Regardless of industry, businesses today collect scores of data from their customers. While this data can be acquired both intentionally and unintentionally, knowing what to do with that information isn’t always clear-cut.
On one hand, customer data can be leveraged to ensure that an organization’s offerings are continuously resonating with their target audience. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that this data comes from real people and should be handled with care.
To help leaders wisely leverage customer data, 11 Forbes Business Council members each share one way businesses can use collected customer data the “right” way to better serve their client base.
1. Focus On Communicating Confidentiality Standards To Customers
Customers will not give access to their contact details, location or browsing patterns unless they trust you. Businesses should respect that trust and assure their customers about the confidentiality and safety of the collected customer data. Businesses should ensure this confidentiality by telling customers that they use this data for positive research and development. – Raj Maddula, Global Squirrels
2. Gain Insight Into Customer Preferences
Businesses can use customer data the “right” way by analyzing it to gain insights into their preferences. This information can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns, improve product offerings and personalize the customer experience. However, businesses must ensure they are collecting and using data ethically and transparently, with customers’ consent, as well as protecting it from misuse. – Nikhil Maini, Synergogy
3. Better Understand Your Target Market
Collected customer data can be used to better understand, serve and generally become obsessed with the target market. Whether it is done with artificial intelligence, research or continual adjustment of a product or service, data can be used to open a new location, launch a new offering and remain engaged with the target audience. Data should be used ethically to provide the best possible customer experience. – Tian Derose, EAMA Inc.
4. Segment Your Target Base
It’s quite simple actually. Use the collected customer data to segment and microsegment your client or audience base. This leads to personalized and relevant marketing and communications, which then leads to deeper client engagement, involvement and higher chances of leads converting to sales. It can even result in upselling or cross-skilling opportunities and ROI through the roof. It works all the time. – Ravindr Singh, Codleo Consulting
5. Personalize The Customer Experience
One effective way businesses can use collected customer data to better serve clients is by personalizing their experiences. By analyzing customer preferences, purchase history and browsing behavior, businesses can create tailored recommendations, promotions and marketing communications. This not only enhances the customer’s experience with the brand, but also builds trust and loyalty. – Fabrice Testa, Maana Electric
6. Bolster Marketing Campaigns
Knowing the challenges in their customer journey, companies can be two steps ahead of their customers. Nothing delights a customer more than seeing a problem go away on its own. When creating marketing campaigns, knowing what customers care about is a powerful tool. Lastly, don’t reach out to customers only when selling. Create a connection with your customers with gestures of kindness based on key milestones. – Neena Pandey, The String Code
7. Reduce Customer Journey Friction Points
Businesses can use data to improve the customer experience by reducing friction points in the customer journey. Identify where customers are encountering obstacles or difficulties and take steps to streamline processes and provide a more seamless experience. – Udi Dorner, SetSchedule
8. Stay Updated On Changing Circumstances
We pull a report of our customer database, create a five-question survey via Survey Monkey and email it out to all of our customers. The purpose of this survey is to check in every six months to make sure household income or status has not changed. In the health insurance industry, this information is vital to maintaining affordable plans and quality coverage. – Kimberly Branham-Nelson, Nelson and Associates Insurance
9. Improve Customer Retention
Leverage customer data to improve retention and reduce churn. Analyze behavior and purchase history to identify at-risk customers and offer personalized incentives, suggestions and outreach. Use data for personalization to enhance the customer experience and build loyalty, increasing lifetime value. Secure data, obtain consent and prioritize retention and loyalty for sustainable growth and success. – Chris Kille, Payment Pilot
10. Build Better Relationships
Collected customer data is great to build better customer relationships and improve services. By gathering and studying data on customers’ preferences, interests and past interactions, entrepreneurs can use this information to provide more personalized experiences and offerings that are tailored to customers’ needs. – Brandon Pena, 787 Coffee
11. Identify Compelling Stories And Growth Opportunities
Analyze your data to identify initial conclusions, then work with a third party to verify the accuracy of your conclusions. At that point, the data should be used by the product team to inform their roadmap and by the marketing team to provide sales and account managers with data around current customer usage. This creates compelling stories for customers and prospects and reveals opportunities for growth. – Ty Allen, SocialClimb
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