Who are your customers?

Who are your customers?
Ronald S. Swift

Excerpted from Accelerating Customer Relationships, by Ronald S. Swift, published by Prentice Hall PTR.

The key to marketing success is the ability to ask the right questions that relate to a well-thought-out and actionable strategy. These are usually fundamental questions, and should be answerable with available data. Unfortunately, finding that data and getting the answers you need are typically impossible with the way information systems are structured.

The customer-centered data warehouse provides an opportunity to ask those questions with a good chance that most of them will be answered. For example, with better information about who your customers are, you become better able to serve and keep them.

A bank in the United Kingdom attempted to fine out just how many customers it had. It derived a number from a range of disparate computer systems that provided different bank services. That number was 2.5 million. When the data was finally cleaned up and used with matching software to eliminate duplicates, the bank found it actually had 7 million customers. They were customers in different databases that were not stored by name but by account number only, and incomplete records existed in many systems that focused on products. To make specific offers to your customer base, you have to know who your customers are.

Without a clear picture of who your customers are, it is probably easier to pursue your competitors' customers.

To learn more about Accelerating Customer Relationships, or to buy this book, click here.

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This was first published in January 2001

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