Even though a lot of companies don't realize it: collecting relevant customer information is essential for every company. Fortunately, you can start doing this quite easily, without too much experience upfront. Just use what you have at your disposal. So if you want to know how you can start growing your business with relevant customer data, keep on reading! Let's get that data!

Ok, so you want to get to know (more of) your customers. You have most probably heard of "360 degree customer view"? Getting to know the needs of your customers with all data you can collect throughout your company? The first step is to start with the first 90 degrees, don't worry the rest will follow. Let's take little steps to get to the full 360 degrees!

Since it's already 2019 and the wheel was invented some 5500 years ago, let's assume every company has a website. Let's start there. This is by far the easiest source of statistical data from your customers as well as a great place to use your new insights. The first 90 degrees start here! There are two ways you can approach this: let machines help you or do it yourself.

Google, your pal in website analytics made easy. Google Analytics can gather a lot of customer (website visitor) information that you can use to measure your goals and KPI's. Views, Clicks, Click Through Rates (CTR), Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Conversion Rate (CR) to name a few. This information will give you a correct and measured view about where your customers are and how your goals are being achieved (or not).

The next stop in your journey are Google Data Studio and Google Tag Manager. The latter makes it possible to specifically tag actions of your website visitors that you can and want to measure. Google Data Studio on the other had is a great tool to easily visualize and compare the vasts amount of data that you started collecting in this step.

Help from Google is good and all, but don't forget to start working on your data yourself. You can get more detail if you get your hands dirty and the history your are collecting is far more specific (and might fit your needs better) than an out of the box solution. Collect client side data (stuff that happens on your website by visitors) with Google Tag Manager or Snowplow. Collect server side data (stuff that happens on your web server) like number of orders etc.

Once you have all this specific data flowing, you still need to visualize, compare and analyze this. Where Google Data Studio is the basic model in data visualization, there also is a tricked out new kid on the blok: Looker. Looker will give you advanced complex insights like:
• Average Order Value (AOV)
• The funnel your customers go through
• Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
• Market Basket Analysis (where do your customers drop out)
• Trends and Expectations: what trends and anomalies are there in website visits
• Clicks and Bricks: translate your online commerce into offline retail. What's the best location to open up a new store.

So this start seems simple right? There is already a lot of information about your customer out there. It's just your job to gather it and use it to help your customers. These easy first steps are a start. We will get to a complete 360 degree view at our next post. Stay tuned!