When thinking about how to grow your business and improve sales, do you ever wish you could just predict what your customers were going to do? Knowing how your customers behave, what they like, and where they research new products can be a game-changing way to strategize your marketing. It could tell you how to improve and better meet those customer needs and wants. It would also tell you how to remain relevant in today's marketplace.
Here's the thing. Consumer behavior doesn’t have to be elusive. In fact, insights drawn from consumer behavior analysis are actually derived from unique data points that capture those wish list metrics you need. There are eight core elements of customer behavior analysis, all of which you likely already have access to in your current business model. Discover which sources of customer data you should be collecting and you can take all the guesswork out of marketing, sales, and business growth.
8 Sources for Customer Data
Businesses don't have to do anything new to tap into the eight sources of customer data. You're probably already collecting metrics about your top prospects and existing clients, but perhaps you haven’t yet realized how you can properly leverage these analytics. The key is recognizing what these core customer data points are and then, using them effectively to resolve challenges, meet and exceed customer expectations, and streamline your teams' efforts to engage. Stop wishful thinking and get busy looking for these data sources.
1. Customer Interactions with Company Websites and Mobile Apps
Start by looking into how many customers interact with your website. Your site should already have analytics built in that can help you learn about the number of website visitors, which pages users interact with the most, and how long site visitors hang around. Similarly, your business' mobile app will provide usage and engagement metrics that you can translate into customer behavior analysis. Each month of analytics will tell a story—whether you're gaining traction online or losing it, or generating new leads. Those insights can inform new strategies for improving digital interactions with your customers.
2. Purchase History and Transactional Data
The second data point on your customer data mining agenda should include purchase history and other transactions. Knowing and understanding customer purchases and online transactions can provide a lot of information about their preferences. You can also use these valuable engagement insights to make improvements, like combining an API interface with your CRM to help save customers time during these engagements. Amazon catalogs buyer histories and conveniently showcases images of those past purchases, hoping to inspire "buy again" interactions and subscription services. Use your customer purchase data to tell you which products are hot sellers and to make improvements that will positively influence the buyer's online journey.
3. Customer Feedback and Reviews
Here's a data point you collect or have immediate access to, and probably aren't using to its full potential—customer feedback and reviews. Data mine for customer opinions about your brand, their experiences, and your core offerings. You can then leverage those ongoing insights as improvements to save time and reduce friction for future buyers. And those rave reviews can be magical for promoting top-selling products and services, inspiring others to follow suit.
4. Social Media Activity and Engagement
Start paying closer attention to the metrics you get from your company's social media pages. This is where you can discover what your online audiences "like," "love," and "share." It can be very telling to see which topics or posts engage the most. You can use these metrics to drive better, more engaging social campaigns moving forward. You will see which social strategies weren't as effective, which hashtags garnered more interactions, and which campaigns led to the most conversions. Those Meta analytics can be game-changing for improving and streamlining your customers' experiences.
5. Customer Service Inquiries and Support Tickets
Another informative dataset you're likely already collecting for your business involves customer service inquiries and technical support tickets. Understanding the issues your customers are having in the form of support requests will help you identify key areas of improvement. This could include technical issues with an online shopping cart, alerting you to site concerns, or shipping issues such as late deliveries—all of these metrics help you identify key gaps in your service.
6. Demographic and Psychographic Data
Demographics are metrics that measure certain characteristics about your customers, like age, income, and geographic region. Psychographic data measures the opinions and attitudes of your customers, including preferences and needs. Your online and in-person engagements can help you gather both forms of data. These insights will help to confirm your target audiences, align your buyer personas and improve marketing strategies. If most of your buyers are female and from a certain region in Michigan, for example, your team would be able to adjust the marketing focus accordingly.
7. Third-Party Data Providers and Market Research Firms
Data reporting can also involve third-party data providers and market research firms. If there are certain insights you aren't able to collect in-house, it's possible to outsource those data points to third parties that have the resources and up-to-date analytics. For those companies looking to venture into new markets, offer a new product, or expand into new niches, market research firms can provide the survey data you need to effectively conduct customer behavior analysis.
8. Loyalty Program Participation and Rewards Data
Does your company offer a rewards platform or loyalty program? If so, you have access to loads of consumer-centric data there, too. Consider data mining your existing programs to spot new consumer hot topics, emerging trends, or unique challenges that you can then aim to address. Consider reaching out to your rewards program members directly with your own surveys and opinion quizzes. Analytics from these types of feedback methods can greatly boost the effectiveness of your marketing, sales, and customer experience strategies.
If you're reviewing your current business trajectory, hoping for betting insights, and wishing for a way to predict your customers' behaviors, stop. You likely already have all the tools and data you need, including these eight core data resources. Use what you already have to learn how to stay relevant, ahead, and in tune with your customers' every whim.