Thanks to the growing use of smartphones and social media channels, customers are more empowered than ever. And that means it’s more difficult for companies to retain their best customers and attract new ones.
According to a recent Accenture study, 85% of consumers who posted comments about negative online experiences with particular retail companies found other companies to meet their needs.
This is where the intersection of customer relationship management (CRM) and analytics can make a dramatic impact. As decision makers look for more effective ways to understand their customers’ needs, preferences, attitudes, and behaviors, more companies are applying analytics to their CRM efforts.
To make the most effective use of customer insights, companies are increasingly drawing upon a blend of customer data inputs from a variety of sources, including comments that reflect intent or attitudes in social channels. They’re also examining structured feedback that’s shared via online surveys and other voice-of-the-customer-type formats, as well as behavioral information that customers share on websites and in other channels.
Some companies are blending customer data and analytics with operational (e.g. contact center, ERP) and transactional data in order to gain a 360-degree view of the customer. Having a complete picture of the customer is critical in today’s competitive landscape. Companies that demonstrate that they listen closely to their customers and provide targeted offers and support based on customers’ needs and preferences are more likely to satisfy customers, strengthen customer loyalty, retain existing customers and attract new ones.
Still, gaining complete views of customers can be fraught with challenges. Siloed data within various channels and functions make it even more daunting for decision makers to develop complete pictures of their customers. These silos are often guarded by lines of business leaders who are reluctant to share customer data with other parts of the enterprise.
To help break through these barriers, it’s extremely useful to have a C-level executive champion these efforts and regularly communicate the business benefits of sharing customer data among different parts of the business. This includes identifying which products and services customers currently use and then pinpointing the most logical cross-sell or upsell opportunities. Companies can start these efforts with small pilot projects and then share the results with other business units and functional leaders to help gain acceptance.
Another way to break past these fiefdoms of customer data ownership is by changing the compensation and rewards structure within companies. For example, most line of business or functional leaders (e.g. online, mobile) are compensated and offered incentives for meeting or exceeding the business results within their areas of responsibility. However, companies that reward executives to share customer data across business lines can also enable business leaders to share in the spoils of these efforts.
Companies that have more complete views of their customers are much better positioned to identify and act on cross-sell and upsell opportunities successfully. In addition, the right mix of CRM and analytics can also provide decision makers with meaningful insights into which marketing campaigns are succeeding or failing and why.
Next Steps: Download this complimentary ”5-Minute Guide to CRM Analytics,” and learn how agile analytics technology can deliver critical value to executives and front-line marketers.