Let’s start with one big question: Do you know your customers?
And we’re not asking if you have a general sense of who buys from you, or if you can talk about the handful of personas in your customer base. We mean: What do you really know about your customers?
If it feels like the answer is not enough, it’s okay. You’re not alone.
Doing business at the scale of most consumer brands means engaging with a lot of customers. The great part about that is being able to touch so many people’s lives with useful products and memorable experiences. The tough part is trying to keep track of everyone — both so you can take care of them and so you can make the best decisions for your business. Operating at enterprise scale is a far cry from the days of running a store and remembering the names, faces, and quirks of your regular patrons.
Solving this problem is what motivated the development of tech like Customer Data Platforms (CDP). There are lots of different applications for CDPs, from identity resolution to building customer profiles to segmenting strategy to marketing activation. But another way to look at CDP is as a powerful answer machine. You ask it questions about your customer base, and it should give you the answers.
When a CDP is able to bring together the wealth of data that customers provide from all the different systems and silos where data typically live, and then apply advanced analytics to that unified data, it can provide deep intelligence that helps guide both strategy and tactics.
If you can ask and get answers to the questions below, then you’re on your way to really knowing your customers.
23 customer questions every brand should be able to ask & answer
How many customers do I have?
Who are my customers?
How much do they spend?
Where do they purchase?
What communication channels do they prefer?
What products or services have they bought?
What products or services are they likely to buy?
Are they having good support experiences?
Are they experiencing friction?
Which of my customers are most likely to churn and why?
When / how often are my customers likely to buy?
Who are my best / most profitable customers?
How likely are the customers I am acquiring to become high value customers?
Which of my existing customers are being targeted via paid media channels?
Which of my new or existing customers are most likely to respond to paid media?
Which of my customers are motivated by discounts or promotions?
What products or services are complementary to what my customers have already purchased, or purchased recently?
What strategies, channels, or initiatives result in loyal customers?
Which of my customers have the greatest growth potential?
What are the most cost effective ways of growing the population of my high value customer segment?
Where are my greatest growth opportunities?
Where are my greatest cost savings opportunities?
Who’s not in my loyalty program that should be?
While this list is extensive, it’s not exhaustive. There are lots of other questions a brand might ask about their customers that are specific to their industry or their customer base. This is just a start — with the right tech in place, creative users will find more and more questions that can drive value for their business and better experiences for their customers.
Getting meta: Questions about the questions
And for bonus points, let’s consider the questions above from one zoom level out:
Can you ask these questions about your customers and get answers in the first place?
How quickly can you ask and get answers to these questions?
How hard is it for people to get the answers to these questions?
Can everyone in the brand who needs to do so ask and get answers to these questions?
If your answers to these meta-questions are anything along the lines of no I can’t or yes I can but it takes ages or I can’t but I think maybe IT or Analytics can and they’re pretty busy so it might be a few weeks before I get the answer — then it might be time to think about your investment in making the most of your customer data.
Have questions about these questions (or questions about the questions about the questions)? Get in touch — we’re here to help.