How to Use Your Customer Data to Increase Profits and Improve Experiences

Do you have tons of customer data sitting around your office, in physical files or on a computer hard drive? This data is incredibly useful and shouldn’t be neglected — use it to improve the experiences that your customers have, while also helping your bottom line. Here are 9 ways you can do more with your customer data.


1. Analyze purchases

When a customer purchases item X, do they also generally purchase item Z? Analyzing past purchases is one way to gain very useful information about the shopping preferences of your customers. This information can help with store layout designs, recommended items for ecommerce stores, and can ultimately improve sales if you’re able to spot the trends.

2. Give employees access to customer data

Your employees are the face of customer service and they can use data to improve customer experiences. Take Qantas as an example: in-flight staff use tablets to access customer profiles. These profiles include allergies, food preferences, previous travel history, and even notes made by flight attendants on the person’s prior flights. Encourage your employees to take notes about customer interactions so that they can treat regulars like people, not just a face without a name.

3. Forecast future sales

When did a customer purchase an item, and did they purchase that item again? Looking at this information will help you to forecast future sales. This can help you plan inventory so that you’re never out of an item a customer wants to purchase.

4. Identify and solve customer problems

Do you know what problems your customers want to solve? There’s a chance that your existing customer data can help you answer that question. Delta used this principle very effectively with it’s “Track My Bag” feature. The airline knew that lost luggage is a big concern of many travelers, so they used their data to create a solution. Passengers can take a photo of their luggage tag, and the suitcase’s current whereabouts is tracked through the app.

5. Create custom promos and special offers

You can use customer data to create custom promotions and special offers. Historical sales data might show that a particular item sells slowly during certain parts of the year, for example. If you want to get rid of excess inventory you can look at your data to determine when to make a special offer.

6. Improve your marketing

With data, it’s easy to see what marketing tactics are working and which ones are falling flat. Review purchase data acquired during your most recent marketing push to see whether it led to increased sales. You can even use data to target specific customers.

7. Improve your products and services

If you have surveys or feedback from customers, that counts as data, and it’s invaluable. Use that information to make improvements to your products and services. If you don’t have any feedback from customers yet, it’s as easy as asking them to fill out a brief survey.

8. Create content from data

Surveys, feedback, and other data about how a customer feels can be used to create blog posts, email newsletter content, infographics, and more. Aim to create something that’s relevant and share-worthy, which can bring new customers into your business.

9. Use data to surprise customers and create loyalty

Review which customers purchased which items, and how frequently. If you have customers who frequently purchase the same items, use that knowledge to surprise and delight them. Offer a coupon for a significant discount or give them a free item. Small gestures like these create brand loyalty that will have people returning to purchase from you again and again.