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Why Customer Data is important?

I would love to start this article by telling an incident. I and my friend were at a salon shop and speaking to the barber. During the course of talking, suddenly my friend asked him whether he has some system or notebook to store customer data and feedback. To which barber replied 'Why do I need that?' and 'I know everybody in my mind'. Then my friend convinced him about its use case and that is a different story. This incident prompted me to write this article.

First of all, let us create a situation what kind of value-addition customer data generates? Say we fill petrol to our bike regularly in the nearby bunk. We usually fill before going to the office. Think from a petrol bunk point of view. There will be many customers like this. This is the simple daily routine to many but not for petrol bunk. Petrol bunk can extract infinite information from this. Let's see!

  1. Collect all visit logs of customers- This should include their work location

  2. Their time of petrol filling

  3. Their vehicle type

Just above three columns in excel are more than enough. See what we can do with this. When you take any data, always look for patterns.

The whole thing we call 'Science' is just pattern finding in grand variable of things

Patterns from the above data can be :

  • Customers with same office timings

  • Customer waiting time and we can subcategorize them based on timing

  • Average fuel spending and map that to vehicle type

  • Weekend vs Weekdays consumption

  • Intraday variations etc.

After finding a pattern,identify problems

Problems from the above pattern can be :

  • Which set of customers has more waiting period?

  • Human resource deficit at the peak time

  • Cash management or cash flow at peak time

  • Cash deficit in trough time

  • Customer footfall decrease

  • Ease of payment

  • Space available for waiting time

  • Attracting customers in lag time etc.

You know the problem,then Solve !

Solutions to the above problem can be :

Note: Solutions are in the same order as the problem above

  • Have a dedicated line for prime customers/incentivize them like discounts for waiting time

  • Hire part-time labours during peak time

  • Dedicated human resource for cash management

  • Maintain reserves

  • Sell allied products like a lubricant, free air check/restroom facilities

  • Increase mode of payment

  • Make unproductive spaces productive

  • Prime membership/Coupons/carwash etc

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Disclaimer: This article is me speaking to me through this blog! Short Intro: If you want to innovate in a particular field, you need to understand how things work in the first place. Innovation is a

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