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Effective Customer Data Management -Business Benefits

Effective customer data management: Businesses cannot survive without customers and data related to these customers is critical to every business. Accurate customer information enables sales, service and marketing teams to target specific customers and understand them in a deeper manner. This allows the sales person to have a proper hold of the customer and develop a stronger relationship.

Often, businesses capture customer data through several tools and sources. Managing this data is difficult due to the sheer volume of customers with constantly evolving personal and transactional information (This is more relevant in the retail sector). Hence, data needs to be continually managed so that data quality is maintained and it can be used for further conversions.

Effective customer data management provides several business benefits:

  • Boost in sales through better knowledge of customer needs
  • Higher efficiency of business processes by eliminating duplication and junk data collection
  • Compliance and data security through standardisation and centralisation of data.

Major benefits:

  • Generate customer insights
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Build innovation
  • Building effective communications &
  • Creating loyalty

Acquire customer insight:

Understanding consumer behaviour is the primary reason behind acquiring customer insights. The value that shareholders assign to companies is based on expectations of returns beyond the period for which forecasts exist. The organization’s pipeline of future cash is driven by improving returns on equity, sustaining growth, reducing uncertainty and accelerating future cash.

Having a good customer insight leads to superior business performance. It caters to relentless innovation and development of a strong brand. It also builds strong relationships, faster market penetration and development of a good portfolio of product options. A failure to generate and make use of consumer insight in day-to-day operations will lead to lower shareholder value.

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is a basic marketing technique and forms the heart of any marketing strategy. And this is the way that successful businesses run their business. Understanding the needs and wants of customers effectively, and delivering benefit to the customer against each of those needs and wants increases business profitability.

Every customer has a different need and is therefore potentially a separate market. Some customers will be more profitable than others and some may not want a relationship at all. Market segmentation divides this large, heterogeneous customer groups into a smaller, and better manageable segments that can be targeted more efficiently. A customer value proposition for each segment can then be developed. Customers may look alike, but don‘t necessarily act alike, and therefore it is important to segment your customers based on their needs, attitudes characteristics.

Building innovation

Innovation is a critical factor for success in today‘s highly competitive market. Using innovation makes you move a step ahead of competitors, not just in customer-facing activities, but in all areas of the business. What all successful, consistently innovative businesses have in common is a clear innovations strategy aligned with business objectives.

So, what enables innovation?

A culture that is open to receive: Leadership teams need to categorize innovation as a strategic priority and encourage the gathering and sharing of ideas. Sharing relevant market data has to be encouraged both inside and outside the organisation. The quest for innovation needs to be sponsored and recognised from the top management.

Idea management initiatives: Validate, quantify and assess new ideas for identifying risk factors before deciding whether to develop. Ideas must be prioritised and the full business impact must be assessed. New ideas are one thing, successful innovation is another.

Efficient processes: Processes must enable a clear implementation approach for the initiative. They need to be periodically reviewed to deliver strategy and measure results.

Momentum: To quickly convert an idea into a value-add application that keeps the organisation ahead of the competition, momentum and energy are required. A step-by-step implementation approach creates momentum and dispels uncertainty and anxiety.

Effective communication channels: Effective communication channels will that ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. It will also enable multi-functional teams to leverage expertise and implement ideas.

Effective marketing communications

A wide range of products/services, targeted towards a wide range of audiences, makes effective marketing communications both extremely complicated and vital for success. Businesses should continually adapt to changing customer demands, market variables and competitor activities. Adoption of appropriate pricing and promotional strategies and communication to both internal and external audience is important. This enables successfull implementation and will accepted by customers.

Read: 10 Marketing Communication Tactics That Customers Prefer

Enabling loyalty:

Most often in retails businesses and low volume high frequency businesses, customers come and go, while the retailer has limited knowledge of the relationship with them. In a competitive market, businesses must focus on developing a long-term relationship with their customers, and create a satisfying experience that keeps them coming back. New channels and technologies like CRM can offer cost-effective means to track and enhance customer relationships, both emotional and financial.

To acquire the above mentioned benefits, effective customer data management is essential. Any business can reap these benefits with greater focus.

Naga Darshan J
Darshan is a CRM Strategist, Entrepreneur, Author and Business Coach. He heads the sales and marketing for Rapid GPRS and has been instrumental in transformation of several businesses.

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