THOUGHTS

Customer Intelligence – Here’s how top tier companies collect and use it!

Jan 22, 2024

Written By: Gaurav Sharma

Overview

Customer needs and priorities change frequently because of increasing digitization and ever-changing global scenario. Now a days customers don’t shy away from switching brands until their experience matches their expectations. Leading companies have already noticed the change in customer needs and have started paying increased attention to optimize their customer intelligence strategy.

Through a customer intelligence solution, you can understand the message that resonates with your customers. You can optimize the customer touchpoints and guide your sales and marketing team using customer information leading to improving the experience to your customer(s).

Type of Customer Data

Customer intelligence

Customer intelligence can be used to understand the logic behind what makes your customer tick.

There are 4 different types of data which can be collected for customer intelligence and analytics:

  • Demographic data: This type of data includes a customer’s name, gender, location, and contact information. It also includes information like what industry they work in, how much experience they have, or income levels.
  • Attitudinal data: This type of data helps you understand the firsthand account of customer perspective. Online reviews, ratings, Customer satisfaction or sentiments or perception are some of the key examples of Attitudinal data pointers.
  • Behavioral Data: This type of data involves how and when your customer interacts with your product or service. Customers’ buying frequency, average order value, favorite products, purchase history, average order value are some of the data pointers which can be categorized as behavioral data.
  • Engagement data: This type of data involves all the different interactions a buyer has with your brand. For example, social media engagements, paid Ad-engagement, Email open rate, forwards, and bounce rate and more.

Where to collect Customer Information from?

Customer Data can be collected from different sources depending upon its area of use, key intelligence topics and the objective. Some of the highly appreciated methods to collect customer information are briefed below for your reference:

In Depth Customer Interviews

Telephone Interviews is one of the key customer intelligence solutions for companies to gather customers’ feedback. Questions such as what do the customers like, willingness to pay, concept testing and customer experience/satisfaction amongst others can be answered through this solution. This customer intelligence solution involves in-length interviews by research experts to gather in-depth qualitative (mostly B2B) information.

Customer Web Surveys:

Customer Web Survey/Online Survey is another very useful method to collect customer information. This method is commonly used for collecting quantitative information. This approach is famous for both B2B and B2C applications. Customers are provided with multiple choices for a question aimed at getting insights like Brand Perception, Vendor Perception, Customer preference and Brand Awareness etc.

Web Scraping

Web Scraping can help you extract large volumes of data from different sources across the internet. Yes, with this method your customer data needs to be there on the internet i.e., in the secondary domain. Through automation led web scraping/ crawling you can capture millions/billions of customer data points quickly. You can also do routine tracking of customer reviews, ratings, sentiments, social media listings through this approach. It is popular among both B2B and B2C companies.

Website metrics and measurement

Through this approach you can monitor how customers interact with you through website, email engagement, ad impressions and others as behavioral data. With this method you can collect customer information – page views, average time on site/page, bounce rates, activity on the website, offers and discounts history etc. This approach is frequently used by B2C companies, majorly E-com and retail companies for information like purchase history, shopping cart and cart abandonment. B2B companies also track a few matrices like email engagement open/bounce rate, website journey, social media activity etc. but penetration is not as vast as B2C companies.

How can IR help you?

Infiniti offers a wide net of research and analytics services for collecting all types of customer data and delivering it in the form of actionable insights.

Behavioral and engagement data type involves many internal touchpoints of the client’s stakeholders (like sales team, marketing team, finance team etc.) with their customers directly through emails, website, social media, or purchase etc. Hence, most behavioral data can be tracked in-house. However, collecting attitudinal as well as demographic data is a different story altogether because collecting data related to external touchpoints may need intervention of external customer intelligence experts who are neutral and can provide honest customer feedback.

Enlisting various use cases of attitudinal and demographic customer intelligence data below:

  • Consumer Journey Analysis
  • Buying Behavior Analysis
  • Brand Awareness
  • Vendor Perception
  • Customer Satisfaction Study (NPS)
  • Customer Discovery & Targeting
  • Concept Testing such as interest level and willingness to pay.
  • Product Preferences & Concerns
  • Voice of Customers
  • Customer Profiling/Persona Development
  • Customer Reviews
  • Customer Product/Services Ratings
  • Messaging for Sales and Marketing etc.

Primary Research for Customer Intelligence:

customer intelligence

Data collection for such use cases demands utilization of different research methods as described in the previous section. However, execution of these methodologies is a complex process. For reference, customer surveys and even telephone interviews require many important components which needs expert intervention like survey design, appropriate sample size, respondent selection, questionnaire development, choosing appropriate model for calculation and insights etc.

Experts like survey experts, statisticians, analytics experts who understand the intricacies associated with executing these methods and who are well versed in industry knowledge are very important to execute such complex methodologies.

You would agree that such research experts are a rare breed. We at Infiniti understand this and therefore in over the past 20+ years of our existence we have developed a large team of business/customer intelligence experts. We have experience in 15 different industries and nurture and maintain a panel of industry experts across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC.

In addition to the panel, we collaborate with regional panel providers/partners, if needed, to support our panel with local language interviews.

Secondary Research for Customer Intelligence:

Web Scraping, which is another very useful method used for customer intelligence. This approach allows us to capture large volumes of customer data from the internet. For example, a hospitality industry company might want to collect customer reviews and ratings from various review sites for sentiment analysis. This needs a web scraping-based data collection approach. Therefore, along with survey/interview experts we have also nurtured a large team of software/technology experts who know how to create complex algorithms to collect customer data through automation. Also, while collecting large volumes of data from the internet, our technology experts make sure that we collect all the data needed without getting blocked.

Success Story – An ROI model to assess the marketing investment returns.

Our client is a well-known Construction and Mining machinery manufacturing company. They have a varying range of construction and mining equipment to offer like tractors, loaders, motor graders, engines and other earthmoving equipment and machinery. The business is one of the Fortune 500 companies and has a presence in multiple nations across the globe.

Our client wanted to conduct a customer perception/awareness of their brands and products in the target market. Our client’s marketing team had invested a significant amount of time in identifying the key parameters that influence customer perception in the target market.

Parameters such as engine quality, product features, support services, and value offered to customers are some of the key decision-making factors for companies. Based on the analysis of these parameters’ client wanted to understand the effectiveness of their marketing strategy and understand the opportunities and challenges for their brand in the target market. Therefore, the client decided to order our services and get answers to their questions.

We tasked out our custom research team with experts having 15+ years of industry experience who scoped out the requirement in consultation with the client’s team. We agreed upon the methodology with the client, that is, to conduct in-depth telephone interviews with the relevant customers. We agreed on the project components like set of questions, Interview duration, sample size (i.e., number of interviews to be completed) etc. with the client and started the research work.

We nurture and maintain a panel of industry experts in all major regions across the globe. The team started with identifying and recruiting the right set of respondents within our industry panels. We identified and recruited experts based on a set of parameters like proximity, role, experience etc. to attain the agreed sample size of customers. Discussion guide/ Questionnaire was developed by Infiniti, and it was used as a reference point for interviews with the target customers.

In order to get regional insights, we distributed the sample size in a manner to cover customers in each of the key regions in the target market. The data collection process lasted for 4 weeks to achieve the agreed number of interview sample size. After the data collection we analyzed the answers and presented them as actionable insights. Building an ROI model is tricky job and require complex calculations based on weightage assigned to different parameters. To achieve this our statisticians coordinated with the client’s team to assign weightage to all the parameters based on insights from interviews and importance for our client and created a customized model for our client specifically.

The ROI model was used to estimate the growth for the brand, based on marketing investment and to provide recommendations. So, we have the right set of experts, knowledge, experience, and capabilities to conduct in-depth research to support your customer intelligence needs.

Summary of Case Study:

Construction and mining equipment is expensive and hence companies manufacturing such machinery need to keep a close watch on the customer perception. They need to invest their marketing effort in the areas where it yields the most ROI. Therefore, to assess the marketing investment a logical and fact-based approach for sample sizing, data collection and calculations did the trick.

You can talk to our expert, and we will help you scope out the requirements. Talk to our experts now.

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