1. Ensure that the customer intelligence objectives are in line the organisations strategic objectives.
Customer intelligence objectives and strategic objectives shouldn’t be treated as two separate entities by the organisations. The customer intelligence objectives should form part of the strategic objectives. If they remain separate, they run a very high risk of being treated as abstract targets. It also means that they treated as an afterthought, with the findings likely to be overlooked and less resources available to develop customer intelligence. Get top level buy-in!
2. Demonstrate the benefits of the customer intelligence to the organisation.
So much energy can be expended on collating customer data and creating intelligence, that its successes as a result are not communicated effectively enough. Developing customer intelligence is a continuous process and the collection of customer data is usually on top of a persons ‘day job’. The inevitable ‘what on earth are we doing this information’ question will arise, so its vital that the improvements being done as a result of customer intelligence is regularly marketed to maintain buy-in.
3. Justify the need for customer intelligence.
Cataloguing and measuring the successes as a result of customer intelligence is important to demonstrate its cost benefits to the organisation. Developing customer intelligence can be an expensive process for organisations, so you should be measuring the impact to justify the need for it.
4. Plan ahead
The first step of customer intelligence is to be clear on the objectives behind developing it. By its nature, customer intelligence is meant to be a proactive process with an aim to achieve something for the organisation. You need to be aware of what the organisation wants to simply reacting to things that have already happened and risk the intelligence becoming out of date and irrelevant.
5. Use your customer intelligence.
Customer intelligence is about tailoring products and services for customers. It’s about improving the customer experience, so the organisation gives itself a better opportunity to identify and meet their needs and preferences. The organisation’s customer intelligence process needs to be built into its customer strategy to ensure that its customer groups are identifiable and that their needs and preferences are regularly identified and affirmed.
6. Customer intelligence doesn’t stand alone
Customer intelligence related work should not be treated in isolation. Compare it to previous information and outcomes. Use it alongside benchmarking information and market intelligence to develop a better a better competitive advantage for the organisation (Grimes, 2009).
Ok well that’s it for today..... Next time: a crowdsourcing software review!
GRIMES, N., 2009. The nine steps to best practice customer insight, My Customer.Com. [online] Available at: <http://www.mycustomer.com/topic/customer-intelligence/best-practice-insight-what-essential-invisible-eye> [cited 30 October 2011].