Can you imagine a life without analytics? Think about it – your Facebook feed won’t show you the most relevant posts, Netflix won’t recommend the movies you shouldn’t miss, and there probably wouldn’t be a stock market. And, the Mayans wouldn’t have predicted December 21, 2012 to be the end of the world. Over time, analytics has proved to be a great asset to human civilization, and has been incorporated into every industry imaginable.
With the advent of modern technologies, analytics has found its way into ERP and CRM systems, providing valuable insights to help make better data-driven decisions. Today, businesses use Customer Analytics to better understand customer behavior and anticipate their future needs.
Some of the most important earliest known uses of analytics was during wars. During the American Civil War, key communication technologies such as the telegraph, played an instrumental role in guiding military strategy. Abraham Lincoln was the first president to use the technology to communicate with leaders on the battlefield. It was so important, that the Confederates used to target telegraph poles and wires to thwart The Union’s efforts.
Analytics proves to be even more important in the digital era, where important business decisions have to be made in real-time. More importantly, analytics is used to focus on the customer, and what really matters to a customer when it comes to your business in question.
Here’s 4 ways businesses can use the power of customer analytics to increase customer engagement in the modern digital age:
Collect and Act on Feedback using Surveys
Every customer has something to say about a product they have purchased – the voice of the customer. Collecting customer feedback is crucial – it reveals whether your campaigns are actually working or not. Moreover, it reveals the various perspectives of customers. Customers living in one demographic might have a different opinion on a product when compared with another. This can provide the much-needed inspiration for your next product or campaign.
Using surveys to conduct a consumer behavior study, Coca Cola was able to identify more than 2.5 billion situations in which people buy beverages when away from home. They ended up talking to over 30,000 people in 11 countries about the role of beverages in their daily lives, segmented customers into personas, and uncovered previously untapped revenue streams. This was huge – even for an established brand like Coca Cola.
Also, surveys don’t have to be a tedious, manual process. Although handing out pieces of paper to customers might seem a bit traditional in today’s digital era, email and online forms could be used to reach out to numerous customers at the click of a button. Just a simple form with 10 Yes/No questions should be sufficient. Customer feedback forms can be integrated with loyalty programs to offer rewards or points on feedback received. One brand that employs this strategy is Subway, which offers a discount if a customer goes online to fill a feedback form.
Plus, customers tend to be more honest with surveys as they can easily voice their opinions on paper rather than talking out loud about them. Think about it – would you rather complain about your favorite brand on paper, or by going to a customer service center to voice your opinion?
Know Thy Audience: Deliver Personalization with Customer Segmentation
Businesses should aim to build a customer profile (or persona) to understand what really drives them, and base all subsequent campaigns on this buyer persona. Customers feel a connection with a brand if the message being conveyed is super-personalized. No one wants to be fed information by something that sounds like a robot. If you know your customers, you can tailor your content to suit their specific needs. Because, why should you give cat food to a dog? It just doesn’t fit.
Ideally, a business should try to find out:
- Who the ideal customer is
- What they are specifically looking for
- How they found out about your product/service
- How your product/service can help them solve this specific problem
Gathering data about customers and segmenting them can also help businesses effectively target when it comes to online advertising. Businesses no longer need to guess which channels to target to get the maximum conversions and click-through rates. Data-driven decisions can be made with more accurate end results.
Test and Refine: Don’t Forget Customer Journeys
You’ve completed the essential product marketing checklist – from UI/UX design to feedback collection mechanism. But, customer experience eventually comes down to all customer actions, and connecting the dots to give an overall picture of the customer and all his interactions with the brand. In the modern era, businesses should strive to deliver extraordinary experiences at every stage of the customer journey. To do this, they must use customer data to form an overall picture of what the customer is trying to achieve.
Here’s how to get started with analyzing customer journeys:
- Know who your ideal customers are across all touchpoints and channels and consolidate KPI data
- Build a journey map of the customer in terms of stages or phases on a timeline, with each stage depicting what the customer is trying to accomplish, i.e. find out your customer’s specific goals
- Include growth and personalization possibilities in the customer journey by analyzing previously captured data
- Test, Refine, and Repeat
Monitor Social Media Conversations to Foster Engagement
When’s the last time you felt like you needed to sue a brand? You probably won’t find yourself taking a cab to the courthouse, you’d much rather go on social media and make yourself heard.
Browsing through social media is currently the most popular activity for people worldwide. But even in the age of social, many brands are still not properly monitoring social media channels to listen in on the conversations of their customers. Every customer has an opinion. And, if a customer is going to rant about a product or service, it’s going to be on social media. This is why some companies go out of their way to provide top-of-the-notch customer service, like Tesla.
Nearly one-third of Facebook users engage with brands regularly, posting more than 2.5 billion comments on Facebook pages every month! Social customer care is one way businesses can show their customers they truly care. Engaging with customers and responding to these comments can really show customers that you care about their opinions, and will consider their feedback no matter what. Not responding to customers on social media can lead to customer frustration, decreased loyalty, and negative word-of-mouth marketing.
Bottomline: If you’re a brand operating in the modern digital age, you can’t ignore your customers on social media. Use social media to your advantage.