Data about customers is everywhere. It’s locked away on multiple internal systems, external platforms, social media channels, and with outside business partners. To get a truly comprehensive understanding of your customers, you’ll need a modern data solution that can aggregate data from these disparate sources and help you glean powerful insights. The question is, how can we utilize this information in a purposeful manner?
Influencing the customer journey with data
1. Consolidate all customer-related data points
Chiefly, you will need a system to assemble and store all customer-related data points — a monumental task in its own right. But in order to fully understand and influence the customer journey, it’s imperative that you gather as many insights as possible.
The better your data gathering is, the more accurate and insightful the following actions in this sequence will be. The process of consolidating your data sources can take many months and often requires previous experience, but it’s best to start small, refine, and expand your process over time.
2. Segment your customers
Now that you have examined all of your customers’ behaviors from a single vantage point, you can start to segment your customers based on patterns that emerge. These insights are crucial because you can begin to target and interact with different groups based on both their previous and predicted future behavior.
It’s important to note that this sort of segmentation is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” bucketing exercise. As more customer data comes in, your insights will constantly shift. Be on the lookout for how things change over time to ensure your strategy is always based on the most current information available.
3. Target your best customers
Based on data about individual profitability, you can begin to target your most profitable customers with information, offers, and promotions that will encourage them to keep spending with your organizations.
Over time, you can start to predict which behaviors will lead to high- and low-performing customers early on in the customer journey, helping you boost customer revenue and loyalty as early as possible.
4. Cross-sell and upsell with insights
As you probably know, the majority of your business comes from retaining existing customers. In order to capitalize on best-fit customers, use the data you have to identify opportunities to cross-sell and upsell your products or services. These simple sales activities become all the more effective with the context that a 360° data view brings. For example, you can identify areas where a customer’s current solution could be expanded, or reference specific touchpoints that were critical in their overall journey. Over time, you can use this strategy to increase penetration in your customers’ businesses and expand top-line growth.
5. Retain your customer base
Building off the point above, it is critical that you retain your existing customer base to maximize your profits. Using the data and trends from each segment of your customer population, you can begin to understand which groups are more or less likely to stay with your business over time.
This information can help you determine which customers to focus your retention efforts on based on the overall likelihood of their long-term loyalty and profitability.
6. Understand Customer Churn
Similar to understanding your customer retention, you’ll also want to understand your customer churn. Customer churn is the percentage of customers that stopped using your company's product or service during a certain time frame. For a proactive approach, you’ll want to establish a system to score each customer and segment based on the likelihood of them churning. These scores will be informed by historical data about other customers who have followed a similar journey.
With this scoring system in place, you can take actions to prevent high-scoring customers from churning.
7. Map the “next best action”
Ultimately, each customer is in a different place in their journey at any given moment. Whether they’ve just joined your contact database or they’ve been working with you for decades, you’ll want to proactively identify the “next best action” for you to take with each customer.
- For high-fit, high-profit customers, the next best action will most likely be cross-selling or upselling
- For at-risk customers with a high churn score, the next best action will most likely be improving sentiment with targeted engagement and service
When you combine both of these tactics, you begin to establish an informed, proactive retention strategy at your business — driving long-term revenue.
8. Keep improving
As more data comes into your business, keep refining your overall strategy based on the new insights you discover. You can even begin to test various elements of your customer strategy in order to maximize growth. For example, you can measure the impact of changing the wording in an email or call center script, or compare different methods of customer contact to pinpoint the most effective channels. You can also apply AI techniques to refine your testing and subsequent strategy.
At BlueGranite, we specialize in helping businesses consolidate, analyze, and leverage the data at their fingertips. If you’re ready to get a 360° customer view, boost profits, and reduce risk, contact us to see how we can help!