Unlocking customer intelligence with CRM

Unlocking customer intelligence

Customer intelligence, in short is the process of gathering and analysing information regarding customers, and their details and activities, to build deeper and more effective customer relationships and improve decision-making by vendors. This gathering of data can be done through various means – feedback, survey, Social Media listening, website tracking, etc. Today with smarter tracking and data gathering methods, it has become easier for companies to obtain data but using the data to better the sales, profit or even customer engagement is the difficult part. How do you then unlock customer intelligence using the collected data? Enter – CRM.

CRM is the perfect device to help with understanding the customer data and putting it to better use. Being a Customer Relationship Management software, CRM manages customer data in its core. What also increases the utility of a CRM is the fact that a smart CRM can be integrated with various other tools like website, email distributors which make the data collation and inference simple, faster and singularly stored in a central place.

The process of collecting and understanding customer Intelligence is in fact very simple.It begins with Reference data which contains key facts about the customers regarding their contact detail, age, gender, location, etc. This data can be then supplemented with transactional data which as the name suggests is the commercial history from sales and finance department about the purchases of the customer in the history. By mining this data and placing it in a wider context of existing trends, economic conditions, competition status, the company can have a general view of their customer’s behaviour and buying pattern and use this knowledge to either drive more sales or look into products which are no more promising.

The primary form of data collection from customers, vendors and potential has taken a major spin from the traditional methods like feedback, surveys and questionnaire to very modern and faster methods like Speech Analytics, Click tracking, Email tracking, etc. Today’s CRM is enabled to easily integrate with providers of aforementioned methods to provide the company with a 360° view of your customer’s interests, their buying patterns, preferences, etc.

To discuss in brief how can you integrate and pull data from the new methods into the CRM:

Speech Analytics which is basically monitoring of the calls between a sales person and a client. The call recorder, when integrated with a CRM software gives the company an easier way to filter out, track and record their findings. By integrating the call recorder to the CRM, you also are aware of the time spent behind each client and the total ROI in the end. This helps in keeping you aware of the additional variables and costs that can be reduced.

Tracking opens and clicks on emails is another way to know the quality of the content and how has it been received by the customer. Known Email integration providers alsogive analytical access to users to track who and how many have opened the email sent and what links have been clicked. This helps a lot in promotional emails to get more and more footfall to the stores or on the website. You can have these providers integrated with your CRM to give you better data on a single screen itself. You can also use your customer database, segregate them in different categories based on their spends or interests and send them regular promotional mails from the CRM itself.

Another steadily rising popular way of gathering data is Social Listening. To understand it simply, it is a process of monitoring and listening digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about your brand or the industry in general. Social CRM from Sage is one such example of how smart CRMs are getting today. By integrating social media channels into the CRM, you can interact with customers on their preferred channel and in turn, gain better insights for your research. Since customers have become dynamic today, companies too, need to up their game and use the vast pool of resources available to them to better listen to their customers and be ahead of their expectations.

However, the one factor that can totally make or break your customer intelligence process is the quality of your data. If your data gathering process is wrong or if there are a lot of overlaps and inconsistencies in your data, you can be sure that the results will be equally vague and incorrect. Using a CRM software makes it easier to identify the loopholes in the data which can be used by your management and sales team to draw correct inferences from.

Knowing about your customers today is the key to better customer services, better products and better after sales services. CRM is not only a data management software, but if used properly, it can be a catalyst to your growth. Customer engagement should be one of the top priorities for a company and that is what a CRM software seeks to better.

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