Companies collect a lot of information about their customers’ behaviors. How much of that data is actually used to improve upon the customer experience? According to a recent survey by Alteryx and AbsolutData, customer analytics is used primarily for customer-focused sales and marketing activities, but much of that data is unstructured, making it hard to access, work with and blend that information into workflows.

Overcoming Customer Analytics Challenges

The report, Predicting Customer Behavior with Analytics, identifies three key challenges companies face as they attempt to effectively leverage customer analytics as a tool for more meaningful decisions around activities like customer profitability, churn, segmentation, and loyalty. 

Predicting Customer Behavior with Analytics

Many organizations struggle to get access to the right information in a way that’s easy and seamless. But even if they are able to get the right information, barriers to get that information to the right people with the right skills still remain. Without the appropriate workflows in place, it’s even harder to put data into action. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone, but you’re also not doomed.

According to a McKinsey Report called Big Data: What’s Your Plan? the first step is to develop a plan. The authors write:

The missing step for most companies is spending the time required to create a simple plan for how data, analytics, frontline tools, and people come together to create business value.

This alone can help prevent many of the issues companies struggle with when deploying customer analytics. But your strategy should include information about the type of data that will be collected, the kinds of analytic models that will be used to glean value, and the specific tools that will be used to collect, analyze, and share information. 

Analytics Investment Continues

Customer analytics, much like other big data, have the potential to provide deeper insights into customer behavior, attitudes, and opinions, all of which can be leveraged to improve customer relationships. Regardless of whether or not companies are able to confront the challenges associated with using customer analytics, almost all companies plan to increase their investment in analytics technology, people and external resources.

However, customer analytics alone won't solve your customer experience issues. It's imperative that a strategy that adequately addresses how customer analytics will be used to achieve greater customer insights is in place. All companies collect information about their customers, but not all can effectively access it and use it to improve customer relationships. In the end, it's not customer analytics that will give companies competitive advantage. Rather, it will be the strategies that address these critical issues that will be more likely to deliver tangible business results.