Home Blog Customer experience It’s not just what they say, it’s what they do: Behavioral insights

It’s not just what they say, it’s what they do: Behavioral insights

Behavioral insights help you understand what customers do so you can make decisions about what the business should do. It’s that simple. Or it would be if it weren’t for the enormous complexity of behaviors and how they interact with each other. That’s why this discipline has become so important, especially since the exponential lift in digital interactions these past few years.  

Behavioral insights are a great way for you to understand cohorts of customers who act a certain way or perform specific actions – the segments of behavior within the data you’re looking at. Remember actions speak louder than words, so with the right behavioral data points, coupled with information from surveys and other feedback methods, you have the recipe for success at your fingertips.  

And what do you get with this recipe? Simply, you have the cake and get to eat it. 

You’ll be able to make data-based decisions to help your business achieve its goals. Understanding customer behaviors and how they relate to each other shows you the path to increasing retention and boosting engagement, all these things that tend to impact directly on customer lifetime value and the bottom line.  

How do behavioral insights work?

All businesses collect behavioral data. It’s part of the platforms we use, the systems we have in place. But the result is often a myriad of data points that aren’t worth much on their own.  

Behavioral insights generally combine two types of data: user data for segmentation and event data that tracks actions. By placing them together, you can find out what your customers are up to, across touchpoints in the journey. You can turn data into stories and create cohorts of customers with a certain profile. And you can better predict future behaviors based on all the information. 

Bring your behavioral data into your experience platform and the world’s your oyster. Not only do you have all the right data in one place to give it its full meaning, but you can also visualize it via fit-for-purpose dashboards and alerts. It’s even better if your platform integrates with your internal communication systems and other business software, so you can share information and make decisions right there and then. 

Examples of behavioral insights 

What kind of behaviors can you track? As many as you want! For example:  

  • Downloading an asset online such as an eBook 
  • Abandoning a cart 
  • Logging into an account 
  • Purchasing a subscription 
  • Visiting a certain page 

And what can organizations do with this information? Well, it helps them understand their customers better so they can shape their offering and their communications more accurately. Behavioral data is particularly well suited for exercises like A/B testing and funnel analysis, as well as customer journey mapping. 

Now let’s consider online retail as an example, a real expert at this game. Ecommerce companies often have huge amounts of behavioral data about their customers which can be used to recommend new products to them and entice them to buy more. 

And this is a key success factor for some, if not most of the market domination of e-retailers. The combination of data about what customers do and the way they feel is very powerful indeed. It gives organizations a sense of why customers behave in a certain way, so they can influence this in future. For instance, if they see that the customers who abandoned a cart also gave bad reviews about the shopping experience (e.g., not accepting their preferred payment method), they’ll know what to fix to prevent this issue in future.  

Top tips

  • Be targeted. Try to be as specific as possible about what data points you need to collect, and how it helps to enhance your program 
  • Connect the right data points and find out what outcomes you’re aiming for, and make sure you map the customer journey for every bit of data you collect 
  • Look for patterns over time. Why is one segment of customers less happy than another? Use descriptive, diagnostic and predictive and methods to improve the program in the long term 

How to get started with behavioral insights 

  1. Define your goals

    If you don’t know where you’re going, how could you possibly pick the right path? Start with your company’s corporate goals and ensure your behavioral insights strategy aligns with them. For instance, if a key objective is to reduce customer churn by 5%, make sure you collect all relevant data. What were the last 3 actions a customer went through before churning? Maybe these actions often include a chatbot conversation that didn’t go well. The point is, there’s an almost infinite number of behaviors you can track, so make sure you know where the path to success lies. 
  2. Bust the silos 

    Behavioral data is held in many places across the business. Marketing of course, but also product, digital, finance, the customer call center, among others. Once you have defined your goals and the related metrics, find out where that information is available and how to connect to it. But data shouldn’t just flow one way. Behavioral insights can benefit the company at large, not just the CX or customer insights team. So, make sure you include all departments in your strategy so you can both grab and share data across the business. 
  3. Get the right platform 

    Now you know where you’re going, and what data you need along the way, you can select the right platform that will deliver your vision. You’ll need to consider how to: 
  • integrate data from different sources 
  • compare data side by side 
  • understand why customers engage with your brand 
  • make sure everyone can use it (user-friendliness is key) 
  • set up all the dashboards you’ll need, now and in the future 

How can Forsta help? 

Every bit of data is part of a story. Connect it all up so you never miss a chapter. Forsta makes multiple data streams work as one. Pull together any data you want to connect, like CRM data, purchase transactions, operational metrics, call center notes and recordings.  

Forsta takes all your combined data and continuously synchronizes changes. Your insights are always up to date, and you’re never blindsided. So, when trends start to emerge that could have a story behind them, you’ll be the first to know. 

Ready to see in a new dimension? 

Like all programs, behavioral insights success depends on how well you define your goals right at the start. Don’t skip that step, and hope all will magically fall into step later. You need at least a picture of the puzzle before you start building it. But do start small, maybe with a pilot. If you try and boil the ocean all at once, you might not have anything to show next quarter. And that’s often why programs get axed before they get going. 

Behavioral insights can add a whole new dimension to your customer experience program. They help you fill that gap between what customers say and what they do. They enrich your survey data with hard metrics, so you can show them the money and prove the value of your program.  

With behavioral insights you also get to go one step further with customer journey mapping, connecting the dots between touchpoints so they start to make sense. You can spot behaviors that trigger certain actions – upselling, churn, and anything in between. So, you can better understand why customers do what they do. And you can see the story behind the data.  

”Forsta allows you to be truly open. You click on a link on our website, and directly navigate the data. It is incredibly easy; you have access to everything with no login required.” 

Robert Pain
Senior Insight Advisor, Transport Focus 

Want to know how you can really understand customer behavior? 

It’s the key to making the right decisions, at the right times. Especially when those times are turbulent. Check out our eBook Gather: From Feedback to Feelings

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