We are in the data age of business. No matter where you look, you’re likely to be encouraged to tap into the power of “big data” and how it can help you develop insights that help you improve customer satisfaction, streamline the user experience, and even strengthen your own internal processes. But big data isn’t just relevant to big businesses. Smaller businesses can start making use of data to help them improve, as well. Here, we’re going to look at the data you can gather, and how you can use it to make better business decisions.
Track your team
Team management software, workflow software, and simple KPIs relevant to the work processes of the team can help you track the data that shows the team’s impact on the business. Collecting can help you get a better idea of their engagement levels, their work efficiency, and their overall productivity. Metrics such as attendance, error frequency, workload efficiency, task dependency and can help you not only measure individual team member performance, but help you gather a much broader understanding of the work environment and culture, allowing you to hit systemic issues, such as miscommunication, mismanagement, or poor understanding of team and company goals affecting everyone.
Learn where to find your customers
Tracking your leads can help you see which arm of your marketing strategy or other sources of clicks and conversions could use more attention and budget. Website analytics can help you track lead origins, whether it’s through email campaigns, social media, search engine results, pay-per-click advertising, and more. Not only can you see where customers are coming from, but also when they’re engaging with these lead origins, helping you better understand their shopping habits.
Cutting your costs
With accounting software, it becomes much easier to separate and effective measure where your business is spending its money. Identifying particular causes of overspend, such as utility and service providers, outsourced processes, vendors and suppliers can help you make more effective decisions that cut the costs in the business.
Improve customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is crucial to the long-term success of the business. It’s perhaps the single biggest factor contributing to customer retention, word-of-mouth and referrals. Through the use of surveys and quick questionnaires, you can get not only their opinions but some key metrics, as well. Customer satisfaction score marks their overall opinion numerically, while net promoter score offers a more objective evaluation of your services by asking how likely they are to recommend your business. Meanwhile, customer effort score helps you address pain points they face while attempting to engage with the business.
Marketing may be one of your small business’s largest investments, but if you don’t understand how effective your different marketing efforts are, it can be very difficult to understand the return on investment you see from your marketing budget. Many marketing platforms, be it search engine optimisation, pay-per-click advertising, or social media offer analytics options to help you measure reach, visibility, clickthrough, bounce rates, and where and when you’re getting the most engagement. You can see which marketing works best for the business, allowing you to weigh your marketing budget more in favour of what’s actually working for you.
Improving customer conversions
You can use analytics to see a lot more than just how you’re acquiring leads. You can use them to see how effectively you make use of them, as well. Conversation rate optimization tool is highly effective at showing where you’re losing customers, as well as what your website, app, or ecommerce platform is doing right to help guide them deeper into the consumer lifecycle.
Understand your customer better
Not only can you see which marketing strategies best reach them, how happy they are with the product, and ways to improve their user experience, you can understand customers better to brand more effectively, as well. Gathering even simple data on demographics can help you develop a more appropriate ideal customer profile, which can help you understand their values, which language is more likely to be effective with them, and which pain points your products and services are actually helping them with.
The importance of strategy
Big data is about using the many sources of data available, such as web analytics, finances, key performance indicators, and customer satisfaction surveys, to gather as much insight as possible. If a business focuses on collecting as much data as possible and starts looking at it without much direction, it’s easy to get lost amongst the sheer amount of information. Similarly, without identifying which data is relevant, it can be hard to find value from it. It’s important to have a strategy on how to not only gather data, but also on which data you need to use.
- Identify your goals: Why are you gathering the data in the first place? The points below can help you get some inspiration on which goals data can help you reach. Your business objectives should, of course, influence your data strategy.
- Finding key areas of relevant data: A data-driven business will be gathering information from a range of sources, such as website analytics, customer satisfaction scores, customer relationship management software, financial data and more. Your goals can help you narrow it down to which data is more relevant. For instance, if it’s a question of how effective your marketing is, post-service customer satisfaction may not be as valuable to the question.
- Turning data into insights through analysis: When you find which data is most relevant, reporting it in a fashion that allows for easy insights is important. Many analytic tools already present effective charts and graphs that can help you determine the bounce rate, conversation rate, and more. You have to take the time to interpret that data, too, to make use of it.
When you hold all the information, you hold all the cards. Using data is about strategy, determining which parts of the business you want to strengthen and gaining the relevant information. From those analytics, you can learn a lot more about where the business is going right and where it’s going wrong, helping you see specific areas to work on. Data needs some nuance to be used right, but when it is, it can help you make much better decisions.