Businesses have always relied on what their customers tell them in order to improve their services and products. Now, businesses don’t need to wait for their customers to speak directly to them. Using big data can help to know what your customers want before they even know what they want. And it’s not enough to simply know what your customers need now. You also need to know what they’ll need in the future.

Big data can help businesses understand how customers choose to engage, who they are, and what they want. A problem emerges when there is so much data that it becomes difficult to manage. Data experts can encourage the use of data collation, curation, and utilization. So, the question is, how can a company use big data to better provide services and solutions to their customers?

Related: How customer analytics can improve marketing and CRM

An example of a company getting the use of big data right is American Express and its air miles loyalty scheme partner, Acxiom. This scheme increased revenue, improved brand awareness, and encouraged loyalty. Customers earned points every time they used their American Express card which could then be used to purchase flight tickets. Complex infrastructure was required to create the scheme and although American Express had initially planned to run it in-house, the intricate system had to be outsourced. Speed and security, in particular, were two of the biggest concerns in managing the system. Both companies use the plethora of data available through the system to better understand their customers’ habits and lifestyles. The result is a well-matched, successful loyalty program.

How can your brand use big data to match this success?

Customer databases must be current and updated often

Customer data quickly becomes outdated. This means you won’t be able to contact your customers or personalize their experiences and will result in repelled rather than engaged customers.

Embrace a customer’s preferred method of communication

Customers should be able to select their preferred method of communication. It’s important you respect their wishes and only communicate with them in this way. For example, If American Express had wanted to keep their loyalty scheme members informed, they would contact them via email, SMS or phone, as is their preference. Otherwise, you may contact them using all three methods, annoying your customers and possibly losing them in the process.

Make use of omnichannel

It’s essential that your customers have the same experience of your brand whether they’re experiencing your website, mobile app or print adverts. In the same way, someone who has browsed flights on your website needs to be able to pick up at the same point when using your app. If you have the data available to let you know how customers prefer to engage with your brand, you’ll have happier, more satisfied customers.

Emphasize the importance of security

Trust is essential in the relationship between brands and their customers. All of that big data must be kept private and your customers must assume their information is safe when signing up to your customer relationship management system.

 

There you have it, a few simple tips to help your business successfully use big data to engage your customers. If you’d like to read more about the importance of your business having good CRM, read our recent article. It explores why it’s essential that you keep your existing clients happy. Increased sales and improved employee retention are just two of the reasons.

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