`3To build products and services that your customers love, you must clearly understand their needs, expectations, and behaviors. Customer insight helps businesses to know their customers better and build great products for them. 

If you want to deliver excellent customer service, build tailored solutions for your customers, and establish amazing relationships with them, you must leverage customer insight. In this article, we'll show you how to make data work for you by gaining important customer insights. 

What is Customer Insight? 

Customer insight is an aggregation of different pieces of information about customer trends and behaviors. In other words, it refers to different data sets that give you a distinct idea of who your customers are, what they want, and how they think/behave. 

To gather customer insight, organizations utilize different data collection methods including surveys, questionnaires, and market research to help them arrive at realistic conclusions about consumer behaviors. These methods help you to extract meaningful data from access to information like customer purchasing history, browsing history, etc. 

customer-insight

Every interaction a customer has with your product or service leaves a footprint and many times, these footprints form repeated patterns that are highly suggestive of customers' preferences. Customer insight means gathering and interpreting these footprints to allow you to gain clarity on your target market.

Importance of Customer Insight 

Even the most successful enterprises have dedicated teams that track and interpret consumer behaviors for customer insight. Ultimately, they use the retrieved information to redefine and update their product or service to help them serve customers better. 

Let's highlight a few other importance of customer insight: 

  1. It helps you to identify new trends and developments in your industry. This is because customers usually hint at these developments; even before the market fully tilts towards them. 
  2. Gathering and processing information for customer insight gives you a clear idea of industry competitors. As customers interact with your product, they may provide information about your competitors and how they stand out for them. This is a good way to know who your competitors are. 
  3. It helps you to map out a more interactive path for the buyer journey, as a result of a clearer understanding of customers' needs and expectations at different points in the buying process.
  4. With customer insight, you can customize your product and personalize it to help you better connect with your audience.
  5. It helps you to create strategic and effective marketing strategies to reach your clients and boost sales and engagement.
  6. Customer insight makes your organization more effective and efficient because you can channel resources to client priority areas when you have information about their needs.
  7. Utilizing customer insight for organizational decision making often boosts customer experience for your business and clients. 
  8. It empowers you to predict market behaviors which translates to effective decision making for your organization.
  9. It helps you to build realistic contexts and expectations around your product or service.
  10. Customer insight is the bridge that connects client feedback to marketing, publicity, and revenue. 

Examples of Customer Insight 

  • E-Commerce: Using Google Analytics, an online retail store discovers that 70% of its web visitors spend the most time in the children's wear section, and 1 in every 3 of these visitors check out multiple items. Based on this data, the store can create targeted ads to increase sales and boost conversions from these visits. 
  • Technology: A Saas company relies on predictive analytics to identify customer churn patterns and discovers that 80% of first-time clients are not likely to return after patronizing the brand. To fix this, the business launches a follow-up campaign including discounts, promos, and personalized emails to woo first-timers to become customers. 
  • Rental Service: A car rental company relies on customer insight for brand and marketing strategies. It discovers that customers who enjoy lower discounts are strangely more likely to patronize the brand repeatedly unlike customers who enjoy higher discount offers. Based on this data, the company limits higher discount offers and focuses on multiplying lower discounts to service more customers. 

Types of Customer Insight 

There are different types of customer trends that organizations must prioritize as they look to create value for their clients. To guide you, here are a few insights that are extremely suggestive of customers’ preferences and behaviors.

types-of-customer-insight

Sales Trends

Sales trends refer to sales-related information that helps you create effective sales and marketing strategies for your business. As customers interact with your business, they will typically make sales inquiries that hint at their preferences or needs. You can piece the data together to create a solid sales framework. 

To establish sales trends over some time, pay attention to product availability inquiries; especially if your organization offers varying products and services. Also, looking at promos and product features that your clients excitedly ask about, gives you a clearer idea of what they want. 

Benefits of Sales Trends

  1. It helps you to know why customers choose one product or service over the other.
  2. With sales trends, you will identify high demand products.
  3. It makes it easy for you to track product demand spikes. 

Product or Process Data 

Many times, customers reach out to your organization to report and resolve any challenges that they encounter with your product, service, or process. As they do this, they provide useful feedback that can help you simplify and redefine these things to better suit their needs. 

This type of customer insight plays an important role in product development so that you can improve on the features and functionalities of your product using actionable data. Of course, as a business, you should strive to provide smooth and problem-free product or service experiences to their customers, but without customer insights, this is nearly impossible. 

Benefits of Product/ Process Data

  1. It helps you to discover and solve product and process issues faced by clients.
  2. It helps you to determine timeframes for challenges.
  3. Gathering this data makes it possible for you to identify causal factors and outline the products and processes that present the greatest challenges for customers. 

Feedback

Customer feedback, whether positive or negative, is very important for your business as this allows you to know whether your clients are satisfied or dissatisfied with your product or service. Feedback plays important role in organizations, including helping businesses improve customer experience and establish mutually beneficial relationships.   

There are many ways to gather and process feedback from customers. You can schedule review calls for clients to provide feedback, organize structures, semi-structured and unstructured interviews, place suggestions, and feedback boxes on your office premises or send out surveys and questionnaires to your customers. 

Benefits of Feedback

  1. It is a good way to measure customer satisfaction.
  2. Leveraging customer feedback allows for better decision making.
  3. It helps you to create a better customer experience. 

Socio-Demographics

Socio-demographic data resulting from customers' interactions with different brand touchpoints help you to profile your clients accurately and place them into accurate customer segments. These data sets would answer questions like: "What age groups do my product appeal to?" "What kind of people use my product?" 

Usually, you can get this data via social listening; that is, paying attention to online trends and behaviors as customers interact with your brand across different social media platforms. With the right tools, social demographic data allows you to create accurate buyer personas and profiles that outline the age, gender, occupation, level of income, and location of different customer segments. 

Personal Interest and Lifestyle

Collecting information on the personal interests and lifestyles of your customers is important because it allows you to align your brand with their preferences. With these pieces of information, you can create a business that resonates with the interests of your target audience and turn them into lifelong advocates for your brand. 

How to Gather Customer Insight 

As we've said earlier, customers leave footprints as they move along the buyer journey and interact with your business. Your job, as the business owner, is to track these footprints, gather the information, organize them into datasets, and utilize them to create customer-centric value for your business

There are different methods, tools, and ways you can gather customer insight for your business; even before you fully hit the ground running. Here are 6 different approaches you can take to help you achieve this easily.

Observation

Whether participant observation or non-participant observation, this is one of the most effective ways to access customer or consumer insights for your business. It involves paying attention to customers as they interact in their natural environment to get a clear idea of how they behave and what they like. 

For example, you can stroll to the mall section where your product is placed and interact with customers as they choose groceries for the week. If someone chooses a competitor's product over yours, you can create a conversation with them about this choice and find out why they did that. 

Attend Trade Fairs, Exhibitions, and Business Summits

This world ideally for B2B businesses. Events like these always have networking sessions where businesses pitch to potential clients and partners. It is also a good opportunity for you to observe other businesses in your industry to see how they interact with their target audience. 

Social Listening

Social listening is an important part of audience research that involves paying attention to how your customers behave across different social media platforms concerning your brand. Social listening allows you to track customer feedback, brand mentions, and other developments in your industry. 

Gather Customer Feedback

Use surveys, questionnaires, and other tools to collect feedback from customers about your product or service. Include good survey questions in your survey that allow customers to share their authentic opinions about what you offer and how it can be adapted to suit their needs better. 

Measure Customer Sentiments

You can measure customer sentiments using pop-ups, Net Promoter Score, and rating questions. These methods make it easy for customers to communicate their levels of satisfaction with your product and service delivery. It's best to measure customer sentiment immediately after an interaction with your brand. 

Third-Party Data

Information contained in white papers, market research publications, and existing data from surveys and questionnaires can provide a clear idea of the needs of your audience. These secondary data sources provide generic insights on who your customers are, plus existing behavioral trends and patterns. 

Best Customer Insight Tools 

Here are some of the best tools that can be used to gather valuable customer insights for your business.

Formplus Surveys

Organizations use surveys and questionnaires to collect customer insights from different sources including the ones we have listed in this article. These surveys and questionnaires are administered either physically; that is with physical forms and face-to-face interviews or online via online forms.

Effective customer insight surveys list good survey questions that allow you to gather objective information from customers without boxing them into a corner or making them choose predetermined responses. Also, a good customer insight survey is well-designed to limit survey and research biases. 

A great way of administering surveys are online forms. Unlike physical forms, online forms allow you to collect data from multiple respondents at the same time. In addition to this, they offer protection from common elements and occurrences that can damage paper forms and make you lose data. 

You can create and share your online consumer insight survey with Formplus. With multiple form sharing options, 30+ form fields, Google Sheets integration, form customization, and other features, this data collection tool supports a seamless collection and organization of customer insight. 

Once you sign up for your Formplus account via www.formpl.us, you get access to different form templates including customer insight surveys that you can modify to suit the needs of your organization. You can also create your survey from scratch in the form builder. 

Google Analytics

This is a free digital software that allows you to analyze your website visitors to retrieve meaningful data about them. Many businesses depend on Google analytics to uncover hidden trends and study customer behaviors to deliver better results.

Google Analytics saves and breaks down the details of every visit to your site. Then, it presents data trends over a fixed period so that you know what people do when they visit your website, how long they stay and the pages they visit on your website.

customer-insight-tool

So how is this useful for customer insight?  Customers' behaviors when they visit your website is also a form of feedback. For example, if many customers spend time on a particular web section, it means that something on that page captures their attention. 

Customer Insight Platform

This is a tool that allows you to have a 2-way conversation with your customers as they interact with different brand touchpoints. Some organizations have closed groups or organized fora where customers can provide objective feedback on their product or service. 

If you're planning to create an online or offline community where customers can share feedback, there are several things you should keep in mind. Be sure to have the right audience and prioritize rewarding valuable members of your community. 

YouTube Analytics

If you share video content on YouTube as part of your strategies to connect with your consumers, you should pay lots of attention to YouTube analytics. YouTube analytics helps you to know who your audience is by providing specific information about their location, gender, and age ranges. 

You'd also get to see data like the average retention rate for your videos, how visitors engage with your videos, and how long they spend watching your video; including when they stop watching and exit the video. With better knowledge of your audience, you will be able to produce more personalized content that caters to their needs and increases conversions

Social Mention Tool

This is a tool that you can use to track the number of times customers refer to your brand across different social media platforms. When someone mentions your brand online, it can go either way – you've either provided excellent service or you may have messed things up. 

Whichever way it goes, whenever someone somewhere mentions your brand, it is a good opportunity for you to swing by and engage with your audience. The good thing about this is there are a lot of tools that you can use to track social mentions and engage with the right amount of vigor; no extras. 

Conclusion 

If growing your business is just like going on a voyage, then customer insight is both the compass and the map that you need to take along to help you stay on track. Customer insight is the first step towards symbiotic one-to-one customer relationships that every organization strives to establish.

Remember, your product isn't excellent until your customers agree that it is. And once they do this, you'd enjoy brand trust, loyalty, organic publicity, and all the other extras that can help you grow your business and maximize your brand value. 





  • Formplus Blog
  • on 12 min read

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