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5 reasons Big Data is the godfather of customer retention.

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There are many ways you can use Big Data for customer retention. This article discusses 5 which you can start using today.

Are you one of those wise guys who thinks that Big Data is just about boosting sales? Fuhgetaboutit! Let’s set the record straight: Big Data is about finding new opportunities and selling more, but it’s also about gaining a better understanding of everything around you, from what your target market needs to the moves that your key rivals are currently making. One of the main things that Big Data can do is help you understand your current customer better. If you do this, you’ll be a better all-round businessman or woman – capsice? So listen up, here are 5 reasons why Big Data is The Godfather of customer retention.

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Let’s just pretend for a moment that you’re trying to make your partner happier. If you don’t listen to them, you’ll get absolutely nowhere. You’ll probably just keep on saying and doing the wrong things until you’ve completely pushed them away.

Well guess what? All relationships work the same. You have to listen if you want to learn.

The main reason that Big Data is clever is because it does all of the listening for you. It can tell you exactly who your customer is so that you can truly understand their aims, goals and challenges.

Say hello to my little friend: the ‘suggestion engine’. It’s a powerful example of Big Data at its best. It helps to improve customer retention online by constantly displaying the products and services relevant to each individual customer, based on what your data knows about them.

Through this, you can build a complex profile of each customer and work out what they are and aren’t interested in. With this information, you’ll build a lasting, trust-based relationship and, through knowing the issues they face, be able to make them product offers that they can’t refuse.

“You talkin’ to me?”

Not too long ago, I bought a pair of boots online. They were in the sale, reduced from £150 to £100, so I thought I’d got a good deal. My parents told me I was stupid for spending so much, but that’s beside the point.

Anyway, a week later the same company sent me an e-mail titled ‘Final Sale Reductions’, and guess what the first thing I saw was? That’s right, the boots I’d bought. They were now reduced to £50. That hurt, not least because my parents had the last laugh.

We’ve all had a similar feeling, and it’s not nice, so please, if you haven’t got anything good to say to your customers, don’t say anything at all. Or better yet, find something good to say.

I mean, how many times have you opened your e-mail only to find a bunch of ads for stuff you don’t want? And often they’re from companies that you’ve bought from before and otherwise trusted. Now you probably don’t trust them as much and have either physically or mentally marked them as spam, leaving you far less likely to open their e-mails in the future.

Let’s make sure that this doesn’t happen to your company.

By collecting large amounts of data on your customer’s purchase history, social data and web browsing habits, you can utilize a variety of techniques to make sure the content delivered to the user is something they find useful, enjoyable, or at least that doesn’t push them away. This method of using Big Data to learn about your customer inside out is priceless in building a relationship.

“Hey, what’s the matter whit’chyou?”

It’s difficult to gauge when a customer isn’t happy, but it’s impossible to if you don’t keep in touch.

Use your data to keep track of when a customer last purchased from you or when you last contacted them. Consider calling customers every so often to see how they’re doing, to find out if they were satisfied with their last purchase, and, most important of all, to see if they’re facing any new challenges.

I’m not saying you need to befriend all of your customers and have them over for dinner, but simply reminding them that you exist on a personal level every so often will do wonders for loyalty levels.

After all, just because an e-mail has somebody’s name on doesn’t mean they don’t know it’s going to 1000 people at the same time. A phone call however, well that’s a one-off; it shows that you have time for people. They’ll like you for that.

“Keep the change, ya filthy animal!”

So you’re reading into your Big Data in such a way that you know your customer and what they like to buy. And as a result, you’re well liked. Good for you. Now let’s step it up a notch.

You know exactly what they need and want, so why not try and find a way to save them some money?

Find a product or service from your catalogue that you think can save them money in one of the key areas of their business.

Maybe even try and down-sell to them. Seriously. If you give them a good enough reason that they don’t need to spend as much money with you, they’ll spend more. Why? You’ll come across as caring and knowledgeable, and because they’ll spend that smaller sum with you over a much, much longer period of time.

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

One of the main challenges that your sales team will face lies in spotting when a competitor has started moving onto your turf and taking customers with them.

By feeding your data through a Business Intelligence tool, you’ll see the sales patterns of each of your customers, and be alerted if these change. You can use this information to work out why they’re down on spend, or to ask them where they purchased from this month as it wasn’t from you.

You can then adjust your marketing and sales campaigns accordingly to ensure that customers return next month and don’t wander off again.

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