How to build customer-centric data?

July 1, 2022
How to build customer-centric data?

The vast majority of global businesses now use data to make fact-based decisions, and to personalise the experience of their customers. It is the analysis of customer-centric data that demystifies what customers want, and informs businesses of the best way to appeal to them in near real-time, adding value and positive association to their overall experience.

Improving customer experience has rapidly become the priority for many businesses, a 2020 HubSpot report revealed. And this is hardly surprising now that customers can share their experiences instantaneously though reviews and public or private social media. Happy customers are more likely to spread positive sentiment towards a brand and become repeat or loyal customers, yet there is also much to learn from dissatisfied customers; their views and opinions can help develop and shape companies to better attract and serve their customer base.

Evidence suggests there is no better way to attract and serve customers than through the personalisation of experiences through the use of customer-centric data. Studies have shown that this personalisation improves sales, customer sentiment, and more – and this article will discuss the reasons behind this.

How To build customer-centric data

“We all have opinions, we all have preferences. If the experience is not tailored to our preferences then we’re not interested.” – Jadd Elliot Dib

Personalised customer experiences capture our attention by appealing to what we like.

As such, a website or campaign that uses customer-centric data to personalise the experience will capture each customer’s attention far better than a generic experience.

Richer, more personalised experiences can be obtained through the correct collection, storage, analysis and application of data. Unfortunately, most of the companies who do not use data analysis tend to miss out on key information when they do not understand the importance of data. It certainly can appear confusing and daunting, which is why we have broken it down into four steps to build customer-centric data.

  1. Collect the right data

Key information that can help to personalise user experiences begins with the collection of data on demographics, customer behaviour and transactions. Demographic data including country, gender, age and occupation, can influence the personalisation for that customer. A customer-centric use of that data could then adapt the language, currency, shipping costs, and type of products to best suit each demographic. Similarly, the transactional data gained from abandoned and completed purchases can show what is popular and what may be putting customers off buying certain products in certain regions, or globally.

employees analysing data

Customer behaviour data can show what customers are clicking on, how long they spend on each page of your site, and now many customer visits are being converted to sales. This can then be personalised by, for instance, showing the most popular products for the target viewer within their location.

  1. Quality over quantity

Know what questions you want answered before you start collecting more data. Not only will this prevent overwhelm, it will reduce the cost of cleaning, optimising, storing and analysing customer data. Targeted, high quality data will answer the questions you have and personalise experiences far better than large quantities of low quality data sets that are misleading and full of duplicates. Over half of all internet traffic is non-human, so data verification must occur to prevent personalisation or optimisation occuring based on the actions of bots.

However, the more data that is collected, the higher the security risk becomes. While professionally stored data is kept in sophisticated encrypted systems, hackers remain a threat to companies of all sizes. By collecting low volumes of high quality data, and using this to answer your targeted questions, the threat of a serious security issue is significantly reduced. It is also vital to be transparent with your customers about data collection – they have a right to know what data is being collected and how it is being used, and they also have the right to opt out of data collection and personalisation altogether.

Recent reports indicate that customers are beginning to build stronger loyalty towards brands that take measures to securely protect their data. In a 2020 Hubspot report, 64% of global companies cited increased customer loyalty as a benefit they observed as a result of improving their data protection.

  1. Lifetime value

Data-driven customer centricity is not about equality of experience; it is about customers’ unique preferences. It focuses on providing experiences tailored towards individuals to best serve your target customers. Companies that do this well are shaped by their customers from the inside out, through customer behaviour, feedback and preferences.

These companies repeatedly clarify the message, experience and product they are offering their customers and question what might be stopping other target customers from choosing them. The overall company and marketing strategy is tailored towards the most valuable customer bases and their typical user journeys. Data collection allows these behaviours to be recorded and analysed, and customer-centric data models can be used to predict future behaviours.

  1. Data enrichment

By personalising all forms of communication and interaction with customers, more value is added to their experience. For example, acquiring real-world data, such as location, can help businesses better understand how their customers move around the world and use this knowledge to recommend the most relevant products, services and communications.

Studies have shown personalisation to improve customer acquisition and sales conversion. Personalised calls to action were 202% more likely to convert to sales than a generic call to action, HubSpot discovered. Customers have unique interests, and rarely are they interested in the fact they are, for instance, a 54 year old homeowner. That homeowner may, however, have a passion for healthy eating and triathlon running, and would tend to be far more captivated by recommendations relevant to their interests than their generic age group and homeowner status. When that rich background data is harnessed, far more value can be added to the user’s experience.

Personalising your customer experience through data

Customer-centric data should be used to personalise customer experience where possible; not only does this provide added value to the customer, it also increases customer retention, attracts new business, improves conversion rates, and provides a more streamlined and enjoyable experience for all.

The depth of information stored within target customer profiles can stretch far beyond the generic basics like age range; customer-centric data is now being used to store information such as hobbies, interests, purchase history and preferred brands. Never before has it been so easy to appeal to your target audience, to deliver the right kind of messages and campaigns, and to add value to the customer experience.

It is vital to focus on enriched, high quality data to gain the accurate facts and figures from which decisions can be made, and personalisation can effectively occur. But you don’t have to be a data expert to harness customer-centric data; there’s a lot involved, and it’s best left to the experts who extract, clean, safely store and analyse data on a daily basis. Get started today with an expert data analysis freelancer at Pangaea X.

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