Report: Better Customer Intelligence Retains High-Value Customers

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Improving customer intelligence management practices lets organizations profitably define, identify and respond to high-value customers, according to a benchmark report released Jan. 3 by technology research firm The Aberdeen Group.

The report, "Customer Intelligence: Converting Data to Profits," which Boston-based Aberdeen launched with support from CMO Magazine, DM Review, DHSoft, Experian and Harte-Hanks Trillium Software, shows that companies that exemplify "best in class" practices attained greater than 20 percent improvement in gross revenue, customer acquisition and retention rates.

Improving customer intelligence management practices has become the top motivator for 74 percent of best-in-class companies in creating a corporate culture of customer-centricity, the report found. It also said that leaders are proactively addressing their need to improve the management, analysis and application of customer intelligence in several critical areas:

* Best-in-class companies use both operational business intelligence and predictive analytics to better understand and respond to high-value customers.

* Leaders are more likely to use customer data integration and data quality solutions to incorporate data captured from multiple sources prior to analysis.

* Leaders plan to extend or integrate their customer relationship management systems with other customer intelligence tools for increased visibility and better data analysis capabilities.

* 50 percent of the best in class selectively outsource to third-party service providers to augment internal capabilities and processes.

The report also revealed that leaders share similar approaches and processes, such as the establishment of cross-functional teams and ownership processes to align IT with line of business users; taking a long-term approach to growth in defining customer value by lifetime value models; and centralizing management of customer intelligence at the corporate level.

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