Data Analytics

Using Data to Nurture Long-Term Customer Relationships

Becky Staker

November 28, 2023

using data for customer experience

By now, all marketers know that they need data to successfully engage customers throughout their entire customer experience journey. But, with customers sometimes having needs and expectations that are very different from others—and even very different from their own previous wants and needs—nurturing each long-term relationship can be difficult. Yet, with the right data and strategy, it can be done.

Building and sustaining relationships requires an in-depth understanding of each customer at an individual level. This includes knowing their past behaviors, what motivates them to take action, and also having the ability to predict what they will do next. Predicting and meeting changing needs and preferences are instrumental to creating customers for life.

Here are some key, data-driven approaches that can help you engage customers and sustain long-term relationships that improve sales and build loyalty.

Integrate All Relevant Data to Build Customer Profiles

Any customer experience initiative will entail using all relevant data to create comprehensive profiles, which is commonly known as building 360-degree customer views. This critical step involves integrating data on a single platform and then making it easily accessible to everyone who needs it. Profiles typically include transactional, demographic, web visits, social media, and behavioral data, as well as data from a myriad of other sources. Gathering this information may require you to build data pipelines to new sources.

Profiles allow you to truly know your customers, such as their buying habits, preferred shopping and delivery channels, and interests. The profiles ultimately give you the insights needed to engage each person with relevant, targeted offers, based on their behaviors and preferences to ensure effective campaigns and deepen customer relationships.

Keeping profiles current and accurate is essential to identify, predict, and meet customer expectations. Preferences and habits can change quickly and without warning, which is why continually integrating data is essential to understanding customers’ current and future needs, and ensuring their profiles are up-to-date. Having insights into what customers want next—and being able to deliver that product or service—is the key to successfully nurturing customers.

Using Predictive Analytics to Anticipate Changing Needs

Predictive analytics is one of your most important capabilities to gain an understanding of how customer needs are changing. This type of analytics can help you make informed decisions about delivering the next best offer to customers, enabling you to be proactive rather than reactive when meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

A proactive approach allows you to guide customers on their journeys and improve customer retention. It also helps you nudge, or motivate, customers who are not progressing on their journeys in order to reengage them and reduce the risk of churn.

The analysis looks at past behaviors to predict future actions. In addition to helping you identify shifting customer preferences, the analytics can help you uncover any emerging industry or consumer trends that could impact business or marketing decisions.

Another benefit of predicting actions is improving customer experience satisfaction by understanding their ongoing needs, which supports customer-for-life strategies. Likewise, performing predictive analytics on customer data can help you identify the most opportune moments to reach out to customers with a relevant offer—and determine what that offer should be.

Deliver Engaging and Hyper-Personalized Communications

Nurturing customers requires you to create a perfectly tailored experience for every single engagement. Today’s customers expect businesses to know and understand their individual needs, and then meet those needs with personalized offers. Customers are accustomed to companies providing targeted communications and recommendations based on their habits and preferences, which is why personalization is now tables stakes for interacting with customers.

Going beyond personalized offers to hyper-personalized or ultra-personalized experiences lets you separate yourself from competitors. Hyper-personalization involves more than using the customer’s first name in communications and lumping the person into a customer segment.

Hyper-personalization involves delivering highly customized offers, products, or services that are relevant and timely to the customer. With the right data platform, you can analyze large data volumes to truly know your customer and deliver the right offer at the right time. You can even personalize offers to small customer segments—even curating unique offers to a customer segment of just one person.

Have Complete Confidence in Your Customer Data

Turning leads into customers is a great success. The next goal is to continually stay ahead of customer needs to sustain long-term relationships. Some churn is inevitable, but using data can improve customer retention and drive higher sales.

To build trust with your customers and nurture relationships, you must be able to gather, analyze, and trust your data. The Actian Data Platform makes it easy for everyone across your organization to access, share, and trust data with complete confidence. This allows you to take a truly data-driven approach to customer engagement, to help you better understand each customer, and make predictions with a high degree of accuracy.

The Actian Data Platform can help you transform your customer relationships and accelerate your marketing goals. Take a free trial and experience the platform for yourself.

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About Becky Staker

Becky Staker is Actian’s Vice President of Customer Experience, focused on improving customer experiences, impact and outcomes across the business. Her career intersects marketing, sales and customer relations, and leading CX for brands, SaaS startups and professional services firms. She has held leadership roles at Deloitte, EY, and Publicis Sapient.