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In a world where everyone is mobile, businesses will need to ensure that their customer engagement strategies are using data effectively

“How do I attract more customers?”

It seems such a simple question but this is the quandary at the heart of every business. It doesn’t matter how well-run your operations, how skilled your staff or how superior your product or service is, f no-one buys what you are selling.

This predicament is exacerbated by the proliferation of networking technology. Businesses may have more tools with which to market themselves and more avenues but keeping customers satisfied has become more difficult rather than easier. Consumers have grown used to fast response times and high levels of personalisation. Should they not feel happy with one company’s products, finding another that does the same thing is simply a matter of reaching for their mobile devices and doing an internet search. Worse still, they can take their complaints to social media and reach a potentially limitless audience.

These challenges will only grow over the next few years. East Africa is well on the way to universal mobility. The floodgates have opened and companies’ digital CRM strategies will determine whether they sink or swim.

In the face of this, the question “How do I attract more customers” becomes more complex. Now, companies must ask “How do I keep individuals with their own unique needs happy while determining what the majority want? How can I balance quantity with quality? How do I maintain a 24-hour engagement with customers while running an efficient business that can deliver the products and services they need? How do I serve the needs of local and regional markets while growing outward and exploring whole new markets with whole new needs?

The odds seem impossible yet many companies are achieving far greater levels of customer engagement and retention than they have in the past using customer engagement intelligence and data analytics. By using cutting edge technology to analyse past performance and customer histories, these companies can identify patterns and trends that allow them to create meaningful CRM strategies.

Integrated customer intelligence engagement reaches far deeper than normal marketing research. It gets to the heart of what customers value and allows companies to assess not just of the differences between regions, and age groups, but between individuals, allowing them to target the right products and services to the segment that will respond best to them.

Every customer interaction, every past purchase, every bit of personal information becomes a data point from which companies can build a meaningful relationship with them. Crucially, this allows for highly targeted marketing campaigns that cut straight to the heart of what individual customers are looking for or might not even realise they need. Sales teams are better able to collaborate to identify and follow up on opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

The result of all of this is that companies better able to invest their capital wisely in order to maximise sales and build an incredible amount of customer loyalty, all while pursuing new segments. If a customer must choose between two companies that offer the same services, they will inevitably stick with the company that understands them, listens to them, and offers them incentives they actually want.

It’s time to ask a new question: “What should my customer intelligence strategy be and which analytics should I use to determine it?”