When it comes to connecting with your customers and building lasting relationships, customer intelligence is a game changer. Yet most businesses still haven’t caught up with the power that customer intelligence holds. Some businesses don’t even know what it is.
In this article, we’re going to look at exactly why customer intelligence is important. We’ll explain what it is and highlight how you can harness it to supercharge your customer experience - and to supercharge your business.
What is customer intelligence?
Essentially, customer intelligence (CI) is the process of analysing and understanding all the data you gather about your customers.
It is set apart from the task of collecting customer data. It is about taking that raw information and exploring what it reveals about your customers. Using this data to gain insights into what they want, what they need, so that you can demonstrate how you’re going to help them.
Armed with these customer insights, you can make informed decisions about how you find, speak to and cater for your customers.
Why is customer intelligence important for businesses?
Most business owners understand the importance of collecting customer data. However, some don’t realise that simply collecting it is not enough. Nor is taking a superficial look at the data and drawing obvious conclusions.
Studying that data and processing it into that all-important customer intelligence is vital. This is where you truly learn about your customers. This is where you understand their needs and identify exactly how you can meet them better.
With this information, you are better placed to communicate with your customers. You can frame your business in a way that will appeal to them, helping them feel connected to it. Your interactions with them will be more effective, as they are based on real customer behaviour, not assumptions.
How customer intelligence can help your business
Customer intelligence can help you at every stage of the sales funnel, from creating customer awareness all the way through to purchasing. It can even help with your business development, informing strategy and growth decisions.
Here are some examples that show how extensively customer intelligence can be used. It can help you to:
Engage Your Customers
One place you can really utilise customer intelligence is marketing. The key to converting people into customers is convincing them that you have something they need and that your business is best placed to provide that product or service.
To do this, you need to fully understand your customers. Be able to relate to them. CI gives you the information that you need in order to do this. It will let you make a connection with your customers and help you craft a message that makes your business seem relatable and worthy of their attention and investment.
Build Customer Personas
As important as it is to personalise your customer experience, it is obviously impractical to do this at an individual level. This is where customer personas and segmentation come in.
Customer intelligence is vital for the process of building personas and customer segments with similar traits in common. It will tell you who is interacting with your business, who you should be targeting, and aspects of their life that will affect their relationship with your business.
You can use this information to find commonalities between groups. These might be demographic, or customer behaviour based. With these identified, you can use them to segment your customers and power the personalisation process.
Personalise Your Customer Experience
With personas and customer segments in place, you are in a better position to personalise the experience you provide. This is an important part of creating loyalty towards your business and ensuring customer satisfaction.
In fact, these days, consumers can even expect their experience with your business to be personalised. This means that if it isn’t, you won’t simply be missing an opportunity to improve - your conversion rate could even actively suffer.
When you refer to customer intelligence, you are able to tailor your customer’s journey so that it serves this group specifically. This could include only showing customer segment relevant ads, directly addressing a customer segment’s pain points, or even just addressing your customers by name in marketing materials.
Inspire Customer Loyalty
A lot of businesses put an emphasis on attracting new customers. However, retaining customers and keeping them loyal can be far more valuable.
Studies have shown that if you can increase your retention rate by as little as 5% then you can see profits increase by between 25% - 95%. This makes returning customers an attractive financial prospect, as well as seeking out new ones.
As we’ve seen above, personalised experiences, customer segmentation and engaging with your customers will all help foster loyalty between customers and your brand. In fact research suggests that 58% of businesses who use CI experience an increase in customer retention and loyalty.
As well as keeping all your interactions enjoyable and relatable, CI will help you keep them relevant. If customers are coming to you in order to meet a certain need, CI can help you identify that need so you can make sure that your interactions are relevant and address it. This level of relevance is another key way to ensure your customers stay loyal to your company, as it helps them feel that you understand them.
One of the brilliant benefits of CI is that it’s dynamic. This means you are constantly updating your knowledge about your customers and staying relevant at every point in their journey. This is another factor that will further increase customer loyalty.
Streamline Your Strategy
Another area that will benefit from the dynamic nature of CI is your strategy. If areas of your strategy are failing to perform, customer intelligence can both highlight these weaknesses and help explain why this is happening.
Whether this is marketing channels that are no longer converting, or products and services that are no longer selling, CI will show weaknesses in your strategy. Thanks to its dynamic nature, it can show it almost immediately too.
CI won’t just highlight negatives either. It can often draw attention to areas with growth potential. CI can expose unmet needs that your customers have that your business could sensibly meet.
Planning growth and expansion can be a long, complicated process. If you regularly engage with customer intelligence, you will organically notice potential areas for growth, directed by real-life data from your own customers. Then, if these areas appeal to you, you can also use customer intelligence to evaluate the extent of their potential.
TwentyCi are property and homemover data experts, providing unrivalled customer intelligence for the homemover audience. By utilising our homemover data and behavioural insights, we can help you engage and understand this high-value audience, and target them effectively with multi-channel marketing campaigns. Get in touch with our experts today to find out more.