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Data helps companies better 'listen' to customer interactions

Rachel Wheeler

July 1, 2014

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It's commonly said in business that it's far cheaper to retain an existing customer than to recruit a new one, as the marketing and sales efforts to bring a new patron into the fold are no small strain on a business' resources. Keeping people in the sales funnel for repeated transactions is a tried and true route to commerce success.

For this reason, numerous companies are sharpening their approach to their existing client relationships by bringing in more information. The process of gathering and continually curating loyalty program data is important - if you have robust and accurate knowledge of your most loyal long-term customers, you can use it to deliver personalized marketing messages and make the sales pitches that are most likely to succeed.

It all begins with data quality. From there, businesses have boundless potential to achieve more.

"Listening" to valued customers
According to TechRepublic, the beauty of customer data is that it allows companies to "listen" to their customers at a higher level. Luc Burgelman, CEO of consumer intelligence firm NGDATA, told the news source that analytics solutions can help business leaders understand their patrons better and thus fine-tune their interactions.

"It's crucial to create an actionable big data solution that can predict specific customer behaviors," Burgelman explained. "Effectively leveraging big data enables businesses to 'listen' to customer interactions across web, mobile, internal systems and social channels. It allows businesses to 'learn' from their customers' behavior by continuously building intelligent, individual customer profiles. And, it allows businesses to 'execute' personalized campaigns through highly targeted product offers and content."

All of the above can make a big difference - and they're all predicated upon accurate marketing data.

Prioritizing accuracy and timeliness
There's a vast sea of data out there today, and it's difficult for companies to make sense of it all. Shoppers today are using countless outlets for making purchases (and sharing their private information in the process) - they're armed with mobile devices, e-commerce sites, social media platforms and many more similar resources.

In taking advantage of all these outlets, companies need to be careful to balance two competing values - timeliness and accuracy. With so much data available so quickly, it's important to act fast to capitalize on it all, but it's also worthwhile to take a moment and ensure a decently high standard for data quality. The companies that use data quickly but correctly will ultimately be the ones to gain a competitive advantage.

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