«The customer is always right». Often acknowledged, rarely attributed, this expression really comes into its own today in the digital era. The digital has changed consumer practices and intensified the competitive level between brands. This results in a veritable battle to acquire new clients and foster their loyalty. It’s here that a company’s client knowledge can have a significant effect. The goal being to study consumer behaviour and the needs of the customer to be able to provide the right product at the right moment.
Principles and challenges of customer knowledge
Customer knowledge is a marketing concept which aims to collect a maximum amount of information about a customer and his purchasing habits. This information can be plentiful and varied:
– Favoured communication channels: email, postal service, telephone, social networks
– Purchase preferences: internet, shops, private sales, discount sales
– Socio-demographic data: customers age, family situation, professional status
– Geographical information: place of residence, location of favourite shops
The objective is to provide the right product for each customer, at the right time, using their favourite channel. This marketing concept enables companies to multiply their sales and by so doing, develop their business in the long term.
Three tips to enrich customer knowledge
a) Define a multi-channel strategy
Here, it is a question of customer adaptation by utilising customer contact. Certain consumers are 100% connected. The first thing they do in the morning is to look at their emails. Others, on the other hand, are not at all accustomed to the internet and prefer paper supports to virtual contact. The objective for the company is therefore to evaluate each customer’s contact preferences, by optimising communication in order to reach the customer. E-mail, telephone, mailings, social networks, each customer has their own communication channel.
b) Establish a feedback solution
Collecting customer information is not confined to a pre-purchase situation, even after-sales service can be a good occasion to gather new data. In this way, feedback is unquestionably one of the most effective means of collecting data for a brand. An unsatisfied customer will not hesitate to express his bad experience and recount what he thinks of your brand/logo. On the contrary, a satisfied customer will praise the advantages of his favourite brand. Whatever the situation, the business should take advantage of customer remarks and organise adapted sales strategies. A simple after sales customer satisfaction questionnaire will do.
Most web sites already use this solution to find out more about their customers’ internet habits. Who of us have never visited a site to look for a product, and then gone to another site, and found the same product or its equivalent on an advertising banner? Such is the magic of cookies. They enable the collection of precious information about the viewed products, or the searches effected by a potential customer. The business can in this way target their sales by e-mail or by means of advertising banners, proposing a product already searched by the consumer.
Customer knowledge plays a key role in the company’s success. In evaluating customer needs, each brand can create an advantage to satisfy consumers and reach new customers. One question does still remain, how to manage the collected data? At a time when the management of big data poses problems, brands must find efficient means of facilitating their access to, and conserving and classifying collected data.