Whether you sell cars, bikes, phones, televisions or insurance, almost every business strives for a 360-degree customer profile. Yet according to Gartner, only 14% of all organisations actually manage to achieve this. So it’s time for a different, more pragmatic approach. At the end of the day, what matters is that you have all the relevant information at your fingertips, so you can serve customers optimally and stay ahead of the competition.
A 360-degree customer profile is the ultimate goal for 82% of all organisations. A better understanding of customer buying behaviour and interactions is a key prerequisite for improving service and achieving revenue growth. With the right technology, you can see where opportunities exist at the push of a button, helping you to increase customer loyalty and spending, for example. You can also get a picture of potential threats: which customer are you in danger of losing?
If you know your customer, it is easier to make a personalised offer. You are also more likely to be able to seize opportunities to optimise your inventory management. Say you have a surplus of a particular product on the shelf, it is nice to know which customers would be interested. With technology that makes your employees’ work easier, you are more likely to achieve your desired growth.
A complete customer profile is a pipe dream for 80% of all companies
A 360-degree customer profile provides many benefits, but when it comes to putting it into practice, it often remains a pipe dream. Gartner expects that as many as 80% of all companies working on ways to get a complete customer overview will abandon these efforts before 2026. They identify a number of reasons for this:
- Customer information can come from anywhere: your webshop or CRM system, but also social media, email, Excel sheets and many other places. If you really wanted to collect every snippet of information, you would face insurmountable technical challenges and sky-high investments.
- Globally, there are increasingly stringent legal requirements for data collection and protection.
- Consumers want more control over their own data and are less likely to give permission for its use.
This is why it’s high time for companies to move from the ideal of a 360-degree view to a more pragmatic approach. Is it really necessary to analyse every data point? Or is it enough to simply generate relevant information quickly? Gartner argues that the most important thing is the latter.
Starting small often delivers immediate benefitsEven if you only access 70% of all data, this can be enough to make rapid progress. Starting small often provides immediate ‘quick wins’ without the need for a large investment. For example, you can see which customers haven't bought anything for a while, or how seasonal changes are affecting sales. You can then scale up by adding building blocks for more comprehensive analysis and forecasting. Outcomes are clearly presented on a dashboard.
With an in-house IT team, you can choose to implement a modern data platform yourself. However, linking and integrating systems can be a hurdle, as can securing data and getting data quality right. This is why many organisations choose to work with an experienced partner who knows all the ins and outs of data-driven working.
Want to find out more about customer analytics and what it can bring to your organisation? Contact us.