Samir is a serial entrepreneur, passionate about Mobile Technologies, SaaS based product solutions, Start-Ups in Hospitality, Retail and E-Commerce.
Why be Data Driven?
Before spending time on the topic of how to efficiently use your customer’s data, the first question that might come to you is, why be data driven in the first place? Why invest time, funds and energy in being data driven? Well, the simple answer to that is while scientists are still unsure about Shakira’s hips, data doesn’t lie! And, if you don’t use it to learn about you and your customers, nine times out of ten you will perish to the competition around you. I am sure you and I are on the same page and agree that it isn’t a risk worth taking.
How to be Efficiently Data Driven?
We all know now that we should be data driven. The real question, however, is how? So, let us dive straight into the answer to this question:
Store Customer Touch-Point Records Digitally
Whether it be transactions, trials or even a plain enquiry, try to store all customer touch-points’ information digitally. The reason for this is simple; you never know what insight or trend a particular set of raw data might reveal in the future. Better be safe than be sorry, so just make sure all such data is safely secured in digital records.
Big Data Analytics – Crunch the Data
A tool or technique that has almost become an essential for various consumer product goods (CPG) players. Big Data Analytics helps make sense of all that “absurd on the outside” data that you have been storing. Believe me, results are overwhelming. We have seen a huge increase in turnover at numerous restaurants, just because they started to better understand their customer’s preferences as a result of big data analytics.
CLOUD – Access Anything, Anywhere
Here is the thing about being data driven, the consumer trends and preferences can change pretty quickly (especially in the foodservice industry), in response to external or internal stimuli. Therefore, you need to ensure fast processing and retrieval of your records without allowing physical distance to be an obstacle in your path. So go on, use cloud computing and prepare to be amazed by the flexibility this particular service gives to your decision making. Also, paperless documentation! Yay, Reduction in carbon footprint!
After sales service support – Loyalty is a two-way street
Yes, data-driven techniques can help you immensely in understanding the customer preferences and helping to increase your sales. In fact, they can also be a revelation in improving after-sales service support. A good example of this which I came across recently was a food service provider that was facing high delivery times in providing meals to consumers.
This was also leading to a lot of other cascading effects, like customers griping about cold food. The implementation of Big Data Analytics showed that there was a particular low margin item on the menu which wasn’t ordered very frequently, but whenever it was, the cooking setup had to be utilised specifically for it and the parallel process could take place. Once the process bottleneck was identified, the company discontinued that item from the list, resulting in a 15% reduction in preparation time on all orders! Such is the power of data.
Cross verification through various indices
One last piece of advice would be to confirm the data trends and insights which have been extracted, by using some other data index/indices to check whether the insight holds true. While it is true that data doesn’t lie, there can be instances where the sheer stochasticity or deviational nature of data can lead you to derive false insights. A good thumb rule, cross verification through at least one other data index is mandatory before arriving at a market insight.
These are some simple ways to become more efficient in using your customer’s data to your firm’s advantage. Remember, a good strategy is not always about being the best in whatever your field is, but wondering if there is a new playground altogether which nobody has ever kicked a ball in.