5 ways customer intelligence will boost your business

Posted: June 03, 2014

Business today is no longer about closing a deal. While it helps to keep business ticking over, the customers of today expect so much more than just being sold to. After all, the customer always has the power right?

Of course they do, particularly in today’s digital world. We can take to the Internet to research what we want to buy and why, ask friends and colleagues, read reviews and watch videos. More than ever, all of the power is in your customers’ hands.

While your customers are busy self-educating, are you doing everything you can so that when they are ready to buy, they are coming to you and not your competitors?

Customer Intelligence may sound pretty advanced, but in fact it isn’t quite as reminiscent of Minority Report as you may think. It is simply the process of gathering and analyzing information and data to better understand the behavior and habits of your customers.

But gathering, analyzing and tracking this information manually is near on impossible. As mere human beings, we often get lost in the masses of information we encounter on a daily basis, let alone analyzing that data and making it something actionable.

"Technology is one of the only ways to stay on top of your game and ahead of your competitors and you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of tools out there. I’ve put together some of the top ways that customer intelligence can boost your business for the better."

End of time friendships, not end of month totals

Closing a deal is not the be all and end all in any customer journey. At least it certainly shouldn’t be if you want a long and profitable relationship with your customers. Business isn’t getting any easier, no matter what industry you are in and the competition is always biting at your heels. Customer intelligence will help you to stand out in a bustling crowd with ‘out of this world’ service and strong, friendly relationships that last.

This is one of the big benefits of a customer intelligence solution. It sounds simple, yet just having an understanding of who your customer is, what their purchasing habits and preferences are and when they were last in touch with your company can really aid in stepping up your game.

Get competitive

A customer intelligence system will allow you to easily segment your customer base, identifying trends and patterns as you go. As a salesperson or telemarketer, you’ll know how to approach every single call, what you need to be saying and to whom you need to be speaking with. It is incredibly powerful to be able to add a personal touch to a call and will make you more memorable to your customers. You’ll be outsmarting your competition in no time simply by harnessing the power of customer information. It doesn’t take expensive sales and marketing campaigns to outsell your competition, it simply takes a little time to get to know your customers and use this to your advantage.

The end result? Better customer loyalty, more sales success and client referrals. A customer intelligence system will become your information hub every time you pick up the telephone or draft an email.

Anticipatory customer service

When integrated with a top-notch business intelligence solution, you’ll have a complete picture of your customer. You will have access to all the key facts you need, coupled with easy to interpret sales dashboards and statistics.

Together, customer and business intelligence software can take the weight off of your shoulders as a salesperson. You’ll no longer forget any follow ups or scheduled customer callbacks and you can even remind them of something they may have forgotten or may need to replace. Do they typically order toner from you every 3 months but is yet to order this month? Have they bought paper from you but not pens? If you have thousands of customers, digging out information this detailed would take you at least half a day – that’s time wasted in itself. Software can pull together this information in half a minute, tops.

The end of spreadsheets…

The best bit about customer and business intelligence tools is how simple it becomes to access data. When used correctly, data can be a valuable asset to every business, so why are so many simply ignoring it? It all boils down to time. No one wants to sit in front of a spreadsheet for hours, attempting to garner some insight into sales history and upcoming opportunities.

The technology of today will crunch and manipulate your data before presenting it back to you in some of the simplest of formats that are easy to interpret and action. You can follow your own train of thought to drill and dive through your data in seconds. If you want to find your top 20 customers that have bought paper but not toner from you this month that haven’t been called in the last 14 days and are known to use your biggest competitor – this is all doable in a couple of quick clicks and the union of your customer and business intelligence will take your team to the next level when it comes to being proactive in their sales technique.

Give marketing a break

You’ve done a stellar job amassing heaps of data so be sure that you use it effectively. If you know that a customer has bought from you every month for the last 11 months, but is yet to buy this month, why not offer them an exclusive promotion? Business and customer intelligence solutions can really take the weight off your marketing team; they’ll no long have to sift through endless spreadsheets to create promotions and campaigns.

Data is like gold dust for any good marketing team and they spend countless hours data cleansing every month. While it isn’t time wasted as such, a customer and business intelligence solution is much more productive, with simple data extracts that will give them what they need in a couple of clicks, not hours spent in front of a spreadsheet.

However it is worth mentioning that the success of any good customer intelligence system relies wholly on being kept up to date with correct information.

This guest post came to us from leading customer intelligence provider, sales-i.