Digital Themes

Customer Intelligence

What is customer intelligence?

Customer intelligence involves gathering and analyzing in-depth data to obtain insight about customer behavior. Successful customer intelligence is based on customer feedback or interaction data from multiple channels. This data is easily harvested from thousands of daily customer interactions, including demographics, personal preferences, as well as needs and wants. The goal of customer intelligence gathering is to gain actionable insight that can be used to improve customer experience and increase customer engagement. The importance of customer intelligence, simply put, is that the more you know about your customers, the better your interactions with them will be.

On any given day, companies generally collect customer data across multiple channels that could impact any number of business decisions. The first critical aspect of customer intelligence is the ability to collect and store data at any time during the customer journey for further analysis. Equally critical is the technological infrastructure needed to analyze the aggregate data. Some companies use a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for gathering and analyzing data, giving them the ability to quickly deliver highly relevant content that can be used to improve customer experience.

There are several classifications of data collected by customer intelligence, including direct feedback provided to a business or review aggregators, indirect feedback, and inferred feedback. Business data is collected when a customer intentionally gives feedback regarding their journey with a business, versus data provided to review aggregators or third parties from customers. Customers also use indirect feedback to let others know how they feel about a company or brand, generally through social media, via text or other customer communication. This type of data is also collected indirectly from all customer-facing enterprise processes, such as purchase history and cookies.

Customer intelligence gathering helps organizations

  • Understand customers better. The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning for gathering and analyzing data gives brands a more robust understanding of exactly who their customers are. Companies are also turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to anticipate customer behavior more accurately.

  • Improve sales. Sales interactions are truly valuable in their ability to generate customer satisfaction resulting in repeat business. Using customer-based intelligence, businesses are able to identify pain points and opportunities for transformational growth and change, allowing them to identify and capitalize on strategies that are working, and optimize those that aren’t.

  • Inspire brand loyalty. Conducting market research through customer intelligence can quickly get companies up to speed on customer experience, such as purchase history or total time spent on the brand web site, for example. The right customer intelligence platform gives companies the ability to present personalized offers, as well as targeted adverting and other incentives that inspire customer loyalty.

  • Work more efficiently. Shifting tactics in intelligence gathering can produce mixed results and open up the potential to create inefficiencies as well. Actionable insight gleaned from customer intelligence offers companies better ways to create more uniformity in an overall consumer strategy.
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