Customer Intelligence (CI): What is it and Why it Matters for your Business


Customer Intelligence (CI): What is it and Why it Matters for your Business Customer Intelligence
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With the increasing amount of competition everyday, businesses must find new and innovative ways to meet their customers’ wants and needs more effectively. In order to effectively address their customers’ demands, organizations must first develop a thorough understanding of their preferences, behaviors, motivations, and habits. Businesses that can successfully gather and analyze such customer data in an efficient way will be able to meet the needs of their customers and develop a competitive edge within their industry. 

In today’s article, we will explore the concept of customer intelligence to understand how it can be leveraged by businesses to gather actionable insights and address their customers’ wants more effectively. 

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What is Customer Intelligence?

Customer intelligence, or CI, refers to the process of collecting, analyzing, and acting on vast amounts of customer data that is gathered from internal and external sources. 

Today, technology drives almost everything in the world and it has become the key tool leveraged by organizations to learn about their customers. Every single interaction between an organization and a customer is recorded and stored. This means that businesses have access to cosmic amounts of structured and unstructured data that can be leveraged to gather useful insights on their customers. 

A statistic by Epsilon reflects that “80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences”.

Businesses today have access to data that facilitates highly personalized customer journeys. This includes customer data such as their interests, their needs, their preferences, their demographic details, and even their behavior. All this information can be used to tailor the customer experience of each customer according to their unique personas so that their wants and needs can be addressed more effectively and so that they’re more likely to make a purchase and be satisfied with their overall experience with the organization.

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Customer Intelligence Framework

The general framework followed by customer intelligence systems involves four key steps: 

  • Step 1: Collect Customer Data 

The first step in creating a customer intelligence system is to gather customer data from all channels; offline and online. This includes website activity, emails, phone calls, mobile app activity, purchase history, contact center recordings, and more. The data collected could be behavioral, demographic, psychographic, attitudinal, geographic, or even transactional.

Gathering various types of data is important as it allows for the creation of rich and comprehensive customer profiles that give us a better understanding of individual customers and also facilitate the creation of customer segments. 

  • Step 2: Categorize Data 

Once you’ve gathered your customer data, the next step is to categorize it so that it can be analyzed more effectively. There are many ways by which data can be classified and categorized. One of the ways to do so is to categorize the data based on how feedback was received by the organization. 

The three key ways in which feedback is received are direct feedback, indirect feedback, and inferred feedback. Direct feedback is provided to a business directly from the customers whereas indirect feedback is received by gathering customer inputs from social media or the firm’s contact center. Inferred feedback is not provided by customers but is instead “inferred” by the firm based on purchase history, location-based data, search history, and so on. 

  • Step 3: Analyze Data 

The next step is to analyze the data using analytical tools that help identify trends and patterns within the data.

The customer data gathered by businesses generally exists in very large volumes that are extremely difficult to structure and analyze. However, now with the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), firms can analyze extremely vast volumes of data in real-time.

Customer intelligence platforms, such as Voxco intelligence, facilitate predictive customer analytics and aid in the extraction of actionable insights in just minutes. 

  • Step 4: Extract and Share Insights

After the analysis of the data, we move on to the final step which involves extracting and sharing insights. The patterns and trends found in the analysis phase should be used to extract insights and make decisions that will help improve customer experience.

These actionable insights, once gathered, most be shared with all relevant stakeholders within the organization using visual charts or dashboards. By informing all relevant parties on the extracted insights, all departments within the organization can come together to execute the strategies that will help improve customer interactions, customer experience, and the overall customer journey.

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The Ways in Which Customer Intelligence (CI) can be Used to Enhance Customer Experience (CX)

Customer intelligence can be used in numerous ways to enhance touchpoints and improve customer experience. Let’s take a look at a few examples of how CI is leveraged by organizations:

  • Create Persona-Based Interactions: CI systems can be used to understand unique customer segments that share similar behavioral characteristics. Once these segments are defined, marketing messages can be tailored to the preference and buying patterns of these groups. 
  • Increase Cross-Selling and Upselling: CI systems help forecast customer response to upcoming campaigns by analyzing past data on customers’ propensity for new offerings. This can be used to fine-tune channel marketing, improve campaign sales rates, reduce marketing costs, and increase marketing ROI. 
  • Provide Relevant Product Recommendations: According to Invesp  “56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a website that recommends products”. This statistic reflects the importance of relevant product recommendations. CI systems provide insights on customer preferences so that each customer can receive recommendations based on their search history and purchase activity. 
  • Optimize Contact Center Efficiency: CI systems can also be used to manage and analyze contact center data and measure the effectiveness of agents. Once this data is gathered, it can be used to identify ways to minimize costs and improve customer experience.
  • Apply Channel Analytics: Customer intelligence systems can be used to analyze customer behavior based on the channel they are using. This analytics can help the business identify the ways in which customer satisfaction can be optimized in every channel.

Why Should Customer Intelligence Matter to Your Business?

To understand the importance of customer intelligence, let’s take a look at some of the many advantages that are enjoyed by businesses that leverage its use:

  • Increased Personalization: A statistic found by Accenture reflects that “91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them”. An effective customer intelligence system allows organizations to create highly personalized interactions with each customer which in turn increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. 
  • Increased Customer Retention: CI systems allow brands to improve their interactions with customers by making them feel valued and understood. This will result in an increase in customer loyalty and retention. 
  • Increased Effectiveness of Ad Spend: With the use of CI, marketers can deliver ads to more targeted customer segments and can ensure that ads are not targeted to an ambiguous market segment. This increases the effectiveness of their ads and helps minimize wasted ad spend. 
  • Real-Time Marketing: Customer intelligence can be used to target the right customers at the right time with the help of activity-driven messages and recommendations.
  • Provides an Integrated Customer View Platform: In order to create rich and in-depth customer profiles, you must be able to unify cross-channel data (from online and offline channels) into a single integrated platform. This customer view facilitates improved analysis of customer profiles and gives organizations better control over their customer data.

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Customer Intelligence Platform

What is a Customer Intelligence Platform?

A customer intelligence platform is a system that helps simplify and improve customer data management. It leverages the use of advanced artificial intelligence to gather and analyze data so that actionable insights can be extracted and strategies can be developed. 

Some general functions carried out by customer intelligence platforms are: 

  • Gathers all customer data onto a unified platform
  • Organizes vast, complex, and unstructured data so that analysis can be performed
  • De-duplicates and resolves the core master data
  • Uses dashboards and statistics to display identified patterns or trends within the data
  • Has a range of tools that facilitate the analysis of different types of data
Customer Intelligence (CI): What is it and Why it Matters for your Business Customer Intelligence

Voxco Intelligence

Voxco intelligence is a customer intelligence platform that helps organizations leverage powerful insights from cosmic volumes of siloed data with the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

So why choose Voxco Intelligence? 

  • Unifies fragmented customer data onto a single platform.
  • Eliminates existing data silos and provides an integrated view of omnichannel customer interactions. 
  • Uses AI-driven predictive analytics to analyze data in real time.

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Customer intelligence enables businesses to process large amounts of customer data to extract key insights that allow them to communicate with each individual customer in a way that makes them feel appreciated and valued. It elevates marketers’ capabilities to target customer needs and enriches interactions within the customer journey. The resulting increase in overall customer satisfaction inevitably benefits the organization as well by improving brand perception, increasing word-of-mouth marketing, and boosting customer loyalty and lifetime value (CLV). 

Therefore, businesses that have a well-executed customer intelligence system can achieve a competitive advantage within their industry, improve marketing ROI, enrich customer experience, and achieve increased customer retention (higher CLV).

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