We’ve all heard the adage: knowledge is power. But in business, data is power and understanding your customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviour is key to both creating an amazing customer experience and ensuring business success.
It’s no surprise then that Salesforce revealed 90 per cent of executives think a single source of truth about their customers would be valuable—even though only 32 per cent have this right now. But CRM solutions are here to help by capturing and organising customer data.
Just don’t forget the next step: analysing and leveraging this CRM data to help you build better relationships with your customers and maximise both customer satisfaction and loyalty. Let’s delve deeper and see how you can use CRM data to help your business succeed.
What is CRM data?
In simple terms, CRM data is information you collect from your customers, clients, website visitors, leads, and anyone else that interacts with your business. It’s first-party data collected from your customers and prospects that’s securely stored in your CRM solution.
CRM data is an integral component of the customer experience and relationship, so let’s take a closer look at the four main types of CRM data.
As the name implies, identity data aims to identify your customers and make it easy to contact them when needed. It usually includes:
- Names (first and last names, title, pronoun preferences)
- Contact details (phone numbers, email addresses, physical address)
- Online presence (social media accounts, website)
- Personal information (data of birth, gender, account with your company)
Customers often provide this data when making a purchase, creating an account, or subscribing to an email newsletter. If provided, you can use this data to send your customers updates and other marketing content. However, it’s important to make sure you’re complying with data protection regulations, e.g. GDPR.
Descriptive CRM data is all about your customers’ lifestyles. Think of it as a snapshot of their interests, workplace, and ultimately life. Here’s what it includes:
- Education (qualifications, universities attended)
- Professional details (job or position, name of current company, industry)
- General info (this can include everything from product preferences and loyalty program memberships to hobbies and homeownership)
Descriptive data also lets you know whether a person is a prospect, active lead, or existing customer. This can help you avoid repeating information and frustrating customers—instead allowing you to tailor your messages depending on where they are in your sales funnel.
Qualitative CRM data focuses on how your customers feel. It’s all about the attitudes, motivations, and behaviours linked to purchasing decisions. This type of data is normally captured from feedback surveys, questionnaires, and transcripts of support interactions. It often includes:
- Rating customer service (e.g. how would you rate the service provided?)
- Rating purchase satisfaction (e.g. how satisfied are you with your latest purchase?)
- Explaining the customer journey (e.g. why did you choose us?)
- Explaining the purchasing decision (e.g. why did you choose this product?)
Qualitative data ultimately helps you better understand customer behaviour and identify purchase triggers. Valuable insights like this can help you sell more—and sell better.
Quantitative CRM data is all about customer interactions and data you can measure, e.g. the number of purchases, emails sent/opened, etc. That’s why it often boils down to cold hard numbers, metrics, and KPIs. Quantitative data often includes:
- How many purchases each customer has made with your company
- How often they engage with your business on social media
- How often they get in touch with your company
- The average value of their purchases
- The average amount of time they spend on your website
Quantitative data provides insights into how customers are interacting with your brand. But don’t forget: transactions are far from the only type of interaction. You should include all types of interaction—from customer service chats to comments on social media posts.
How can you interpret CRM data?
CRM data can provide powerful insights to help direct sales and service operations on a day-to-day basis. However, it’s only useful if you can understand what it’s telling you, i.e. if you can interpret it in a meaningful way. And that’s not always easy, so here are three tips to help you get started:
- Visuals tell the story.
Graphs and charts often make it far easier and quicker to spot patterns and draw valuable insights, e.g. into customer loyalty and satisfaction.
- Numbers don’t lie.
Looking at raw, numerical CRM data can bring more subtle details to light. KPIs make it easy to track customer behaviour and sales trends.
- The devil’s in the detail.
Analysing individual customer profiles can help you better understand customer pain points and brand engagement for actionable feedback.
A word of warning: your data is only useful if it’s up to date and accurate. Beagle Research found that a staggering 85 per cent of sellers admit to making embarrassing mistakes because of incorrect CRM data—mistakes that can affect the customer experience. So, properly maintaining your data is essential.
Mistakes aside, analysing your CRM data can help you better understand vital aspects of your business, e.g. what drives customers to purchase a product or service and how well certain marketing strategies or tactics are working. Insights like this can help you make informed decisions to improve your customer experience and ultimately your bottom line.
5 ways to use your CRM data
According to Qualtrics, companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by almost 80 per cent. But providing an amazing customer experience is tricky, and many companies are sitting on a gold mine of customer data, unsure what to do with it.
In other words, CRM data is incredibly valuable—but only if you know how to use it. Let’s explore five of the most common ways you can leverage your CRM data to improve your sales and marketing efforts.
Personalise the customer experience
Your CRM data is exactly what you need to personalise your customer experience. Descriptive data, for example, gives you useful insights into customer preferences, which you can use to create personalised messaging and deliver personalised customer service.
Target marketing content
CRM solutions allow you to segment customers, e.g. by industry or location, which can help you tailor content to specific groups or individual clients. What’s more, CRM data provides a 360-degree view of each customer which can help you create targeted marketing campaigns that address specific needs—a sure-fire way to increase your conversion rate.
Identify upsell opportunities
CRM data can provide insights into customer preferences and interests—not to mention purchase history. This information makes it easy to not only recommend new products but also identify upsell opportunities. And don’t forget that both your sales and support teams can use qualitative data to home in on specific customer needs and pain points.
The data in your CRM solution provides a wonderful snapshot of your customer lifecycles, which can help you predict future behaviours and trends. Tracking key metrics and data over time can reveal patterns and changes that are potentially vital to your success, e.g. how long customers engage with your campaigns.
CRM data can help you generate new prospects and speed up the sales cycle by ranking leads. What’s more, it can also help you optimise your social media by getting to know your customers—helping you target the right demographic in the right way. Your CRM data can even help you sell more to existing customers by keeping them engaged with helpful information, messages, and notifications.
Put simply, CRM data helps you focus on what matters most—offering an amazing customer experience. Because business success ultimately depends on happy customers. Fortunately, the right CRM solution makes it easy to capture, analyse, and leverage CRM data so you can wow your customers and keep them coming back for more.