Things I Want to Know About Customers

January 16, 2012 by
Filed under: Business Impacts, Data Quality, Master Data 

Since it has been a while since I posted to this blog (busy, busy – but busy is good!), I decided to take a break this morning and log some ideas that basically relate quality information to customer visibility.

Let’s list a bunch of things we want to know about our customers and then consider the implications regarding information utility:

1)    Identity: I want to know who each customer is, how I can identify each customer, and how I can distinguish different customers.

2)    Contact information: Effective marketing and customer service both demand access to the customer.

3)    Demographic data: This includes a lot of questions: where do my customers live, where do they work, where do they shop? When were they born, what is their level of education? What kind of car do they drive, do they own their own home?

4)    Activities: This includes both work and leisure related items: What do my customers do for a living? What do they do for fun? Where do they go on vacation?

5)    What They Buy: I’d like to know what products they prefer, how often do they make purchases, when do they try new things?

6)    How They Buy: Do they only buy online, brick and mortar stores, both? In the morning, at night? During the work week, on the weekends?

7)    Why They Buy: What are the triggers for making a purchase? Is it leisure-driven, maintenance-driven? Do they decide after a lot of research or are they driven by impulse? Do they return things and buy others?

8)    Preferences: What do my customers like and dislike? How would they like to be communicated with, engaged, etc.

I am sure I can come up with many more, but this is a good start, especially since each of these focus areas involve both the collection of data and the ability to access that data and prepare reports to present the data at an individual level and ultimately at an aggregate level. In essence, I want to go beyond knowing about each customer – I want to infer preferences for one customer in relation to other, similar customers.

I am tempted to begin an exercise to look at these “things” in greater detail in relation to the various tasks within a series of end-to-end business processes. With that context, I can look at the various errors that can be introduced into the data and how those errors affect the business process and lead to impaired ability to sell.


3 Comments on Things I Want to Know About Customers

  1. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen on Mon, 16th Jan 2012 10:02 AM
  2. Essential questions David. What come to my mind are also questions about relationships like the most common one for B2C: Who belongs to the same household?

  3. Prashant C on Mon, 16th Jan 2012 10:58 AM
  4. Good list of things to know David.

    Another aspect which is given good importance is the relationship information of a customer. Along with this, we also store relationship roles which help in determining who is more influential in a given relationship.


  5. Clarke Patterson on Fri, 20th Jan 2012 4:37 PM
  6. Great post, as always David! To build on Henrik’s thought, relationships to determine who influences who is also something to keep an eye out for. Particularly in the social world, the more we can connect the dots across social networks, the more effective we can be in tailoring outreach efforts.

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