Want to truly connect with your members? Well you are in luck.

We recently sat in on a webinar hosted by Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) that discussed how data analytics can be used to deepen customer relationships. Here’s our summary:

One of the most exciting facets of data is that it generates real-time consumer insights. Think about social media: it is always on, and at any time, people can be talking about your organization or industry — creating more data points that you can analyze.

Understanding how to tap into real-time data can help your organization implement a marketing strategy that optimizes interaction with your target market. Focusing on consumer or member data gives you insight about your members and constituencies. The data can provide identities and segments, context, and the histories of the people or companies you encounter.

Have you ever taken an inventory of your organization’s data? Where does it come from? What questions are asked at event registration? Understand that the data you collect across your organization allows you to engage other departments and build a cohesive marketing strategy best suited to your target market.

Can data provide an improved customer service experience? Of course it can. Customer service problems begin internally. In a 2013 survey, 80% of executives believed their company was delivering superior customer service, yet only 8% of the companies surveyed received a top grade from customers. The challenges that prevent great customer experience, according to webinar speaker Kevin Poe from Experian (@ExperianDQ), are total reliance on tech and automation, lack of channel integrations, and the internal view of the customer experience as something segmented across an organization.

Data, both in the form of customer satisfaction surveys and social media feedback can provide an understanding of the problems that your customers face. Understanding a customer’s problem will make it easier to prevent it from happening again. Creating a predictive modeling of customer engagement and satisfaction will allow for a quicker, more efficient, customer service process.

When you utilize data analysis, the benefits for your organization as a whole are exponential. You will gain strong loyalty when members and customers feel that personal touch while dealing with your organization. And if customers get that personal feeling, they will be willing to spend more. Once you have collected all the information, you may discover it’s necessary to develop new business models to match your customers’ evolving needs and expectations.

Knowing your consumer is the best way to adjust your marketing or business strategies to impact your business and grow your engagement. So how are you using data to drive customer understanding?