Data drives most of the big decisions made at any company, from business development to marketing strategy. In other words, data is power. According to a survey by The Direct Marketing Association, more than 80 percent of respondents will increase data-driven marketing. While there are hundreds of ways to use data, many companies are harnessing its power to improve customer experience. Here’s how.

Find inactive customers and pull them back in

Not every customer will become a repeat customer, maybe they no longer have a need for the product or maybe their financial situation has changed and they can no longer afford what is being offered, that’s just the way it is. Sometimes, however, companies overlook an opportunity to improve their strategy and draw inactive customers back to the brand. Start by looking at the conversion paths of these customers and examining quantitative data. It will help you understand why customers aren’t repeat customers and make changes to onboard them once again.

Provide curated content to different segments

Data will help you segment your customers and identify which content will increase the chances of conversion. What millennials find attractive about your product or brand is likely different than what draws in Baby Boomers. Use data to understand how customers are interacting with your website and other content. This will illuminate what is successful and with who and will help you understand how different segments move through the conversion funnel. If data suggests that different segments react wildly different to certain content, you can use this information to curate more personal content that will improve customer experience and improve engagement.

Assess consumer progress

Analytics tools, like Google analytics, which is free, or KISSmetrics, can help you track different acquisition channels. It is said that first impressions are the most important, and that’s true in online marketing as well. Understanding where your customers are coming from, like whether it’s via organic search or paid advertising, will help you see which channels are performing the best and which need some TLC.

Anticipate consumer needs

In the past, companies mostly relied on post-purchase surveys to gain insight. And sometimes, changes weren’t implemented soon enough to really make any measurable difference. However, big data allows companies to establish baseline behavior and predict future behaviors. For instance, you may be able to predict whether or not someone will terminate a subscription and proactively offer incentives to keep them on board. Or, maybe customers who buy object A are more likely to buy object B as well. Rather than hoping they will make the purchase, you can target ads for object B towards these consumers, offer a discount on object B, or suggest it before the consumer checks out.

Conduct interviews with different consumer groups

One of the best sources of data is your consumer. Conducting interviews, whether through focus groups, surveys, or other methods, will help you best understand what campaigns work for each segment. There are many tools available that help companies target specific user groups, and depending on what information you’re looking for, you can gain insight on your overall product, specific products, or even features. Sometimes, just emailing customers and asking them if they are willing to have a conversation is all it takes. Many consumers are more than willing to provide feedback about what is working for them and what isn’t.

While data is extremely important to improving the customer experience, don’t overlook other basic things that can go a long way to keeping customers happy. For instance, if you have international users, consider serving professionally translated content. You can also use closed captioning services or videos your company posts. Statistically, closed captioning increases engagement in addition to SEO efforts. Ultimately, customers value experience over just about everything else—including price—and data is the foundation for an unmatched customer experience.
By: Lee Flynn