Posted 11 November 2013

Tesco face-cams highlight the importance of knowing your customer

Tesco face-cams highlight the importance of knowing your customer

As most people would’ve seen, Tesco has hit the headlines recently, with the retailer revealing it will soon be introducing face recognition technology at its petrol stations across the UK.

Each time a customer approaches the checkout a camera will scan their face to determine their gender and approximate age. That information will then be used to display an advert on a digital sign, which is targeted towards the demographic of each individual shopper in the hope that they will be more inclined to purchase the item on show.

While this revelation has caused a little bit of a storm – partly due to privacy fears and also a slightly eerie resemblance to the sci-fi film Minority Report – it’s a prime example of just how important it has become to know your customer in the modern business world.

Phrases like ‘knowledge is power’ and ‘data is money’ may have become a little bit clichéd, but that doesn’t change the fact they are true. Companies across every industry have been racing to collect as much information about their customers as they can in a bid to improve their products and services, enhance the customer experience and, ultimately, expand their profits.

A perfect example of the benefits of knowing your customer is call tracking and phone call analytics. There’s an enormous amount you can learn from phone calls and the advent of mobile technology means understanding consumers’ calling habits is set to become all the more important.

Tracking calls can fill you in on the entire customer journey, including where they came from before picking up the phone and where they went during and after the conversation. Such information is invaluable when it comes to improving customer experience, fine-tuning marketing strategies, maximising return on investment and making operational improvements.

Businesses simply can’t afford to go without this data anymore and knowing your customer inside out can be the difference that sets your company apart from its rivals, something Tesco is clearly aware of.

Traffic is important but don’t get caught up in it

It can be easy to get caught in traffic in the world of digital marketing.
Driving traffic to a website is the primary aim of most strategies, and obviously it needs to be, because if customers aren’t coming through the shop door your products and services aren’t going to get sold.

However, it can be tempting to sit back and think the job is done when traffic targets have been met, when in reality this is not even half the battle. It’s all well and good attracting a lot of people to your website, but if they don’t then go ahead and make a purchase or at least contact you for more information your efforts will all have been in vain.

Looking through the customer’s eyes

If traffic is going to count for anything it has to be converted into goals, more often than not being sales. Understanding your customer’s experience when using your site is key to this – every aspect should be designed with the end user in mind and your aim should be to make their experience as quick and easy as possible.

The online shopper is an impatient one and if your site presents a customer experience that is slow and long-winded, they’ll simply click away and go elsewhere.

Understand what makes them tick

Of course, to improve your end user experience you need to know as much as possible about them. Being aware of how they find your site, what pages they visit and what drives them to pick up the phone is all vital information that can be used to improve your site and make it as customer-friendly as possible.

Not only will this knowledge help to convert traffic into sales, it can also boost it in the future. By understanding what makes your customers tick, your marketing strategies can be altered accordingly to attract even more visitors.

Keep them coming back for more

The importance of repeat traffic shouldn’t be underestimated and ensuring your site contains content that will make users willing to return is another key marketing tool. Whether it’s a company blog, industry news or video, giving people a reason to come back is a great way to boost sales.

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