Any type of business will not be successful without touching base with its clients and most importantly, to the consumers. In general, businesses  are created to make, build and provide product or services that are targeted to specific clients or in most cases, to the general population. If the clients or the general population find the product or service useful, functional or just plain interesting, then there is a big chance that their product or services will be purchased and used. If the product or service offered by the business provided what it tends to do, or more, customer satisfaction and a good word of mouth will surely follow. This will allow the business to grow, will have a solid reputation and eventually will earn authority in their chosen business field. Now, if the business does not deliver and provide sturdy, useful products or services that are below standard, it will result to client and customer dissatisfaction. With customer dissatisfaction, no products  or services will be purchased and eventually the business will fall and fold. In the business world, it is a two way street. A business cannot be successful without its target consumers, and consumers can’t get a hold of a product or service if it is not created or manufactured by a business or enterprise.

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Customers in line. Image courtesy of 4womeninbusiness.co.uk

Again, a business or enterprise cannot survive without its target consumers and customers, thus these entities should know what the consumers want, need or desire. Business entities should know the pulse of the people and marketing should know ways of selling their products since today’s customers can get information on anything in just a snap. Customer’s can do their own research about certain products so businesses should  never sell s@#$. Businesses should take care  of their customer and enhance customer experience.

Consumer Defined

A consumer or customer is a person or a group of persons who are the final users or services or products and as such, customers or consumers play a very important role in many businesses and in general, in the economic system of a nation. If an effective consumer demand is absent, then the producers would lack the essential motivations in producing which is to sell to consumers. The customers, client or consumers also form part of the distribution chain. Generally, when economists, and many business people talk about customers, they are talking about the person as a consumer which is an aggregated commodity item with little individuality other that that is expressed in the decision to purchase or not to purchase. But there is an ongoing trend in marketing that aims to individualize the concept, that instead of generating a very broad demographic profile, marketers have been  engaging mass customisation, permission marketing and personalized marketing.

Customers are one of the most important factors in any business organization. Customers are the prime resource that can make or break  any business. Whenever you think of the importance of customers, you should remember that:

  • Business enterprises are dependent on their customers. If loyalty and satisfaction are not developed, the business will  lose its customers.
  • Selling’s backbone is repeat business. It helps in providing revenue and certainty for any business.
  • Without consumers or customers, any business enterprise would not exist.
  • The customers make it possible to achieve the business enterprise’s goal.
  • The function of the business organization is to fulfill the needs of the customers.
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Shopping for groceries. Image courtesy of www.best-money-saving-tips.com

Customer satisfaction is the essential in the process of selling of products and services. It is said that it costs  5 times more to attract or make new customers  than to keep an existing one thus the relationship between the customer and the business is important. Building customer relationships can be compared to a ladder where loyal customers are at the top. The ladder can consist of four steps:

  • 4 – loyal customers or advocates
  • 3 – regular customers
  • 2 – occasional users
  • 1 – one time buyers

How the customers move up to this ladder will depend on how they are treated by the business. Focused sales methods and attention to  individual detail will surely encourage customers to move up the ladder. Businesses can get make this happen by taking advantage of big data.

What Is Big Data?

Big data is a collective term  that describes any collection of data sets that is complex and large  that it becomes very hard to process using  traditional data processing applications. It can also be described as a high variance, high volume, and high velocity information assets that require many new ways of processing that helps in improved decision making, process optimization and insight discovery.

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Image courtesy of www.bigdata-careers.com

Big Data, Business And The Customers

Although big data have been in use for a couple years now,  most still perceive big data as a new concept. Big data, examines large amounts of data to uncover, unknown patterns, correlations and other useful information. Every call  to the contact center, every visitor to the business website, every service request and every time a product is sent or shipped contributes  to the store of available data. Big data helps in facilitating analysis in bringing these data together and making it useful in executing decisions and solving issues that are related to the business and enhancing customer experience. If it is used in real time, such information can be used  in providing competitive advantages over competitors  and will result in improved customer experience that will lead to increased profits. Storing all of the data can be straightforward, but extracting value from them is a different task. There is no point in collecting and storing large amounts of data if it can’t be used in adding value to any business activities. Powerful and predictive analytic tools can be used that analyze  large amounts of data which pick up trends that are previously unnoticed. These tools can analyze existing data while monitoring real-time data as it is stored. With historical data, this can be compared with the current data that can allow changes in demand and to be quickly identified.

Advantages Of Big Data

Any business that takes advantage of big data will have a significant advantage over their competitors. They will have better insight into what their customers are looking or seeking. They will also have a good perspective on the macro trends that can shape the market in the near future. Any business enterprise  that position themselves in taking advantage of these opportunities will be able to predict trends and solve foresee issues before it emerge. They will also ensure that the enterprise will be placed in matching their offerings with proven marketing and customer demands.

By taking advantage of big data, businesses can align themselves  more closely with their customers in different ways that includes:

1. Creating new services and products

Having insights into the shifting market and customer demands, businesses can change their product mix that will ensure better alignment with real-world customer requirements and demands. Other products can be withdrawn and the resources can be focused on those that are more likely to sell.

2. Upselling

Having a clearer vision of the services and products a customer has bought in the past allows the business to proactively offer new products that will likely suit their needs.

3. Better communication

Marketing campaigns can be tailored to an “audience of one” instead of using a one size fits all approach.

4. Personalized customer experience

Customer interactions can be personalized and streamlines if it is based on all the information gathered and analyzed from the previous interactions. Customers will no longer be treated as an “unknown” person every time they have contact with the business.

5. Omni-channel interaction

The experience should be consistent that will ensure a strong relationship between the business and its customers regardless of how a customer chooses to interact with a business.

Big Data and the boss. image courtesy of dilbert.com

Big Data and the boss. Image courtesy of dilbert.com

More data will be generated in the near future through machine-to-machine interactions. It can include anything from product manufacturing lines, sensor networks and supply chains. This valuable information can provide opportunities in getting better insights from customer behavior, market trends, supply chains and logistics that can improve business planning and execution. For any enterprise that takes advantage of big data, the possibilities are endless. New insights can be gained that can help shape anything from manufacturing, stock selection, advertising and marketing and total customer experience.

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.