Marketers gather customer intelligence (CI) and analyze the information regarding customers’ details and activities to build deeper and more effective relationships and improve decision-making. In today’s customer-centric world, gathering customer intelligence allows brands to tap into critical information, gaining a competitive advantage, enhancing customer loyalty and improving profitability.
How Customer Intelligence Is Collected
Bond might gather intelligence with fancy gadgets, but marketers also have some pretty strategic tools to gather information. Some of the most common methods include social media, customer surveys, focus groups, website behavioral data, customer relationship management systems, marketing campaigns and third-party insights. Once the data is collected, it can then be leveraged to drive positive outcomes, making the most out of the data.
The Meaning of Customer Intelligence
Customer intelligence is enormously important as it empowers businesses to make smart, strategic decisions based on what they know about their customers and their experiences when interacting with their company. Think of it as the brand putting on the shoes of the customer, ultimately seeing and feeling what is expected from them as an organization. Viewing the customer from this perspective allows businesses to gain useful insights and put themselves a step ahead of the competition.
What is a Customer Intelligence Platform and why is it important?
A customer intelligence platform (CIP) is the next stage of customer data management, collecting customer data from a range of relevant sources and unifying that data to make it analysis-ready. It serves and connects business users in sales, marketing, commerce, and service, linking billions of data points across disparate data sources to uncover insights. This technology meets the growing needs of marketers as they see rising customer expectations for personalization and seamless engagement experiences via all channels. Companies should take advantage of this collected data to foster loyalty, monitor changes in the market and improve sales efficiency.
Analytics and Predictive Customer Intelligence
The CIP links everything known about a customer and applies data science and enterprise analytics so brands can answer complex questions that help them better understand customers and prospects. It is the “why” behind customer behavior that reveals customer motivations, preferences, and sentiments. Through this analysis brands can create a customer experience that is unique to a specific individual, building a portrait of their preferences, predicting what customers will want. The analytics are what ultimately drives the action.
Customer Intelligence and CRM Systems
Most organizations store and use customer data in almost every system across the enterprise. That data tends to be incomplete, inaccurate, and siloed, resulting in data that isn’t as useful in creating exceptional customer experiences. To achieve a better outcome, companies need to integrate their customer intelligence with their customer relationship management (CRM) system. This will create a true 360-degree customer view and when effectively implemented, enhances customer experiences and business agility.
CIP in Financial Services
Customer intelligence platforms can deliver insights for a variety of industries, including financial services. Using a CIP to identify people’s unique characteristics and patterns of behavior lets banks monitor specific events, making it easier to identify unusual or suspicious activities that might indicate fraud or assess other types of risk, such as bad debt.
Banks can also use aggregated customer data to recognize new fraud techniques as they emerge. And by combining individual and aggregated data, banks can predict which actions are most likely to retain which individuals, allowing them to make the most cost-effective offers, limit offers to customers who are likely to be considering leaving, and design effective loyalty programs. Customer intelligence has been and continues to gain popularity as many companies realize they need this to be effective or risk bad decisions based on bad data, leading to bad results. Organizations need a CIP driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning to manage and analyze data from multiple disparate sources to deliver more personal and predictive services that customers have come to expect. Gaining insights and leveraging technology for improved customer experiences is the universal path forward.