How to use data effectively

This week, we blog about how you could do more with your data, to significantly benefit the customer experience and staff efficiency.

It’s one thing knowing that capturing data is a useful practice for business management, but it’s another thing entirely being aware how it can support your customer communications. Names, numbers, purchasing histories, previous communications – these could easily be automatically entered into databases and never see the light of day again.

However, this data shouldn’t be pushed to the back of your digital filing cabinet. From analysing this information, you can uncover and harness priceless facts and figures about your target audience that could greatly the improve customer experience.

So, just how does all that data make a difference? Here are three ways in which you can use data effectively to better your business and improve customer experience.

Tailored recommendations and targeted sales

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It might sound obvious, but your customers are only concerned about their own wants and needs – and promoting irrelevant products and services will put them off. Using sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can easily create a bank of data that identifies every customer’s interests – based on their browsing history on your website and their previous purchases. Your operatives can then target your customers with products that are more likely to suit them and result in a sale.

From automated e-marketing campaigns to built-in recommendation generators on your website, your customer team can save valuable time by allowing the CRM to do the legwork for them. This is something used by the online shopping giant Amazon, which encourages shoppers to buy more through its ‘recommended for you’ page and regularly generates emails based on items you showed interest in. Swapping the hours your team spends on writing emails and making sales calls for instant data-powered automated newsletters is an effective and simple way to increase your profits.

Customer insights

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When you are in the top tier of staff within a business, it can be hard to determine exactly what your customers think, as you are often distanced from them. An easy way to get around this and collect insights into your customers’ perceptions is to use data capture as part of the company review process.

With digital technology, you can set up quick online surveys that ask visitors to your website for their opinions on your products and services. This will deliver honest opinions from people who already actively engage with your business, and it will be much quicker – and more likely to generate positive responses – than if your team directly reached out to customers.

Applying insights

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Your team can use data collected from customer surveys to carry out instant investigations. For example, stock popularity, common search terms on your site or the most common reasons people call you are all discoverable if the relevant survey data is available for analysis.

Once you have reviewed the data, you can capitalise on the insights. For example, if your operatives are often being asked the same questions – ones that could be easily answered with an online information page – digital tools allow your organisation to create a knowledgebase on your website that contains the answers. This would allow customers to answer their own queries without contacting your operatives. This will save them time, save your operatives’ time and improve the overall efficiency of your customer service.

Another option would be to create ‘ask a question’ or live web chat facilities, where operatives can answer multiple customers’ enquiries simultaneously – much quicker and efficient than by phone.

For more information on how data capture technology could improve your customer experience, or to find out about implementing such customer relationship management software in your business, drop us a line.

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