What is Customer Intelligence?

office 2539844 1920 What is Customer Intelligence?

Customer intelligence is about understanding the customer’s behaviour (through insights from customer’s demographics, interests, buying habits, preferences, and needs, etc) that is useful for the companies to adapt and to meet the customer demands.

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Customer intelligence helps to communicate with each customer in ways that will make them feel understood and valued. This behaviour enhances brand perception and promotes customer loyalty. Leveraging customer intelligence boosts business growth, improves customer acquisition, retention, satisfaction, revenue and customer value.

Some of the questions the company looks for that’s significant is

  • What engages visitors well before ordering.
  • What channels work for delivering value.
  • Their background information like demographics, priorities, etc.
  • What products they interact with. etc

Customer intelligence is achieved by gathering data to get effective insight. Data is gathered in many ways like surveys, observations, feedback, reviews, etc. It is categorized as

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Strategies and Data collection:

The strategy used in the business differs depending on the new arrivals and existing customers. The data collected cannot be misused as the privacy of the customers has to be maintained. Companies track the user experience management and analytical report like CRM, Voice of the Customer (VOC), social, mobile and web analytics to accumulate data. Here explained below is one way to ascertain data.

  • Ways to accumulate data and master in customer intelligence:

Acquiring knowledge about the latest trends and discussions of it from the customer’s point of view is called the Voice of the customer (VOC). These inputs can be inferred by using different channels and flexible tools. Here, the value of retaining the existing customer over acquiring a new one is significantly higher. Some of the methods to collect Voice of the Customer (VOC) are

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Surveys and Feedback are carried in both online and offline mode, while Face-to-face interaction is preferred in Interviews and Focus groups.

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Companies are working towards deriving the emotions of the customers through voice to text mode. It can be converted (using AI) and be used for advanced decision making. Customer feedbacks in real-time will help in solving issues and risks the business faces. It helps in understanding the grey areas which must be improved to be competitive in the market. Voice of the customer is an efficient tool in hitting the market at the right time with the right product as data (ROI calculated) will let us know what or how changes had to be made to evaluate success.

A Source of revenue:

Companies adopt customer intelligence and use the data insight for increasing sales and revenue. Customer intelligence can do wonders when leveraged properly. It helps in the reduction of delayed efforts and trains a better sales team to drive ROI(Return on Investment). Prioritizing a consumer-driven approach creates more effective marketing, sales, and retention strategies.

A study recently made revealed that just 1% of customers who return for a subsequent visit to a site increase overall revenue by approximately 10%. This study projects that if online retailers retained 10% more of their existing customers, they would double their revenue. Thus by reducing the customer defection(churn ) rate by just 5% can increase profitability from 25 to 125%.

Positive reviews and negative reviews:

Positive responses from the customers improve good morality and help in a good business boost. Likewise, negative reviews also help in creating different opportunities and boosts in business thus improving sales and revenue of the company. In a study conducted using Voc with customers, it is projected that businesses keeping a close eye on the negative feedbacks brought up different solutions by producing new functions, models, etc to satisfy the needs of the customers which increased the sales and revenue of the business and brought down the customer churn rate.


Companies like Amazon uses customer intelligence and gets insights about customers when customers browse for the products. The intelligence reads the area and the delivery location of the customers and finds out the average income used in the area surrounding and recommends the products that they might be interested in considering the budget and also the products similar people purchased. The demographic data collected are also used by retailers. Real-time analytics drives revenue opportunities with machine learning.  Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media and high-performance e-commerce sites are fueling these expectations. In the case of Amazon, the work is handled in a central warehouse that has servers running oracle on Linux. Similarly, many other e-commerce companies use customer intelligence for better sales and improvisation.

Steps in customer intelligence:

A companies growth is achieved in two main ways,(I.e) increasing customer Lifetime Value (LTV) and acquiring more customers. A recent study about customer intelligence showed that “A company that said to earn $1bn annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $ 700 Mn within 3 years of investing in customer experience”.

Certain steps are followed in customer intelligence to deliver actionable insights. These steps help companies in making decisions that are suitable for customer’s preferences, interactions, and expectations. Better customer intelligence will make the customer satisfied and plays a significant role in the customer’s purchasing decisions.

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For the step 2 process, customer Intelligence primarily focuses on the customer journey. This journey helps to track the marketing activities of the business and helps in better customer communication. It’s important to view and keep track of customer’s perception at various stages over time for valuable insight.

  1. Customer Journey Mapping:

Customers are a viable source of revenue growth. The customer journey is nothing but the lifecycle of customers relating to the purchasing activities. It is valued to ensure success at each stage of the journey. The steps in the journey are adoption, retention, expansion, and advocacy.

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Successfully guiding customers through the four stages of the customer journey is called customer growth; it leads to maximized customer lifetime value, churns reductions and ultimately increased revenue.

  1. Customer churn and retaining:
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PwC surveyed 15,000 consumers and found that 1 in 3 customers leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 92% completely abandons a company after two or three negative interactions. The ambience, price and the behaviour of the staff in the shop matter to make the customers stay. Customer churn is the rate calculation of existing customers abandoning the company. A single change can make them leave the shop which is bad for the business hence Customer intelligence combined with the right sales strategy gives the ability to present personalized offers, advertising, and incentives to motivate repeat consumers and encourage loyalty. Data inferred from background information let companies make wise decisions that help in retaining customers limiting the churn rates.

For the final step 4 process, if companies adopt proper compartmentalization (separating something into smaller sections or categories) by having teams gather and analyze the data and bring out better ideas rather than a single person, great customer intelligence will be achieved bringing in revenue for the business.

Case studies:

  1. A fund management firm that invests in different sectors like Energy, Healthcare, Real estate, Finance, and Information Technology wants to understand if it’s a good decision to still invest in an energy-based business. For this, interviews were conducted across tier 1 and tier 2 cities with the required sample size, focusing on key market players, Market experts, and customers for the research. Here, customer intelligence provided insights on various aspects of the energy sector, showing that there is a huge scope in the market and that it’s a good decision to invest in this business.
  2. A retail store despite having many customers had a problem with stagnant turnover. Customer intelligence provided insights about the activities of the customers. It showed that the customers who frequented the shop stopped coming due to the high price. It also noted the customer churn rates and helped in making decisions and solutions to reduce customer churn and improve the sales and the areas of improvisation.

Study shows,42% survey respondents said they’d pay more for a friendlier service while 52% would pay a premium for faster service and 63% of respondents are willing to pay more for a simpler experience.

Customer intelligence platforms:

Some of the customer intelligence platforms are:

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