So you’ve gathered up some data, but how do you get real value out of it? Enter analytical CRM applications.
Software in this category works to make data available, intelligible and actually relevant to your business needs. It allows for the analysis of sales data, finance data and marketing data. The net benefit is customer acquisition, customer retention, and data management.
There are three main components of analytical CRM software: data warehousing, data mining, and online analytical processing (OLAP) tools. Data warehousing ensures data is available, while data mining analyzes giant amounts of data to find meaningful patterns, so instead of trying to piece together scraps of information like some plucky detective, you can just have everything interpreted automatically. OLAP tools offer sophisticated slicing of data, so you can combine sales region, product type, time of sale and more to find very specific information.
Analytical tools are very useful when it comes to turning a lead into a customer. They can anticipate shopping habits and determine how likely a person is to buy something again, giving you a helping hand with future marketing decisions and financial forecasting.
Predictive modeling helps use big data and business intelligence to anticipate customer behavior. Market trends and client preferences help you plan for the future based on the past. That’s useful for running your business on a day-to-day level because you’ll have a better idea of what’s working and where to direct resources.
Customer segmentation grouping, a fancy way of saying sorting out customers, is important for growing your business. By identifying and separating your customers based on needs or buying behavior, you can better focus your marketing and fine-tune your product offering.
You can also use analytic tools to find meaningful data on customer churn and help minimize it. By figuring out what type of customers leave your business and why you can take steps to stop it from happening. Instead of spending resources on maintaining existing revenue, you can take steps to work on increasing it.
Profitability analysis draws out deep information on the profitability of a given customer. It also makes it available for company-wide review in a legible way, unlike old school, labyrinthine accounting programs where you need a specialist (or perhaps a local minotaur) to figure out what the numbers mean.
Event monitoring lets you help secure your business. You can keep track of user activity over time, and find out if anything fishy is going on. For example, if someone just logged in a hundred times in one hour, it’s probable there’s a security problem that needs fixing.
One caveat to be made about analytical CRMs is that they have the biggest learning curve of the three types. That’s not to say they’re really hard to use, but rather that you’ll need to allow some time to get your team using them in an effective way. You’ll also gain more benefits from using analytical tools over time, as you accumulate more and more useful data.
With that said, now’s as good a time as any to get started. Crunch some numbers with an analytical CRM and you may well grow yours.