Beyond Marketing and Sales – The Enterprise-Wide Potential of Embracing Customer Analytics

Customer data is already being seen as the most valuable competitive resource for organizations today. Customer analytics is being employed heavily to enable informed messaging, design the right marketing strategies, and fuel the sales funnel. Customer analytics allows organizations to map the entire cycle of the business relationship with the customer and helps organizations identify what works where and what doesn’t. Companies like Netflix and Amazon have used customer analytics intensively to improve customer experience by providing hyper-personalized recommendations based on their customers’ viewing habits and have thereby driven up their brand value.

The practice of customer analytics has matured considerably from its initial days and is being used to prevent brand detraction as well. Text and sentiment analysis has made significant progress and can help organizations analyze customer comments and sentiments to power up engagement strategies. Earlier in the cycle, it is also being used to identify potential customers who may be more likely to leave a brand and to design proactive customer retention campaigns.

However, the realm of customer analytics extends beyond these usual suspects in the marketing and sales areas. Apart from these established applications of customer analytics, it can be used to improve business outcomes in several other ways too:

Drive customer success

Customer expectations and demands are driving fundamental market shifts and digital disruption across services and product families. To ride this wave of continuous change, organizations need deep customer insights to identify how digital disruption is impacting customer usage patterns and service requests. These insights can help organizations rethink customer engagement models and redesign employees’ roles to drive customer success. Customer retention is affected by functions like support, service, communications, billing and finance, etc.

With customer analytics in place, organizations can identify all the touchpoints that impact the customer and the tools, and processes they need to focus on to drive customer success. They can, then, proactively orchestrate the right customer journeys that maximize value across the customer’s life cycle.

Improve product experience

Given that we are in the Age of the Customer, the right product experience is an essential driver of business success. The rise of technologies such as cloud computing, anything- as-a-service, and the Internet of Things have cemented the need to adopt a customer-in mindset. The focus must shift from selling a product to creating nurturing customer relationships by maximizing customer value from offerings.

Improving and providing elevated product experiences is, thus, a part of the new order. Customer analytics can be a valuable contributor to product experiences by providing insights into customer needs, preferences, pain points, etc. Using this information, organizations can understand how the customers are engaging with the product and the points of failure to improve them and deliver an elevated product experience. These insights can also be help identify and prioritize product improvement opportunities to maximize value.

Improve order fulfillment

Organizations want critical insights that empower them to make better decisions across the customer lifecycle. The customer order fulfillment process is one such area that can benefit from customer analytics to improve customer experience.

Using customer information and actionable insights, organizations can conduct an intelligent analysis of orders related to regions, products, and time and enhance order fulfillment processes. They can identify short-term issues regarding order fulfillment and take steps to address them. These insights can also be used to provide strategic inputs into order fulfillment and help organizations change their internal and external processes to optimally utilize existing investments.

Improve supply chain

Organizations today are also on the constant lookout for cost-saving. Supply chain optimization is one area that can use the power of customer analytics to improve efficiencies and save costs.

Analyzing customer demands and usage patterns can help organizations better predict future demand and define better procurement and inventory strategies. With customer analytics, organizations can identify the material purchases that can be minimized, time stocking strategically, or defer purchases to reduce unproductive inventory.

Customer analytics also helps organizations identify demand patterns and makes sure that they can proactively fulfill these demands by improving their supply chain. It can further be employed to identify risks and make the supply chain leaner, resilient, and more efficient.

Increase operational efficiency

Organizations are always lookout to improve operational efficiency. Streamlining operations to efficiently deliver services to customers is also a key priority for most businesses. Additionally, organizations are also looking at ways to reduce the costs they incur to serve the customer.

Customer analytics can help organizations achieve all these goals by providing clear insights into customer journeys. With customer analytics, organizations can optimize self-help channels and triage common queries and issues so support employees can focus on complex requests.

Customer analytics helps organizations understand the effectiveness of their self-service channels and can be used to create the right paths for self-help. By adequately defining separate paths correctly, organizations can decrease support call volumes and still prove great customer service.

The C-Suite is well aware of the need for data-driven decision making and the power it has to not only drive customer service, marketing, and sales but also to identify avenues to empower the workforce to drive continuous success. Organizations can use customer analytics to build a customer-oriented corporate philosophy that ensures the customer is truly at the heart of the organization.

Further, organizations can leverage this analytical approach to identify business enhancement and innovation opportunities that are grounded in customer needs and expectations. This approach helps organizations build an overarching systematic approach. Organizations can tap the power of customer analytics to design winning customer engagement strategies that add value even beyond marketing and sales.

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