The perceived appeal of customer analytics is the potential to garner such specific information about your customer constituency that you can accurately predict all customer behaviors and actions with enough advanced notice to identify key opportunities and take advantage of them, and maximize value to both your customers and your organization. Yet for every mature organization that has an impactful and effective customer analytics program, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of organizations that are struggling with just the mere basics.
So if you were to start from scratch, where would you start? As a technologist, my first impulse is always to jump directly to implementing a solution – customer data integration, CRM, even specific solutions such as popular online marketing and sales software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. This is what often happens. A typical scenario is this: a senior manager reads an article exclaiming that “analytics leads to better cross-selling and up-selling.” That manager then declares that the company must institute analytics, with the corresponding waterfall effect that the technology must be brought in so that the company can then cross-sell and up-sell (notwithstanding an absence of a plan for specifying what is being cross-sold or how that is to be done).
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