How Data Can Provide You With Better Customer Insights

Understanding your customers on a deeper level will help improve their overall experience and your bottom line.

Every day you’re collecting mass amounts of customer data. Whether it’s the items they are purchasing, how they are engaging with your emails, or learning more about their interests — it’s all valuable information.

After all, a happy customer is a loyal customer. To make your customer happy, you need to understand what they expect from your brand — and data is what will help you identify these expectations.

All of these different data points can come together to create actionable insights to help your company grow. These insights can tell you exactly what your customers want from you and in many cases can help you predict their future needs.

But what do you do with all of this data? And how can you make the process of collecting, cleaning, and analyzing this data easier?

The answer — a customer insights platform. Investing in a platform to help manage your data and identify insights and potential opportunities will be well worth your time.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can use data to gain customer insights and discuss a few platforms you’ll want to consider.

Here’s a quick look at the platforms we’ll look at:

  1. Listrak
  2. TTEC Humanify Insights Platform
  3. Periscope by McKinsey
  4. DataSift
  5. Selligent Marketing Cloud
  6. Informatica
  7. Vision Critical
  8. Glassbox
  9. Microsoft Dynamic 365
  10. Zoomdata

Using Data to Gain Customer Insights

Collecting customer data is simple. The hard part is having access to the technology and knowledge to be able to analyze and understand this data — then turn it into something usable.

Creating customer insights takes this data you already have and creates a profile for your customers. It’s all about turning this data into customer insights that give you an actionable plan to improve their experience through personalization and relevancy.

You can begin to understand the wants, needs, and interests of your customers on an individual level. And with that knowledge, you can provide them with a personalized experience that results in higher engagement and more conversions.

Without a tool that makes managing and analyzing data manageable, you can say goodbye to your dreams of understanding customer insights away. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there to help you better understand your customers and strive to create the best possible experience.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of how you can use your historical and real-time data to gain customer insights and use those to your advantage.

Understand The Behaviors of Your Customers

Data allows you to understand your customers on a more granular level than ever before. You can start to identify patterns and trends based on what they are purchasing or how they are shopping on your site.

When identifying what customer behaviors are most valuable for you, consider things like the following:

  • How customers are browsing your website
  • What customers are purchasing
  • When customers are engaging with your content the most
  • Where customers are interacting with your brand

It’s important to understand how your customers are interacting with your brand. Consider how many touch points it takes your customers before completing a purchase or if they are more likely to purchase on a mobile device.

There is tons of data available about customer behavior and why it’s valuable to track. These are just a few examples of why you’ll want to understand what your customers are doing. Image courtesy of The Keenfolks.

Knowing how your customers engage with your content is invaluable for many reasons. It allows you to know what resonates most with your customers and provide them with the content they actually want.

Here are just a few examples of how understanding the behaviors of your customers can benefit you:

  • Identify loyal customers and provide them with the treatment they deserve
  • Pinpoint anyone who is at the risk of churning and implement a retention plan to keep them active
  • Know exactly what customers are willing to pay full price for your products and those who need an incentive such as a coupon or discount
  • Create retargeting or abandonment campaigns for customers who visit your site and do not complete a purchase
  • Understand the lifetime value of your customers and how you can improve this

Having a clear understanding of how your customers are behaving with your content will open many doors for you. Improving the customer experience for your brand starts with understanding how people are engaging with you and then building off of that.

Provide a More Personalized Experience

Once you begin to have a better understanding of how your customers are engaging with your content and behaving on your website, you can start to improve personalization.

Over 60% of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service.

Personalization is no longer a nice to have when it comes to marketing. Your customers now expect that you’re taking time to personalize all of your content and interactions based on their wants, needs, and interests.

It’s something that you can start small, maybe simply adding a name to an email subject line or using geography to promote an in-store sale — but to be competitive in today’s environment, you can’t stop there.

Personalization is no joke. Your customers expect that you take the time to personalize your interactions with them — and many are willing to switch brands for a more personalized experience.

Using the behavioral data you’ve collected about your customers is a great way to improve the personalization of your marketing tactics. This information was collected directly from the interactions of your customers and provides you with insights into how they are engaging with your company.

A few examples of how you can use the customer data you’re already collecting to improve personalization within your marketing:

  • Retarget customers based on the products and pages they browsed on your website
  • Send abandoned cart emails for items someone left in their shopping cart
  • Use customer demographics to improve your email marketing efforts
  • Share product recommendations based on items your customer has previously purchased or browsed
  • Understand what content each customer engages with most then continue to create and share similar content

The more time and effort you put into your personalization efforts, the more likely it is that your customers will continue to engage with your content. Your customers want you to send them content that is relevant to their interests, and you’ll find it’s a very effective way to increase conversions.

Improve Your Brand’s Customer Experience

The better you know your customers, the better you can make their experience with your brand. A good customer experience can be the difference between loyal customers and periodic shoppers.

Customer experience can be directly related to the willingness of customers to be loyal to a brand. In fact, consumers are also willing to pay more for a better experience. Overall, a positive customer experience can benefit you in a number of ways. Understanding that loyal customers are much more valuable than prospects is the first step. But it goes so far beyond this.

When you consider that many customers are willing to pay more for a better experience, it really shines light on how important a customer’s experience with your brand is.

Not sure how to improve your customer experience? Here are a few examples of simple ways to improve the experience with brand and please your customers:

  • Improve segmentation to serve the right content to the right customers
  • Make sure your customers know they are appreciated and reward them for their loyalty
  • Target customers based on where they fall within the buyer’s journey and help them move towards a purchase
  • Put content in front of your customers at the right times with send time optimization
  • Use predictive analytics to provide them with product recommendations that appeal to their interests

Improving your brand experience can come in many forms. It’s also something you’ll need to continuously work on. The better your experience becomes, the more customers will expect out of your company. But that also means that they will favor your brand over another that has not taken the time to focus on the experience of their customers.

Identify New Marketing and Product Opportunities

While exploring and learning more about your customers through the data you have at hand, it can also open up new opportunities.

Customer insights are not only limited to what you’re currently doing. In fact, understanding the needs of your customers on a deeper level may allow you to identify new product or marketing opportunities.

Maybe there is a consistent gap in the industry that you can develop a new product or service for. Or maybe it’s as simple as identifying a new topic area for your next marketing campaign. Whatever the case may be, it’s very possible to learn this from the customer data you already have on hand.

So while you’re digging in and learning more about what’s important to your customers — look for additional insights. Find ways that you can continue to grow your business and provide your customers with an even better experience. Once you’ve never even expected to exist.

That’s the power of customer insights. It can open your eyes to new things about your customers, but also new opportunities for your business as a whole.

10 Customer Insight Platforms

When it comes to identifying a platform to help you reach your customer insight goals, there are a number of things to consider. Each platform has its own set of pros and cons and ultimately the decision will be based on the needs of your company.

As your read more about each platform, consider the following questions:

  • How much assistance do I need for analyzing and understanding data?
  • Do I want a program that can adapt and automatically evolve as my customers do?
  • Will I need to manage or integrate other channels into the customer insight platform?
  • Can I get the reporting I need each month to track performance?

In this section, we’ll take a look at 12 customer insight platforms that you’ll want to consider. With a brief description and some important highlights, this list will get you off to a great start.

1. Listrak

Listrak can help take your customer insights to the next level with powerful exploration and visualization tools. Easily understand your customer data and take action to improve the customer experience by enhancing your marketing efforts.

By better understanding your customers and their behaviors, you can improve personalization and targeting to improve your bottom line. Listrak can help you do that by providing instant insights and predicting the future needs of your customers. 

This all-in-one platform allows you to track and understand your customer through their behaviors and interactions. With this insight, you can then integrate this knowledge into your marketing efforts including segmentation, targeting, and much more.

Platform Highlights:

  • Instant Insights: easily track and manage your customer data with pre-built dashboards to provide you with the metrics you need to know
  • Data Exploration: use advanced reporting to understand the customer story behind the data
  • Seamless Activation: take action quickly and easily with real-time data that will help improve targeting, filtering, and triggered campaigns
  • Unified 360° Profile: combine all of your transactional, behavioral, and predictive data to have one comprehensive profile of each customer
  • Predictive Analytics: utilize machine learning to predict the future needs of your customers and give them what they want at the right time

Important Factors:

  • A good solution for companies of all sizes
  • Pricing is dependent on business needs
  • All-in-one platform for managing customer insights and numerous marketing channels

2. TTEC Humanify Insights Platform

TTEC’s Humanify Insights Platform is designed to provide you with a holistic view of your customers so you can provide an exceptional personalized experience.

Customer insights help you understand your customers on a more granular level. From there, you can begin to improve your targeting with better personalization efforts. TTEC Humanify Insight Platform helps you capture the information you need and better target your leads. 

The Humanify Insights Platform can help you gather and understand customer data to improve your marketing. Easily manage, track, and improve your campaigns in real-time with valuable customer insights.

Platform Highlights:

  • 360° View of Customer Preferences: bring all of your customer data together to build one singular view of your customers
  • Personalization at Scale: let the platform collect and clean your data so you can focus on how this insight will help you improve
  • Optimize Campaigns: use customer insights and previous campaign analytics to improve future marketing efforts
  • Reporting Dashboards: visualize customer data and easily report on the metrics that matter to you

Important Factors:

  • A good solution for companies of all sizes and across multiple industries
  • Pricing is based on business needs

3. Periscope by McKinsey

Periscope by McKinsey is another great customer insight platform that helps you to analyze and understand customer data to better understand your customers.

Periscope takes you from data collection to customer insights in an effort to improve your customer interactions. Get the right data and understand what it means to provide your customers with the best content.

With the help of Periscope, you can learn key insights on the behaviors of your customers, perception of your brand, and identify new opportunities to drive revenue growth. Periscope offers various capabilities including agile practices and growth mapping.

Platform Highlights:

  • Direct Insight: with agile insights, you can get the details you need directly from your customers through surveys, interviews, online behaviors, and more
  • Segmentation: understand consumer behaviors to improve segmentation through understanding things such as customer behaviors and needs
  • Understand Their Journey: learn what matters most to your customers at every touchpoint along their journey

Important Factors:

  • A good solution for companies of all sizes
  • Options available for both B2C and B2B business models
  • Pricing is based on business needs

4. DataSift

DataSift allows you to gain better insights and gather data from all of your marketing efforts from social media to news and everything in between.

DataSift helps you turn customer actions and behaviors into usable information that can help you provide relevant experiences. The more information you can input during the connect stage, the content you can serve during the delivery. 

Use real-time, human data to make actionable insights and guide your marketing campaigns. From start to finish, DataSift can help you decode your customer data into valuable insights.

Platform Highlights:

  • Make Data Easier: allow the platform to do the work and provide you with data ready to be filtered and refined based on your needs
  • Non-Public Data Sources: leverage the PYLON tool to access data such as demographics, links, engagement, and more from non-public data sources
  • Public Data Sources: gather historic and real-time data through public sources such as blogs and news sources

Important Factors:

  • A good solution for all sized companies
  • Pricing is based on business needs
  • A good option for companies looking to leverage social data

5. Selligent Marketing Cloud

Selligent Marketing Cloud is an AI-powered omnichannel automation platform that allows businesses to maximize customer interactions.

Selligent helps you to understand your customers on a deeper level by collecting and analyzing their behavioral data. With this knowledge, you can then predict future wants and needs to improve your brand customer experience. 

Understanding the wants and needs of your customers requires the backing of a platform with innovative tools and technology. Selligent Marketing Cloud allows you to leverage customer insights through AI and machine learning and implement those into your omnichannel marketing campaigns.

Platform Highlights:

  • AI and Machine Learning: leverage the power of AI and machine learning to evolve your efforts as the needs of your customers change
  • Improve Personalization: use customer data to provide highly personalized experiences
  • Behavioral Retargeting: collect customer behavioral data to provide the most relevant retargeting messages
  • Understand Each Customer: create a profile for each of your customers based on their interactions and various other data points

Important Factors:

  • Designed for B2C businesses
  • A good solution for B2C companies of all sizes
  • Pricing is based on business needs

6. Informatica

Informatica is a customer insights platform that will help you get to know your customer and provide the next best experience based on their journey.

Understanding the needs of your customers is not a simple task, you need the backing of a capable software. Informatica has the tools needed no matter what you’re looking for assistance with. From data integrations to customer insights — you’ll find what you need.

Backed by advanced technology such as AI and machine learning, Informatica is a very powerful data tool. Understand your customers throughout the entire journey and continue to learn and serve the most relevant content.

Platform Highlights:

  • Bring Together All Data: gather data from all of your sources including transactions, interactions, and many other data types
  • Contextual Matching: link customer data with relevant content through machine learning capabilities
  • Recommendations: provide customers with the appropriate recommendations based on their real-time actions
  • Better Understand Your Customers: with the help of natural language processing, you can identify customer attributes, attitudes, and lifecycle changes

Important Factors:

  • A good solution for companies of all sizes
  • Pricing is based on business needs
  • Proven performance across various industries

7. Vision Critical

Vision Critical’s customer insights platform, Sparq, helps you identify richer insights through customer data such as motivators, preferences, and beliefs.

Understand your customers on a deeper level with customer data and direct feedback from real customers. Sparq will help you connect all of your platforms together to learn from the real-time interactions of your customers. 

Make the most out of your customer data with Sparq. This platform allows you to connect various platforms and gather direct feedback from your customers to improve your brand experience.

Platform Highlights:

  • Progressive Profiling: collect continuously updated insights about customer preference, priorities, and buying behaviors
  • Leverage Integrations: integrate with your existing platforms to easily share data across applications
  • Drive Revenue Growth: by aligning relevant offers to the right customer segments
  • Gather Customer Feedback: with the help of surveys and forums you can gather customer feedback right from the sources

Important Factors:

  • A good solution for companies of all sizes
  • Pricing is based on business needs
  • Secure and compliant compy

8. Glassbox

Glassbox helps you collect valuable customer insights to help improve your website and mobile experiences.

With the right tools, you can easily improve the customer experience of your website and turn customers into loyal, repeat visitors. Glassbox can help you understand your customers and strive to turn them into loyal, repeat buyers.

Know how your customers are interacting and engaging with your online outlets. As you gather more data and insights into what they are looking for, you can strive to create the best possible experience.

Platform Highlights:

  • See How Customers Engage: watch customer engagement sessions to identify first hand the areas of improvement needed
  • Dynamic Analytics: make collecting and analyzing customer data into actionable insights easier
  • Create Alerts with AI: create AI-triggered alerts to ensure you’re receiving all the most valuable and timely insights you need
  • Identify Trends and Patterns: use the customer data you have available to find trends and patterns of your customers

Important Factors:

  • A good solution for companies of all sizes
  • Pricing is based on business needs
  • Best for companies who are focused on improving their website and mobile applications to better fit customer needs

9. Microsoft Dynamic 365

Microsoft Dynamic 365 is an intuitive and flexible platform that allows you to leverage insights and personalization to improve the customer experience.

With Microsoft Dynamic 365, you have a snapshot of your customers and their data at your fingertips. Easy to use dashboard make understanding their interactions, wants, needs, and interests easier than ever before.

Utilize advanced technology including AI and machine learning to take your customer exploration a step further. By improving personalization, predicting future actions, and continuously improving your efforts, you can continue to learn from your real-time customer insights.

Platform Highlights:

  • Utilize AI: AI allows you to create unified customer profiles and put the customer first when it comes to all business aspects
  • Improve Personalization: view your customers in an entirely new light by bringing all their data including transactions, behaviors, and more together in one place
  • Predict Future Interactions: with machine learning templates, predict things such as prospective churns, next best action, and product recommendations
  • Easily Adapt Campaigns: analyze campaigns and quickly adapt to changing customer needs as they happen

Important Factors:

  • A good solution for companies of all sizes
  • Pricing is based on business needs

10. Zoomdata

Zoomdata takes a deep dive into your customer data and provides you with insights that allow you to provide customers with a hand-crafted, personalized experience.

Track and analyze your customer interactions to provide them with the most relevant experience you can. Understanding their needs will allow you to better serve them — which will help your bottom line.

Stop wasting your time with marketing campaigns that don’t resonate with your customers. With the help of Zoomdata, you can get a 360° view of your customers and provide them with the most relevant content and interactions possible.

Platform Highlights:

  • Improve Data Accuracy: decrease the chances of human error and increase the accuracy of your data with specialized algorithms
  • Detect Customer Changes: identify when customers are likely to churn, change lifecycle changes, and more
  • Cross-sell and Upsell: know what products to serve as the next best offer, upsell, and cross-sell depending on what a customer has purchased
  • Identify Loyal Customers: know what customers are likely to spend more and those who are least profitable

Important Factors:

  • A good solution for companies of all sizes
  • Pricing is based on business needs
  • Specializes in financial service, healthcare, and telecom businesses

Getting Started With Customer Insights

Now that you have a basic understanding of how you can utilize your customer data to produce valuable customer insights, you’ll need guidance on how to get started. Of course, this process looks a little different for every company, there are a few things that can help you get started.

From setting goals for yourself from the start to identify next steps once you’ve collected the data you need — putting a strategy in place ahead of time will keep your eye on the price. To get you started,  let’s take a quick look at how you can take advantage of your own customer insights.

Here are a few tips to send you on your way:

  • Know what you want to learn. It’s important to identify what you need to know and how you plan to accomplish your goals.
  • Identify your resources. You should outline exactly how you plan to collect the data you’re looking for. It’s also the time to consider how you plan to analyze and understand the data (hint: one of the platforms we discussed would be a great place to start!).
  • Figure out how you’ll collect the data. Will you simply use customer data from your website? Or do you plan to conduct surveys and pools to meet the data collection goals you have in mind.
  • Identify what you will do with the data once you have it. Once you’ve taken the time to collect and analyze your customer data, what now? Have a plan in place for what you plan to do with the data and how you’re going to improve the customer experience with this information.

The hardest part is getting started, but once you have a plan in place things will start to fall into place. This article should have helped you get acclimated with the idea of using data to understand customer insights — but now it’s your turn to take the lead.

What are you waiting for? Start gathering and analyzing your customer data to improve your customer experience today.

Saurabh Saha
Pursuing MCA from the University of Delhi, Saurabh Saha is an experienced blogger and internet marketer. Through his popular technology blogs: TechGYD.COM & sguru.net, he is helping several brands to gain exposure in front of high-quality web visitors.