Understanding your competitive advantage: Customer Intelligence, its importance and how to master it.
If you truly know your customers, you will find your business becoming more profitable and your growth opportunities will be on the rise. Through this, your marketing initiatives are becoming more focused and your strategies are becoming more aligned. Customer intelligence, simply put, is how well you know your customer. The A-Z, the ins and outs, the emotions and the mind, the needs and the wants of your customer’s entire being.
To become a customer analyst, you should get to know your customers like they are your best friends and in doing so you should be able to predict their next move and anticipate their reactions. With this knowledge you know how best to service your customer, giving them a great experience worth remembering.
There are both internal and external ways in which customer data can be retrieved. We are living in a technology rich era, there are many software tools and programs that can help you collect external data to get to know your customer’s demographics, buying patterns, geographic, and can even capture what your customer’s opinion or view of the company or brand is, by analyzing this data you collect from them.
Internal data is priceless, very effective and gets a ‘caring’ message across to the customer and makes them feel heard. Getting to know your customer through one-on-one human interaction and giving them the customer service that they dream of, is something no data capturing program can accomplish.
5 Steps on how to become a customer analyst to help you achieve superior customer service:
Knowing your company, the brand or products, helps you understand the business goals and objectives better. Knowing your role in the company and what your strengths and weaknesses are, is important when dealing with difficult conversations. Knowledge is power, and knowing why something is good or bad makes fixing it easier.
Through identifying your emotional intelligence level and investing continuously in developing your skills, your emotions won’t get the better of you in certain situations. Being able to control your emotions when you are having a bad day and understanding how to deal with your own anger and frustration will equip you to assist a customer going through similar feelings effectively. The five components of emotional intelligence according to Daniel Goleman are:
- Internal motivation
- Social Skills
Without emotional control and not having an understanding of a customer’s feelings, will make it difficult to find common ground.
Be open to change. If all the data has been collected, you should be open to appropriate holistic change. Changes such as, your attitude towards customers but also changing systems and processes within the company to make it more ‘user-friendly’ both aimed at employees and customers.
Change can be difficult, but businesses who don’t change at the rapid speed their competitors do, get left behind. Improving the customer’s journey and experience is forever changing and for businesses to succeed, change is not an option, but a necessity.
Communication to both sides will dramatically increase positive attitudes.
Communicate insights and motivate your team members. Serving a customer is not only obtaining the data necessary to understand them better, but also about communicating the data to your team members. Communicate your findings in plain language so that everyone understands. Remember that customer intelligence and customer service are both concepts that all employees can benefit from.
Your strengths and the effectiveness of your communication skills will directly influence your customer’s experience showing just how much you care about them. Reviewing and rewriting company marketing and communication material like brochures, newsletters, PR articles, website content etc. into understandable content aimed specifically at your customer, can be of great help in the future growth and success of the company.
Keep up with the trends. Like everything else now a days, customer attitudes, perceptions and behavior changes daily. Staying on top of the changes, regularly upskilling yourself and developing your soft skillset will make a world of difference. Today, customers are influenced by a variety of factors including how people treat them (customer service). Poor customer service can ultimately damage a company’s reputation or revenue.
Employers mistakenly think that only the staff directly communicating with the customer – sales staff or the Customer Service staff- should have Customer Intelligence. Customer Service is not a department, but an attitude. It is vital that all employees know the customers so that everyone can work towards the same goal in every aspect and area of the business.
The Mindspa Institute’s Customer Intelligence training course equips all employees with the tools and skills to enhance their own Emotional Intelligence. Team members improve their inter-personal skills, communication skills and enable them to deal with conflict in an effective manner. It will equip staff with tools to manage themselves and their team in an emotionally intelligent manner.