Becoming customer-centric—putting the customer’s needs and interests at the center of your goals and processes—is impossible without customer data. You need customer data to track progress toward goals, deliver on promises, and continually upgrade your product. Doing so will help you raise satisfaction rates and cultivate lifetime customers.
By applying best practices, such as sharing data across teams and gathering multiple data points for each customer, you can operationalize data to your advantage. Customer-centric uses of data help ensure every employee knows their role and what information to gather. And because internal teams have constant, up-to-date info on what their colleagues are doing, clients will receive seamless, consistent service.
Start with the Right Data Points
The right data points enable you to use what you’ve learned about customers to your advantage. The specific metrics to track will depend on your customer and their unique goals. After all, your goals should always be informed by your customers’ goals. Still, here are some data points that can get you started:
- Support tickets
- Licensing rates
- Adoption rates
- Customer feedback
- Relevant events such as changes in leadership or personnel
Best Practices for Customer-Centric Uses of Data
Once you choose your key data points and collect the information, it’s time to put the data to work. By applying these best practices, you can improve your product and the customer experience.
- Collect Data in One Location from Multiple Sources. The more places you draw data from, the more comprehensive your perspective will be. It is important that the data is collected into a central location that offers all team members immediate access to client data and the ability to act on it. By having the data in one location, your entire enterprise can track customer data such as support tickets, and provides a clear understanding of individual action items so your teams properly handle any situation. Finally, by gathering all data points, you can also track customer product usage, which may reveal opportunities to improve your product or processes.
- Customize Metrics to Specific Customer Goals. Once you know your customers’ goals, track each customer’s progress toward that goal. Because customer goals are unique, you’ll need to devise your own KPIs for tracking them.
- Share Data Across Teams. Your data will be most effective when all members of your organization can access it. This information-based communication is especially important when handing off new customers from sales to your onboarding team. Handoffs should include a detailed record of every interaction with customers to prevent making duplicate queries or offering contradictory information.
- Engage Proactively. Set up alerts that let customer success teams know about potential warning signs early. For example, implement an alert whenever customer health scores dip below a certain number. Have standard processes in place to respond to these events so you can proactively engage customers before they downgrade service packages or churn.
- Set Up Nurture Campaigns. A nurturance campaign means applying the data you’ve gathered about customer preferences and behavior to grow the customer relationship. The best way to do this is to send out information that teaches customers how to use all your products features and how they can gain more value from it. You can email them how-to videos, top-ten lists, or customer case studies. If you notice behavior such as product underutilization, offer help.
- Automate Responses. Once you’ve identified the KPIs that indicate success for your particular customer, set triggers to alert your team of critical changes in a customer’s account or status. Then, send automated responses to ensure you act upon those changes as fast as possible.
How Customer Data Can Improve Engagement and Retention
Engagement measures the strength of a customer’s response to your product or how much they trust your brand. A well-engaged customer has a positive emotional response when interacting with your product or brand. Retention is your ability to keep customers over time, meaning that customers return to your brand to renew.
By using the right strategy, customer-centric data can be used to improve both engagement and retention simultaneously. For example, say you’ve gathered frequency of product use data that indicates that customers use your payroll software most frequently on Thursdays (the most common day before paydays) and least often on Mondays. You could apply this data by sending customers an email about a new feature that helps them balance their accounts by providing a dashboard view of their activity every Sunday. The customer will be happy you’ve responded to their usage patterns and now has an additional reason to use your app on an underutilized day of the week, thus raising both engagement and retention. By intelligently using customer data, you not only improve your retention rates, but establish a productive journey for your customers.
As you work on refining the steps your customers go through, it helps to remember that the customer journey is not linear. It’s more like a path that twists and turns rather than a straight road. So, gather customer-centric data about factors such as adoption and escalation to stay informed of possible changes in engagement or retention. Finally, use data to segment customers to make it easier to interact with a large client base. You may find customers vary in ways such as being low value but high volume or high value but low volume. You may have different engagement strategies based on those differences. Either way, make sure every customer is fully-engaged and looked after to prevent churn.
Make the Most of Data Using Advanced Software
Trying to collect and apply customer data manually requires way more time and energy than is sustainable. You need a tool to help you capture all relevant data and organize it in a way that makes sense. That tool is a customer success platform.
A customer success platform gives you all the capabilities you need to fully leverage customer data. You can set up a warning system to monitor certain goals or track engagements so you can easily identify warning signs customers are struggling. When the software detects a struggling customer, you can automate alerts to notify customer success teams. You can also establish workflows for internal teams, which raises organization-wide standardization by enabling everyone to access data and best practices.
These capabilities make a customer success platform your best option to scale and standardize processes so your entire organization can provide the best customer experience possible. So, use this powerful tool to unlock your customer data’s full potential to deepen customer relationships.
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