Not only do you need data that is up to date and valuable to both your company and your customers, but it also needs to be protected from the ever-growing number of hackers. With more of these criminals seemingly on the attack these days, companies can never be too careful and shielding themselves and customers from potential breaches.
With that in mind, look at the data you currently store and determine several factors in order to stand out from the competition.
When you have a business data center that provides you with current customer information in an easy-to-access setting, you are equal to or even one step ahead of the competition.
Data Delivers Details
To begin with, make sure everyone associated with your business truly understands why your customer data is so critical to the company’s success.
Remind employees that customer data gives your business:
- A better idea of who the customer is;
- What their income level is;
- A glimpse into the products or services they may be interested in purchasing from you;
- What their shopping history is.
With that information in front of you and your team, your company can then proceed with the necessary marketing campaigns to increase sales.
Start by identifying who the customer truly is.
Are they male or female? Are they in their childhood or teen years, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s or even older? Are they still living at home or are they out on their own? Are they typically purchasing goods and services just for themselves or others?
Customer Incomes Prove Informative
The next area of interest is their projected income level.
Are your customers poor, middle class or doing very well for themselves? Do they have minimal money to spend or can they shop regularly without too many financial restrictions?
For the former group, use the data you have on them and provide them with savings opportunities. Such possibilities include things like rewards cards, coupons, special deals at different times of the years (holidays etc.). While you may think that selling to such consumers at lower prices is not cost-productive to you, these individuals are more likely to keep coming back to you for business, ultimately leading to more sales.
Whether you offer a single product or service or myriad of options, knowing what many of your customers are oftentimes looking for allows you to keep such items well stocked.
For example, if you run a seasonal business, you have to be sure you make up for the slower times of the year.
Trying to sell pool equipment in the wintertime in Buffalo can be quite the challenge. That said it certainly does not mean you have to shut your business down for months at a time until the weather improves.
Survey your customers on what pool or outdoor related items and services they are most interested in. Outdoor pools in colder regions of the country need to be covered in the wintertime, plus you may also have some customers who are fortunate to have indoor pools. Lastly, some or many of your same pool customers could have Jacuzzi’s, something that can be used year-round.
The best way to get such details is by regularly talking to your customers (in-person, over the phone, emails, surveys) etc. and using such data to increase your selling opportunities.
You can also offer them special wintertime deals for the coming pool season, deals that will get them in a buying mood during the slower months.
Know the History
Finally, knowing and understanding customer histories when it comes to browsing and ultimately purchasing is truly valuable.
Face it; many consumers do in fact change their buying habits over time. As a result, you need to be able to adapt to such changes.
While the data you have on customers from the last year or so is certainly valuable, it can’t with 100 percent accuracy pinpoint when and how much of an item or service customers will demand tomorrow, next month, or even next year.
Use the accumulated data as a window in a customer’s buying habits, but always plan on updating it accordingly.
Given the fact that there appears to be no end in sight to the mounds of data out there on consumer buying habits, the key is to make sure you compile it, use it to your advantage, and ultimately make it resonate with customers looking to your brand as the first choice.
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About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business and technology topics on the web.