Image by 13_Phunkod on Shutterstock
When managing a business, you need the skills, equipment, and experience to ensure the job is done well. It’s essential that the customer is delivered a top-quality product or service that satisfies their expectations. But there’s more to developing a positive customer experience than making sure your product works.
Communication, emotional intelligence, and adaptability are essential when interacting with customers, and data can help you make changes to processes and create an effective strategy for giving them what they want. For example, after analyzing customer pain points, you can address them by building an app that answers their needs. Or you can respond through content marketing by writing blogs that directly answer their questions and hesitations.
It’s important that your customers have a good experience, otherwise they may take their business elsewhere regardless of the quality of your products.
Each person is unique, so this can be difficult to achieve, but having a data-driven approach can help. Here are 10 steps to creating the best customer experience using data.
Step 1. Start at the top
A data-driven approach should start at the highest levels of management. The top decision makers in your organization should be fully on board, so the company can make necessary changes based on the data you collect.
For example, if you’re a popular clothing store and data reveals that changes need to be made to your visual merchandising strategy, you need to be able to adapt to those findings. And if you’re a large sports venue and data determines that placing digital signage in particular areas will improve customer experience, you need to have the leeway from the higher-ups to make those changes.
Step 2. Encourage a data-driven approach from all teams
Much of the data will come from interactions with other people in your organization, particularly from those who are working directly with your customers. It is best to get everybody on board and on the same page. Leveraging data like customer pain points and buying habits can improve your team’s sales skills and make them better equipped to respond to objections and resolve concerns. When improving team collaboration and information-sharing, AI solutions can make it easier.
Step 3. Use a CRM platform
A good customer relationship management (CRM) platform is essential for managing interactions with prospects and customers. CRM platforms allow you collect, collate, and organize data in a way that makes it useful to you. Charts, graphs, and other reports can be created that will help you make the right decisions. Some of the leading CRM platforms are Salesforce, Hubspot CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Step 4. Identify the data you need
You can collect a lot of data on your customers, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right data. Identify which data is most useful to you. This can include client details like their position in their company, or behavioral data like which pages on your website they have visited.
The four types of customer data are:
Basic data: Use this to create a database of customer profiles. It will include email addresses, passport numbers, demographical data, and date of birth.
Interaction data: This is data relating to the methods customers use to engage with you, like your website, telephone, email, and social media.
Behavioral data: This is data related to the customer’s direct engagement with your company or brand, like their average order value or previous purchases.
Attitudinal data: This is related to the customer’s opinion of your company. It includes preferences and purchase criteria.
Not all of this data will be useful to you. For example, a passport number might not be relevant if you’re a small business with a brick-and-mortar store that caters mostly to local customers.
Step 5. Create customer personas
In order to create the right experience for your customers, you first need to know more about them. What are their likes and dislikes? What are their main concerns in business and the main obstacles holding them back from buying? What solutions do they need?
Here’s an example of a customer persona from Semrush:
Once you have this information you can start strategizing how best to work with them and provide products and solutions that offer genuine value to them.
Step 6. Map key customer journeys
Each of your customers will go through a different journey to the sale. For example, some will come to you already having decided they want to buy something. More often they are likely to be looking for information and not necessarily wanting to buy at that time. Each potential customer needs to be approached according to where they are on the customer journey.
Here is an example of how you can map the customer journey:
In this example, “Jumping Jamie” needs to switch mobile plans. First, she wonders if she can pay less and defines what she wants. Then she compares plans, negotiates with competitors, and makes a decision based on what she believes is the best mobile plan for her.
Step 7. Nurture your prospects
Once you’ve mapped the key customer journeys, use this to nurture your prospects through your sales cycle.
If they are not ready to buy yet, don’t try to sell to them. Instead, answer questions and develop your relationship with them. If they are ready to buy, approach them with a personalized offer on a product that your data shows they would be interested in. It’s all about engaging with them at the right time, in the right way, about the right product. Doing so can result in 20% more sales and 47% larger purchases.
Step 8. Leverage automation
Most CRM platforms include automation tools that make it easier to act on data you collect. The software will know where the client is along the buyer’s journey and can be programmed to interact with them in the right way at the right time. Marketing automation can increase sales and lead to a reduction in marketing overhead, so it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Step 9. Get feedback
Feedback from your customers is one of the most essential pieces of data you can have. Follow up a few days after a sale with a call or email asking them to leave you a review on sites like Google, Yelp, or Facebook. Update your database with the information you learn from these reviews and look for patterns. Getting more Google reviews will give your business extremely valuable information and help potential customers find you online.
Use social media listening tools to see what people are saying about you online. Doing so might also give you some useful information on the way customers perceive your competitors.
Step 10. Refine strategies
As you learn more about your customers, use this updated knowledge to adjust and refine your strategies. Market sentiment changes over time, and data can help identify when this is happening and what the new opinions are. This will allow you to react in an informed way and make effective strategies for the future. Having this information can make a considerable difference to your bottom line.For more help using data to understand and satisfy your customers, please see the resource below.
Infographic provided by Riveron – accounting advisory professionals
Data is power
Collecting the right data and leveraging it to create a data-driven customer experience can attract new customers and keep them coming back. Learning what their questions are, what drives their buying decisions, which products they are interested in, and so on can be extremely powerful when it comes to improving customer experience.
A positive customer experience drives revenue, reduces churn, and improves customer loyalty. A good customer experience also results in positive online reviews. This can improve your reputation, expand your customer base, and help grow your business. All companies must continually develop a positive customer experience, and data shows you how to do that.