From cameras to satellites to personal health trackers and more, data is constantly being generated at an astonishing rate around the world. But is there such a thing as too much data? Not in the world of business, that’s for sure!
In 2020 alone, the total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed reached dizzying heights of 64.2 zettabytes. It’s difficult to comprehend, but one zettabyte is equal to around 1 billion terabytes or 1 trillion gigabytes. Basically, a massive amount of data was and is still being produced!
Data sourced from Statista
With billions of internet users worldwide, and 181 zettabytes of data forecast in 2025, the potential for businesses to reach out to the widest customer base has never been greater. Collecting good customer data now plays a key role in decision-making and strategy for a variety of businesses and organizations.
Customer expectations are at an all-time high. Unsurprisingly, more and more companies are prioritizing how to use their data to make their offering more customer-focused. So, the best place to start is by improving your customer experience.
7 Ways Businesses Use Data to Improve Customer Experience
Starting and running your own business takes a lot of time and effort and there are often many pitfalls along the way. Effective real-time data analysis will help boost business performance and improve the way customers interact with your brand.
So, if you want to open your doors to more customers, begin with using your data to improve the customer experience. The most effective ways to do this include
Creating personalized ads and recommending specific products based on your data will help to make your customers feel special and valued. They’ll believe that your company cares enough to make the effort to get to know them.
To do this, you’ll need in-depth knowledge about your customers’ needs and preferences. Your business needs to ensure this data is gathered from all interactions, stored securely and easily accessible. Creating personalized ads and messages then becomes a piece of cake, and you’ll also increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
As an example, CRMs allow you to collate and store essential customer information, such as name, email address, telephone number, date of birth, social media accounts, job title, connections with other contacts within your database, and language abilities.
You can also filter your customer data into categories and criteria. This will allow you to create focused contact lists and craft the perfect audience. Then you can run targeted sales and marketing campaigns. Think eye-catching email campaigns, integrated live chat, and targeted SMS text messaging.
2. Optimize the online & offline experience
Analyze your website and aspects of your customer service to find out where improvements can be made. A smoother experience is sure to increase sales and improve engagement with existing customers.
It’s a good idea to go through the stages customers take when interacting with you, by using a customer journey map tool. Identifying gaps in services or communications, effective customer journey mapping can intelligently predict customer behavior too.
CRM is also a factor in helping salespeople sell more of their products and services—and sell them faster. Being able to pinpoint the entire customer journey from start to finish, including purchase history, will help your sales reps to anticipate customer needs much more effectively.
Access to customer data also speeds up communication when someone has a query. When you can see previous interactions and purchase history at a glance, it helps you to offer the highest possible levels of customer experience and service possible.
3. Data visualization
Data visualization tools will help you to interpret the way your customers behave, as well as track current trends and identify future trends. Tools for data modeling can be particularly helpful at this stage, enabling you to visualize a range of scenarios
With tools like dynamic dashboards and real-time reports, it’s easy to see an overview of performance or drill down into specifics. You can analyze your sales process, nurture potential leads, and look for cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Data sharing rules can also be set up to share information owned by particular people and groups with others inside your company. Learn more about data sharing with Databricks.
4. Build customer loyalty and satisfaction
Utilizing essential data will help you keep one step ahead of your customers, as well as your competition. Satisfaction breeds loyalty, and retaining existing customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones.
So, if you want to keep existing customers happy and increase your retention rates, you need as much data as possible. Standard CRM customer retention features include customer information tracking, interactions, history logs, appointment reminders, when’s best to send follow-up emails, and even customer survey options.
Learning how to secure data is one of the most effective ways to increase trust and loyalty from your customer base, and we’ll touch on that in more detail shortly.
More Ways to Improve Customer Relationships
If you're looking to build long-term relationships with customers, here are some top tips for making the most of your data.
5. Optimize your CRM
CRM enables savvy organizations to manage existing customer interactions and track potential customers, all in one place. But to maximize its potential, you need to optimize it so that your data is more customer-focused.
For example, you can store your contacts’ permission to use their personal data. Essentially eliminating expensive risks, you can also set up automatic notifications to send to new contacts, set up rules to update personal data for segmented lists and manage email communication preferences.
6. Prioritize data security and compliance
That brings us on to data security. We can’t emphasize enough how data security is key to a safe customer experience. Customers who perceive brands as reliable and competent are 1.6 times more likely to provide the brand with their digital information.
Therefore, it's vital that you let customers know about your security and compliance measures. For example, compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), set out by the EU. It’s possible to get CRM software with inbuilt GDPR-related functionality, designed to save valuable time, effort, and energy.
Implementing KYC (Know Your Customer) practices through your CRM system adds an extra layer of security and ensures that you have verified the identities of your customers. This will allow you to assess and mitigate the risks associated with each customer and protect them from fraud.
7. Implement gamification
Gamification is designed to make processes fun rather than feeling like a chore. Things like completion meters and reward apps give customers an enjoyable experience while collecting valuable data.
Gamification is also great for keeping employees happy—and for monitoring performance to make sure you provide superb customer service. For example, call center gamification often includes elements like points, badges, leaderboards, and instant notifications.
This motivates employees, while managers can use the data to spot people who need extra help and identify areas for improvement. Ultimately, performance improves and customers are happier.
How Do I Optimize My CRM Data?
Another way to use data to make your business more customer-focused is to optimize your CRM data. Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) has revolutionized the way businesses manage relationships and interactions with their customers and future customers.
Once you have your CRM software in place, there are various ways to optimize your valuable CRM data. These include:
- Utilizing customer purchasing history to upsell related products or services.
- Keeping customer information up-to-date.
- Streamline processes via CRM AI and automation features, e.g. automated follow-up emails.
- Analyze customer trends and behavior via CRM analytics
- Integrate your CRM software with other software e.g. connect a virtual business phone service (VoIP) with your CRM
If you're wondering what are the optimization techniques in Databricks, here are the top 5 Databricks Performance Tips that can make a huge impact on performance and customer-focus.
As you can clearly see, the durability of any modern business relies heavily on the effective use of customer data. Armed with the tools to elevate your customer experience, there’s never been a better time to make your business more customer-focused via the tips outlined above.
Engage, enable and empower your customers and employees with these real time data visualization tools and start reaping the rewards sooner rather than later.
Pohan Lin is the Senior Web Marketing and Localizations Manager at Databricks, data engineering solutions and AI provider connecting the features of data warehouses and data lakes to create lakehouse architecture. With over 18 years of experience in web marketing, online SaaS business, and ecommerce growth. Pohan is passionate about innovation and is dedicated to communicating the significant impact data has in marketing. Pohan has written for other domains such as ITChronicles and Piktochart. Check out his LinkedIn here.