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What is Customer Intelligence anyway?

Sales Person turning a knob to select customer retention strategy instead of acquisition. Composite image between a hand photography and a 3D background.,Image: 528471064, License: Royalty-free, Restrictions: , Model Release: no

Simply put, customer intelligence or CI is the process of gathering and analyzing various information about customers and their (mainly online) activities. This pursuit helps retailers and businesses build deeper and more effective relationships with their buyers and improve their organizations’ strategic decision-making by providing valuable insights into the customer base. Customer intelligence (CI) has thus become a key component of effective customer relationship management (CRM).

Where does the data come from?

There are numerous sources of data for CI such as speech analytics (used to monitor telephone conversations between the company and its customers), click and online activity tracking, text analytics, CRM databases, etc. The goal of customer intelligence, of course, is to gain insights into customers’ experience in interacting with the company and to find explanations for customers’ actions. CI is a state-of-the-art marketing tool and has become indispensable in the business world today.

Multi-channel to omni-channel

Recent trends in marketing include a transition from multi-channel customer engagement to omni-channel customer engagement, where the customer’s entire journey is tracked across all the various channels.

Companies across various industries are struggling with retaining customers, knowing about them, and engaging with customers. To overcome these challenges corporations are using information systems like customer intelligence, which is the main reason behind the rapid growth of the customer intelligence (CI) market.

Another reason lies in the fact that companies today need to engage more and more customers and getting to know them, together with increasing competition, calls for greater effectiveness. CI helps companies derive valuable insights from available data, for which they need highly skilled professionals.

The shortage of experts in the field will inevitably limit the growth of the CI market and as a result, customer intelligence will only be accessible to the biggest and richest of companies. This is where high-tech innovation comes in; rising technologies, such as big data, machine learning, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), which can automatically analyze information from multiple channels in real-time to produce customized offers in fractions of a second are becoming a reliable and budget-friendlier option.