A September 2021 Statista survey among marketing professionals worldwide reveals that 60% of respondents said they used customer data the majority of the time when making decisions.

Without a doubt, customer data is fuel to all customer-centric operations. Organizational procedures backed by customer data are the ones bringing desired customer-based outcomes. Today's conscious leaders understand the role of customer data while making decisions and acting on business growth strategies. But, understanding and implementing a concept are two very different aspects.

To check the status, you can ask yourself if or not your company is making use of customer data to its fullest. Is your company moving on the right trajectory with the available customer data?

Most of the time, it is difficult for brands to incorporate the targeted measures that require the utilization of customer data. Often, leaders get behind in competition due to a lack of proper execution approaches to the processes involving customer data as an element. They find it difficult to catch up with ways their organizations can take action with customer data to function in the customers' best interests.

5 Steps to Embrace Customer-Centricity Through Customer Data

Your brand might have used several ways to enforce customer-centricity in the whole business system. But, one of the most authentic ways to consider achieving the same is customer data. 

Customer data speaks for the customers' desires and lets the brand know what solution consumers expect. With an in-depth comprehension of the customers' wants, the brand can focus more on building strategies tailored to deliver appropriate solutions to the customers. Other than that,  customer data assist in developing marketing insights that aid in creating targeted offers. 

In this way, customer data can help a brand become customer-centric. Nevertheless, you still require the methods through which you, as a leader, enclasp and utilize customer data to build a customer-oriented organization.

1) Support VoC Data and Customer Research

The CEO of Coca-Cola, James Quincey, said, "We’re listening carefully and working to ensure that consumers are firmly at the center of our business so we can continue to grow responsibly. If we embrace where the consumer is going, our brands will thrive, and our system will continue to grow."

The primary reason for employing Voice of the Customer (VoC) data and customer research is to improve the customer experience. The data entitles your team to understand and track the customer perspectives and behaviors. Recognizing the exact value demanded by customers becomes a straightforward task if the brand starts weaving the solutions considering VoC data and customer research. 

The alignment of VoC with business objectives lets your brand make systematic modifications in strategies and processes, promoting a customer-first mindset. An outstanding example of a well-recognized company that demonstrated the use of VoC is Coca-Cola. In 2017, Coca-Cola revealed its new strategy, which focuses on choice, convenience, and the consumer

Coca-Cola is winning hearts by listening to customer voices and streamlining business goals with consumer data to become customer-centric. According to a Statista report, based on brand value, Coca-cola stood at the number 1 position for the most valuable soft drink brands worldwide in 2021. 

An organization can make its product audience favorite using data in various ways. Here are a few areas where you can make use of customer data and customer research in your organization:-

  • Gaining clarity about the target audience
  • Segmenting customers into different groups based on common characteristics.
  • Conducting personalized marketing campaigns. 
  • Creating customized offers for customers.
  • Upgrading your business ideals, techniques, and procedures in favor of customers.
  • Identifying opportunities for product innovation and development.
  • Measuring the outcomes of marketing and improving on all branding elements.

2) Break Silos and Share Customer Insights

Serving customers with a suitable product or service is impossible if all departments do not work together. To deliver a great customer experience, all operations, from product ideation to marketing, must align. The organization needs to set a single goal to orient the processes of all departments and get customer-focused outcomes that bring profits and drive brand growth.

The most promising way to combine the efforts of your business units is to allow collaboration supported by customer insights. Customer insights are one of the quality illustrations of customer data in action. Brands must take advantage of customer insights as much as possible to justify the usefulness of customer data and make their organization customer-centered. 

Share the customer insights with divisions to let them know the work needs to flow in a directed manner that would lead to happy customers. Many big companies such as Apple, Nike, Spotify, and many such are tapping into methodologies involving customer insights to capture the attention of the target audience. 

Tesla relies heavily on customer insights to provide a personalized customer experience to its customers. The company is making it super easy for the customers by updating its products with features such as voice command, monitoring driver inattentiveness through a cabin camera, climate controls, and several inbuilt attributes to customize the consumer experience. 

The Model 3 Tesla car provokes the user to create a driver profile when they adjust the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, or exterior side mirrors for the first time. These adjustments and preferences are saved for dynamically personalizing the driver's experience. Further, it allows saving driver profiles to the cloud for smooth access to multiple Tesla vehicles. No wonder why Tesla is getting an exceptional response for its services to customers.

Few actionable customer insights recommendations for leaders to pursue:-

  • Use customer insights to motivate your team. Positive customer responses can push teams to perform better.
  • Construct a robust system for unbeatable customer service.
  • Build strong relations with customers by enhancing communication strategies.
  • Generate more sales by gaining customer trust and loyalty through personalized offerings.

3) Make Use of Persona and Journey Maps

“Hire somebody to do segmentation and figure out how the brand fits in within a persona and into a customer journey map. We need to have a lot of empathy for the customer. Not everybody is close to the customer.” says Jorge Calvachi, Director of Insights at La-Z-Boy Incorporated, in the Clootrack's 102 CX Expert report.

Personas and customer journey maps are the key components of the CX project. Since the development of both entities requires customer data as an ingredient, the customer viewpoint is already in consideration. Your organization can maintain customer-centricity by implementing both in every CX operation to empathize with consumers and build better connections.

With customer personas, organizations can get into the customers' shoes to interpret consumer demands effortlessly and perform in a way that satisfies stakeholders. According to a Gartner report, Organizations having persona development initiatives in place for three or more years are two times more likely to exceed management CX expectations.

Journey maps determination specifies an end-to-end journey of customer interaction with the brand in accordance with the customer personas. The excellent part is advancements in technology have enabled brands to move towards a more optimized approach to the customer journey. They use Customer Journey Orchestration to deliver superior CX. 

Adobe possesses a journey orchestration engine called Journey Orchestration. It helps in the construction of real-time use cases using data stored in data sources. When an event happens, the engine makes a decision to interact with the customer on the grounds of already existing information about that consumer. 

Customer personas and journey maps hold up the fundamental principles of CX management, helping a brand to increase Customer Lifetime Value(CLV). Here are a few tips on the usage of personas and customer journey maps:-

  • Use customer persona to furnish targeted proposals. 
  • Combine the employment of customer journey maps and personas to increase conversion rate by pinpointing and working on customer goals.
  • Refine CX at every customer touchpoint via customer journey mapping.
  • Identify and remove barriers that prevent customers from interacting with the brand.
  • Increase credibility and get ahead of the competition by helping customers to make a seamless start-to-finish transition through the sales funnel.

4) Keep an Eye on Customer Trends 

"Knowing who your customers are is great but knowing how they behave is even better," says Jon Miller, CMO at Demandbase.

If your organization does not encourage and incorporate the use of customer data on a regular basis, your brand is missing a heap of opportunities to draw in potential customers. Repeatedly gathering and analyzing customer data reveals a lot about the frequent changes in customer behavior and expectations due to various influential reasons.

In present scenarios of the 21st century, customers are digitally-aware. They get detailed information about offline and online opportunities in real-time through the internet, which authorizes them to bring a new consumer perspective on the solutions. Brands can readily witness transformations in customer buying behavior. 

As technology is getting better every passing day, consumers' expectations from brands regarding products and services are increasing day by day. In this hyper-competitive world, where countless solutions exist for a single problem, a brand cannot afford to lose even a single buyer to competitors. Interpreting and acting instantaneously on consumer trends through customer insights increases the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score, which directly influences customer retention and acquisition rate in a positive manner.

Clootrack's CX report, which contains the market analysis for the dark chocolate industry, revealed six exciting customer insights that indicated emerging customer trends and preferences in the same industry. According to the report, The top 6 drivers that influenced the purchase decision of customers in the dark chocolate industry are:-

1) Taste of Chocolates

2) Cost

3) Ingredients/Flavors

4) Bitterness

5) Texture

Customer data and analytics keeps your brand updated on consumer trends to act quickly to serve the customer in a shorter period of time and promote customer-centricity in the organization. Here are a few suggestions on how to keep up with customer trends:-

  • Look out and operate on the trending topics customers are talking about online.
  • Perform market analysis by collecting and scrutinizing inputs from customers frequently.
  • Benchmark and start working on your objectives every time you notice a new trend to catch up with the trend swiftly and stay ahead in the race.
  • Study customer statistics published by top organizations to gain knowledge of emerging customer trends.

5) Utilize Customer Data for Business Infrastructure Refinement

The result of how your brand works and reacts to any customer-related assignment defines the brand perception. Refining the business infrastructure in iterations is crucial to preserve a remarkable perception. And to keep the betterment process on, a leader can guide the departments to bring customer data into play. 

Customer data is an asset to the brand as it aid in raising the bar for self-improvement. Establish a system where the teams are always ready to work on continuously incoming customer feedback.

For example, if customer data indicates that your customers are demanding the addition of a new feature in the product, your teams should immediately start the analysis. Study the scope of success and initiate strategizing the flow of processes and delivery. Check for the sufficiency of resources needed for the development and refine the infrastructure accordingly to carry on business procedures sufficiently. 

Using customer data, a brand can effectuate a customer-centric mindset that administers to obtain aimed results. Here are a few pieces of advice for executives on where to utilize customer data to refine the business infrastructure:- 

  • Measure customer metrics to keep a check on your performance.
  • Optimize the CX operations to reduce the customer churn rate.
  •  Plan on up-selling and cross-selling methods.
  • Govern efforts and processes to create a unified customer experience.
  • Estimate the outcomes of business undertaking through the lens of customer data and improve on branding elements.

To Conclude

From customer expectations to their reaction, organizations can interpret every aspect of customer requirements with customer data. Top executives are mindful of the significance of customer data in regard to the customer advantages and ROI it generates. But, they get behind in the ways that permit them to make most of the customer data to enforce customer-centricity in the organization. 

To summarize, here are the most effective course of action leaders must sign-up for to make their organization customer-centric:-

1) Support VoC Data and Customer Research

2) Break Silos and Share Customer Insights

3) Make Use of Persona and Journey Maps

4) Keep an Eye on Customer Trends 

5) Utilize Customer Data for Business Infrastructure Refinement

A brand following the above measures will never fail to evolve as a customer-centric organization to please its customers and get preferred outputs. 

Read more:- 10 Customer-Centric Practices For Greatest Returns on CX Investment.