what engages more with your customers and drives sales. You can use this data to track conversion rates, retention rates and retarget users who did not convert to a sale.

Predicting Customer Behavior
Customer behavior will continue to evolve with the development of new technologies. To remain relevant, it is the job of a business to constantly evaluate emerging technologies and the impact that they will have on customer behavior, and accordingly take steps to address those changes.

In today’s competitive landscape, understanding how customers will engage with your brand should be the most important priority. A business that uses robust analytics solutions will find that they can empower their marketing teams to create a superior customer experience that will ultimately increase customer loyalty and sales.

 

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