Customer intelligence (CI) is the process of understanding the specific needs of your customers and analyzing all the data you have on them to serve them better, driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Customer intelligence is an essential component of customer relationship management (CRM). When implemented effectively, it can provide valuable insight into customer behaviour and experience.
One example is when customers walk into a shop and leave without purchasing anything. These prospects/customers (or their visits) might not be available in a traditional CRM system because no sales transactions are recorded on the cash register. Although there was no transaction, CI can be used to determine why customers leave the store. This could be done by asking them or a store employee to complete a survey.
Customer Intelligence starts with reference data. This is basic information about the customer such as their geographical location.
The data is then supplemented by transaction data – reports on customer activity. This could include commercial information, such as order processing and purchase history. It also includes interactions with service representatives via phone or e-mail.
Agent data or customer satisfaction surveys can add a subjective dimension. A company can also use mystery shopping and competitor insight to gain a better understanding of their market position.
This data can be analyzed and placed in context with other information about industry conditions, competitors and general trends to gain information about customers’ current and future needs. It can also be used to predict their future behavior.
How to Gather Customer Intelligence
Market research surveys and customer satisfaction are often analyzed via text analytics. These can be used for customer intelligence purposes to contact center notes, email, and other textual sources.
Speech analytics is used to monitor phone conversations between customers and companies. It uses speech to text or phonetic analysis to locate keywords and phrases, classify calls types, and identify trends.
Customer relationship management software is software that helps to manage customer relationships. It can store data about the number, type, and category of prospects and customers.
Frontline data capture that may or may not be part of a CRM solution but is used by front-line agents to record subjective data about customer contacts such as the reason the customer picked up the phone.
Click tracking data is used to track the popularity and use of corporate websites. It can give clues about product interest and purchasing intention. A company might infer that a customer is interested to purchase a service if they spend time looking at specific products.
Customer intelligence allows for a deep understanding of how customers interact with companies and makes predictions about customer behavior. This information can be used to aid in more strategic and effective decision-making, driving customer satisfaction and creating customer loyalty.