Customer Data Insights: Best Practices for Tracking and Taking Action
As the economy continues to become more digitally-based, customer data becomes more valuable and accessible than ever. To operate without insight into your customers’ preferences or behaviors is to work in the dark; it’s both ineffective and inefficient, leaving far too much up to chance. The evidence is clear—companies that use customer data insights to arm their operations teams outperform their competitors by as much as 85%. Analyzing customer data helps you determine the best way to retain customers and prevent churn. Let’s examine how exactly your customer success team can take customer data and turn it into a successful plan of action.
How Customer Data Insights Inform Next Steps
Customer data is really only as useful as its applications. It is not enough to understand your customers—the key is to use that understanding to help them achieve their business goals. To draw actionable insights from customer data is to:
- Collect relevant, detailed data that paints a complete picture of your customers’ wants and needs, allowing you to connect the dots between various data points.
- Track data to identify areas where additional data may be required or where methods of data collection or analysis may need adjustments.
- Keep team members informed by making valuable data easily accessible to all employees from one central location.
- Identify critical patterns and make informed decisions based on customer data insights to improve processes, including optimizing features based on customer feedback and creating more targeted strategies for customer outreach.
Collecting relevant, actionable customer data takes the guesswork out of optimizing the customer experience. Tracking that data further empowers your team to focus on the areas of greatest need first, whether that means reviewing your onboarding process or enhancing the product itself.
3 Best Practices for Using Customer Data Insights
Following certain best practices can help you get the most out of your data:
1. Connect customer data points. It’s no longer enough to merely have a general idea of what your average customer looks like. Seek to understand their behaviors, their business goals, and the motivations that drive their behaviors. Segment to find overarching patterns and zoom in on individual customer’s unique goals. Understanding your customers’ business goals will also help shape your data collection strategy, allowing you to focus on the most pertinent information and delve more deeply into what truly matters to your customers.
Example: A customer might have a goal to reduce the number of days in onboarding. To reach that goal, you can examine their goals and behaviors to identify ways to streamline the onboarding process. For instance, you can prioritize the features that are most relevant to their business. You can also shorten the onboarding phase by considering what strategies worked well with similar customers.
Make sure that your CS team can reach out to customers (and collect data) through different channels. Create a strategy for what information you need and how to collect it. Voice of Customer data including surveys and NPS scores as well as system data like support feedback can all be helpful.
2. Create organizational alignment so that all team members are on the same page. Clear communication ensures that information and data are not duplicated—or worse, overlooked—while also creating a better customer experience.
Example: If a new CSM is transitioning to an account, they will need to quickly catch up on the status of the campaign. With transparent communication and effective data sharing, the new CSM can hit the ground running, and the customer will not notice any lapse in service.
3. Take intelligent action based on data. Look for behavioral patterns that serve as red flags for customer dissatisfaction or churn. Use that data to proactively intervene before churn happens. An early warning system can be built to allow customer success team members to spend less time manually monitoring customer behavior, help scale the organization, and ensure the delivery of consistent experiences.
Example: When a customer’s usage drops or if a user becomes inactive, you will have visibility. This, coupled with suggested actions to take, allows you to be proactive. Your team can then engage the inactive customer based on the action step provided, determine the issue, and move forward with solving the problem before the customer is tempted to leave.
It is necessary to provide your team with a detailed overview of data—such as product usage metrics, survey responses, internal team notes, CRM data, and more—to facilitate proactive engagements.
Collecting for Customer Data and Creating SMART Goals
To really make the most of customer data, you need one other key ingredient: SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goal setting and tracking. The right customer success platform will enable you to create measurable goals based on the data you collect and help you create a clear roadmap for success. For the greatest efficacy, look for a platform that allows for customer segmentation and provides a flexible platform that connects all your data in context. This will allow your team to create more targeted campaigns for all the customers you serve.
Providing your team with the solutions they need to not only collect relevant data but also effectively apply what they learn from that data lays the foundation for long-term success. The better support you can provide for your CS team, the better they can support your customers—who will then be happier than ever to continue partnering with your enterprise.
Totango is a leader in customer success solutions that facilitate effective customer success strategy. Feel free to explore Spark to learn more about our award-winning CS platform. Request a demo whenever you’re ready to try it out for yourself.