The data doesn’t lie: customer insight = business growth. Here I discuss how and why knowing you customer can really drive your business forward in these uncertain times.

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How well do you know your customers?  More importantly, how well do you know your most profitable customers?

I recently asked this of a client, and they didn’t have a clue.  Where do they live?  Don’t know.  How do they use your products?  Don’t know.  What happens in their lives that makes them want to buy more?  Don’t know. Here was someone with lots of ideas about how they might develop their business, but they were lacking the basic information that is essential to deciding what route would best serve their customers.

“Companies which collate and analyse customer data, both online and offline, have grown 16% in the last year and are more than twice as likely to significantly exceed business goals”

https://www.retailtimes.co.uk/customer-data-analysis-key-to-omni-channel-marketing-success-and-business-growth-study-shows/

The paradox of the current age is that it has both unparalleled uncertainty, and unparalleled opportunity to make sense of that uncertainty. The starting point for which is customer insight.  As reported by the Retail Times, “Companies which collate and analyse customer data, both online and offline, have grown 16% in the last year and are more than twice as likely to significantly exceed business goals”

The reason for this is very simple, customer satisfaction is directly correlated with business success.  Delighted customers are loyal brand advocates.  And, the starting point for delighting and retaining customers is to understand them and their wants and needs.  

How do you do this?  That will depend on the size and type of your business.  At the low tech end of the scale, you could simply talk to them.  At the higher end of the tech scale you could implement a Customer Data Platform.  In between are things like customer surveys.  The key to each of these is to understand who your most profitable customers are, and what insights you want to gather so you can ask the right questions.

Of course, having data is not enough, you must use it to benefit from it.  So, how can you use the information to drive retention?  Ultimately the aim is to raise your awareness so that you can be more intentional in how you choose to respond to your customers’ needs, wants and behaviours.

Data that increases your awareness relating to how and why customers use your products enable you to  be more intentional with content and marketing campaigns to drive sales.

Data that increases your awareness of customers’ purchasing behaviour enable you to be more intentional in how you choose to service customers to improve the customer experience.

Data that increases your awareness of your customers’ values enable you to be more intentional about your brand to drive customer loyalty and retention.

This last point cannot be stressed enough.  According to research undertaken by Braze, six in 10 UK shoppers, and a whopping nine in 10 UK Generation Z shoppers have walked away from a brand because of something they heard or experienced that they disagreed with.

Some specific things that turned customers off according to this report were:

  • Mistreatment of employees (24%)
  • Environmental concerns (24%)
  • Taking a political stance they didn’t agree with (17%)
  • NOT taking a stand on certain issues (13%)

The last two are interesting as it means remaining neutral on issues can be nearly as damaging as taking the wrong (according to your customers) stance!  

“six in 10 (61%) UK shoppers, and nine in 10 (86%) UK Gen Z shoppers specifically, have already walked from a brand because of something they heard or experienced that they didn’t agree with”

https://www.retailtimes.co.uk/in-my-opinion-why-communicating-values-is-key-to-brand-loyalty/

If you aren’t clear what your brand stands for, now is a great time to work that out and align it with what your key customers values.  Having this clearly defined means that you can be more intentional in both the messaging to your customers and, just as importantly, how you make business decisions which don’t alienate them.

It’s clear from the statistics that, now more than ever, customer knowledge is critical to success.  As the world continues to change, with new and accelerated trends coming from the recent Covid crisis and Brexit, the need for insight into customers’ lives and behaviours is only going to become more essential.  So, act now, even if it’s only small steps…your competitors almost certainly will.

In the next article I will discuss how customer insight can drive the customer experience.

In the meantime, if you feel stuck and don’t where to start, or just feel overwhelmed, then don’t struggle alone. Get in touch for a no obligation discovery call.

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