What is customer insight and why is it key for business?

25 Mar 2022  |  by Joe Meade

5 min read

Customer insight allows you to identify the exact wants, needs, and desires of your customers. It’s a vital process and, if carried out effectively, it can boost your customer retention rates and profits. 

To help you learn more, we’ve put together this guide to customer insight. Within, we provide a customer insights definition, an analysis of why the process is so important, and an overview of how we can help you carry out the process.

Customer insights definition

Before we discuss why customer insight is so important for businesses, we first need to provide a customer insights definition.

Customer insights (also known as consumer insights), is the process of gaining a deeper understanding of how your customers think and feel. The term itself describes the technologies and processes that are used to research customer data.

Customer insight aims to uncover the underlying preferences, frustrations, and motivations of a consumer to increase the effectiveness and relevance of a product or service. Plus, once you’ve gathered and analysed the data about your customers, you can also communicate with them in a highly personalised way.

Overall, you can use customer insights to:

  • Choose which products to focus on creating or expanding
  • Create specific and targeted communications for segments of customers that will resonate with the content
  • Update products with new features or tools that solve customer problems
  • Develop strategies for improving the customer journey

The process of analysing customer data starts with data collection. This data can be acquired from multiple sources, such as a company’s CRM or transactional data. Once all the data has been gathered, it is placed in a large database such as a customer data platform (CDP), where it can be analysed by a piece of software.

After the customer data has been analysed, the findings can be used to communicate offerings that are relevant (in terms of both time and content) to individual customers.

The resulting improved customer dialogue has a crucial impact on a positive customer experience. This, in turn, is the key to creating successful customer relationships and a high degree of customer loyalty.

What’s the difference between customer insight and market research?

Although the terms are often confused by some marketers, customer insights and market research are different things.

Market research is an effort to gather information about either customers or markets. As a result, this form of research provides information about market needs, market sizes, competitors, and customers. Due to this, it’s sometimes referred to as the ‘what’ of customers and markets.

Although customer insight broadly delivers the same information, it also provides recommended actions that will help you amplify the growth of your business. Rather than just providing statistics and knowledge, customer insight delivers both data and narrative.

So, while market research tells us what is happening, customer insights tell us why it’s happening and allows us to make changes to our business in order to improve customer satisfaction and customer retention rates. .

Why is it important for business?

When customer insight research is conducted properly, it plays a vital role in helping businesses grow. This is because it improves the effectiveness of how a company communicates with its customers.

By gaining a deeper understanding about how your customers think and feel about your products and services, you can communicate with them and build empathy. In doing so, you can show them that you understand what they need and why. Plus, by listening to the frustrations of your customers, you can also create ever-improving experiences.

Today, many companies focus their marketing communications on attracting and acquiring new customers. However, although attracting new customers is important for businesses, the benefits of retaining existing customers cannot be overlooked.

After all, acquiring a new customer is far more expensive than retaining a current customer. In fact, according to recent studies, it costs around five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer. 

In addition to this, it’s also worth keeping in mind that existing customers often add more value to your business because they buy more frequently and opt for higher value products. Generally speaking, they are also more price-sensitive. So, by analysing the behaviour of these customers and understanding more about how they engage with your business, you can optimise pricing, encourage greater loyalty, and recognise upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Plus, if you can harness customer loyalty effectively, then you can also turn your current customers into brand advocates who work on your behalf. After all, if you can improve the customer journey and optimise your products so they appeal to the needs of your current customers, then these customers are far more likely to recommend your product or service to their friends, family, and colleagues.

Finally, studies have also shown that businesses that deploy customer insights widely see a substantial improvement in key figures such as profits, turnover, growth, and return on investment. This was confirmed in a study from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. In this study, 58% of the 560 companies surveyed stated that using customer insight had improved loyalty. In 44% of businesses, this led to significant increases in growth and revenue.

How can you manage customer insights and data with Apteco?

Here at Apteco, we make the process of analysing customer data simple. Once you’ve gathered all of your data, you first need to consolidate it into one useful place.

Customer data platform (CDP)

By gathering all your data from a variety of places (such as transactional data, website data, behavioural data, mobile data etc.) you can generate a powerful understanding of each prospect and customer. 

To help with this process, we work with an Apteco-approved partner to create your customer data platform. As well as helping you put your insights into practical use, your Apteco CDP also integrates with other systems, informing your view of the customer and your marketing decisions. On top of this, rather than simply functioning as a library, an Apteco CDP also contains an additional array of built-in features, such as data analytics and data cleansing.

Customer analytics software

Once your CDP has been created, it’s time to use our powerful, predictive customer analytics software to analyse the data in detail. Using data visualisation, predictive modelling, and segmentation, you can identify unique customer behaviours and traits.

Once you’ve analysed your data in detail, you can use those insights and findings to communicate relevant and personalised offers to customers. By improving your dialogue with your customers in this way, you can create a positive customer experience. In turn, this will improve the relationship you have with your customers and boost loyalty.

With the help of our software, you can:

  • Improve the customer journey
  • Analyse the competition
  • Personalise your marketing
  • Deploy targeted communications
  • Build audiences for campaigns
  • Increase customer retention rates
  • Lower acquisition costs
  • Increase sales and profits

Book a demo today

Interested in learning more about how our customer analytics software can help your business? Book a demo with the team to learn more about how we can turn your data into actionable insights.

Joe Meade

Group Marketing and Communications Specialist

Joe joined the Apteco marketing team in 2021. A large part of Joe's role involves coordinating regular partner and customer communications, events and exhibitions, monthly marketing reports and website development. Outside of work, Joe spends his weekends either watching or playing rugby.

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