Things I Want to Know About Customers
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.