What is Customer Intelligence (CI)?
The internet is home to many tracking tools designed to gather valuable information to better profile consumers. This information is so valuable that it is usually sold to third-party companies for further follow-up.
This process is better known as Customer Intelligence. It involves the gathering and assessment of data regarding consumers, including their activities online.
The end goal is to build more meaningful relationships to spur improved decision-making by vendors. As consumers, we often disregard this behind-the-scenes activity, however, it is crucial to organizations on several levels, including how much they spend on staffing, inventory, and online advertising. Having a better system for collecting and managing consumer analysis can help organizations of all sizes to reduce operating costs, which shows the importance of intelligence gathering.
How to determine your organization's needs from a data collection system
So, you are looking to cut costs at your organization? There are many places to begin depending on how much money you aim to save and in what type of timeframe. If your objective is to save money in the area of customer service while enhancing consumer retention, a knowledge management system may be a worthwhile upfront investment to streamline digital customer intelligence data collecting and save your organization money in the long run.
According to Techopedia, "A knowledge management system is made up of different software modules served by a central user interface. Some of these features can allow for data mining on customer input and histories, along with the provision or sharing of electronic documents. Knowledge management systems can help with staff training and orientation, support better sales, or help business leaders to make critical decisions."
What type of characteristics should a knowledge management system have in order to be a suitable choice for your organization? On a base level any knowledge management system should be able to do the following:
- Collect and store data as it is created so that it can be distributed and shared with the right individuals in the future
- Streamline the process of creating, categorizing, and retrieving knowledge
- Offer a HIPAA compliant environment for organizations in healthcare
What are the main customer intelligence data points to be collected?
There is seemingly an endless amount of consumer data to be collected. You might be wondering what type of intelligence data should be collected? The answer here is not straightforward, as it would depend on your organization type, goals, and privacy laws in your region. There are, however, several CI data points that can be considered "baseline" and otherwise referred to as "sources." We consider this a good starting point, and it can include data such as:
- The device type - Are your consumers using mobile, tablet or desktop?
- The referral source - Are your consumers coming from a Google search, a social media platform, direct or from somewhere else?
- The region - What country are they located in?
Once you have a system for collecting basic consumer data, you can move on to looking at micro-conversions that can include consumer analytics data points like click-through rates, checkout rates, and more.
Having this up-to-date data readily available means that an organization can better determine who their customers are, and what their behaviors are like. This ultimately helps to better identify organizational target audiences and consumer retention tactics.
For a visual representation, check out the graphic below.
Five ways a customer intelligence strategy can help to reduce costs
There is no doubt that once an organization develops an automated CI system to collect and update information they will begin to reap the rewards of financial savings, and even perhaps financial gain.
- More accurate financial reporting: When managing financial reports manually, more data can end up in your "unclassified" category. This can result in inaccurate reporting and ultimately more costly mistakes. Be sure that your knowledge management software is able to correctly categorize as much information as possible.
- Reduce employee turnover: When you use concise data to train and test employees it will be easier to hire and retain those who are the best fit. Going through the hiring process can be expensive and it is best to avoid having to repeat that process for the same position too often.
- Improve productivity: Organizations can store an incredible amount of data on their systems, spanning a number of different categories. When data collection is automated the amount of data collected can reach new highs. However, a good knowledge management system will allow your employees to quickly search and find information - whether it be referencing a process, recent sales data or something else. This can save your employees time, which means they can help more of your customers and you can likely hire less staff.
- Inventory management: How will you know when to replenish stock? Should you order more of a particular item? Knowledge management software can help you better analyze demand, order trends and other indicators to determine when is the right time to reorder and at what quantity. Overstock is never a good thing for organizations - it does not make any money and it takes up precious space in your facility.
- Process management: Do you undertake daily repetitive tasks? Have you ever thought about whether there was a better way to get something done? Perhaps you want to compare a number of approaches to a similar process. A knowledge management system can help you store important data that will help you to determine the most efficient process for your day-to-day operations. For example, if you employ delivery personnel who frequent the same routes daily, you can have them try alternate directions that might require less time stuck in traffic, ultimately saving you on fuel and allowing your employee to make more deliveries.
The bottom line: Use customer intelligence to your advantage
When you know more, you can do more. Consumer intelligence consists of sources, micro, and even macro data points. Combined, they make up big data. Storing, managing and distributing consumer intelligence data correctly can yield several benefits for your organization - most importantly, cost savings and efficient processes.
Learning more about your customers, understanding your supply chain, training your employees and making them more efficient are just a few ways big data via customer intelligence can help an organization reduce operating costs. An efficient internal operation should also reflect well on your customer's overall experience. In turn, you may also drive additional sales thanks to repeat buying trends.
If you are looking to up your game by better managing customer intelligence data, consider Giva's eKnowledgeManager software. Among other benefits it can help to:
- Reduce support costs by capturing lessons learned from previous service requests
- Enhance customer satisfaction by speeding up problem resolution, providing consistent and fast answers
- Decrease training costs by keeping service personnel informed on diverse, rapidly-changing information
Need some more convincing? Try Giva's Knowledge Management Software for 30 days free!