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7 customer analytics trends to watch in 2023 and beyond
Customer analytics lets you better understand your buyers to improve their product experience (PX) and boost customer satisfaction and revenue alike.
But the way customers interact with your product changes all the time. Keeping up with customer analytics trends helps you keep your finger on the pulse of customer needs and desires and act fast to give them what they truly want.
We’ve identified seven customer analytics trends that help you gain a deeper understanding of your buyers or user base needs. We’ll look at how these trends help your customers, business, and teams, and how to apply them to create a better product.
Want to understand what really drives customer desire?
Hotjar’s product experience insights let you see the customer journey through their eyes.
7 customer analytics trends that will benefit your customers and your business
These seven customer analytics trends help you better understand the customer experience (CX), drive user satisfaction, and achieve your organizational key performance indicators (KPIs).
But they’re not one size fits all: the right customer analytics process for your organization depends on your unique customer base, business model, resources, and company goals.
Before jumping on a new trend, talk with your team and key stakeholders and make sure the trend you choose will really create value for your customers and company.
1. Use multi-channel insights
More and more customers now interact with brands and products across multiple platforms and channels, and new sources of insights are emerging all the time—from social media interactions and customer communities to voice-enabled smart home devices and wearable tech. The shift toward home working in recent years has also led to more users engaging with streaming media like podcasts, making this another valuable source of customer analytics.
Taken together, all these sources of information reveal deeper insights into customer lifestyles and choices, and give you a more complete picture of the customer experience across channels and devices. This lets you make better data-driven decisions and create more personalized, customer-centric experiences based on a deeper understanding of your customers.
To apply this trend to your business, you’ll need to be able to analyze multi-channel, non-linear customer journeys. Here's how to do that in just four steps:
First, map the customer journey to understand your customer profiles and their needs, pain points, behavior, and most-used channels
Then, gather insights from in-person interactions, social media, and different teams— like sales, marketing, and customer success and support. To do this, get everyone on the same page and achieve cross-functional collaboration between teams by integrating reporting tools. Hotjar integrations with tools like HubSpot, Omniconvert, and Segment can help.
Use customer analytics software to gather insights and identify patterns in user behavior across channels and devices. For example, tools like Woopra or Brand24 help you build up detailed customer profiles by combining website traffic with social media profiles and hashtag use.
Act on these insights to improve the customer experience. For example, an ecommerce company with high cart abandonment rates could both use direct user surveys and take a look at social media to understand how customers talk about your product experience. Maybe you find out that customers leave the page without buying because they have unanswered questions about the product—and installing a chatbot to answer simple questions might solve the problem. Letting customers easily find answers at the right time can help overcome barriers to conversion.
Pro tip: Use Hotjar’s Observe tools—Session Recordings and Heatmaps—to map the customer journey on your website or digital product. See how users move around, which areas capture their attention, and where they get frustrated or drop off.
Filter your Recordings to understand how customers experience your site on different devices. Maybe you see that on smaller mobile screens, customers aren’t noticing important information or clicking on CTAs—and moving these up to the top of the page improves the user experience (UX) and drives conversions.
Hotjar Recordings show you how users really experience the customer journey on different devices
2. Get 'real-time' customer insights
Smarter devices mean improved real-time insights. And the more you watch data stories unfold in real-time (rather than analyzing big data sets later), the better you understand and adapt to changing customer behavior and expectations.
For example, monitoring open and click-through rates on your marketing campaigns lets you make small changes and see how they affect engagement, like testing out different subject lines, changing the frequency of communications, etc.
Communicating with customers in real-time also makes them feel heard and valued, which boosts their satisfaction and loyalty levels.
To apply the real-time insights trend to your business:
Launch timed surveys to launch questions at key moments during the customer journey on your site—or send them out when customers exit or churn to get up-to-the-minute insights and boost retention
Use Hotjar’s unobtrusive Feedback widget as a quick and easy way for users to provide real-time feedback and rate specific parts of your site. They can even add a screenshot of a particular feature or section and tell you what they like or dislike about it so you can respond rapidly to issues.
Use tools that automatically capture insights in real-time. For example, Brandwatch lets you track mentions of brands, products, and keywords for you to stay up to date with how people are talking about your brand, products, and competitors and act fast when you spot threats and opportunities.
Get someone on your team to monitor incoming customer feedback and insights at all times. Set up direct lines of communication between them and other teams like product and customer support.
Ecommerce sites can take a leaf out of Amazon’s book and use an AI-powered algorithm to monitor browser behavior and provide suggestions to help customers find what they’re looking for
SaaS companies can provide interactive guides and in-the-moment tooltips to offer help in context and boost product adoption
Pro tip: Use Hotjar’s Slack integration to instantly share insights from Session Recordings, Feedback, and Surveys with your teams.
You can also create Highlights to extract the most relevant user insights and filter out the noise. As well as letting your teams know exactly where to take action, this helps get stakeholder buy-in for bigger product changes or website updates.
Hotjar’s Slack integration Slack lets teams discuss insights in the moment, so they’re up to date with critical issues
3. Empathize deeply with your customers
High-level quantitative customer analytics let you identify patterns and trends in customer demand and behavior. But stacks of metrics alone won’t help you understand your customers. You need to combine qualitative and quantitative insights to build deep customer empathy.
Combine the ‘what’—how customers behave on your website and which products they buy—with the ‘why’—what problems they’re trying to solve on your site and what drives them to purchase—for deeper insights into customer desires and motivations. This lets you design better products to meet user needs and adjust marketing messages to speak directly to your ideal customers.
How to use customer analytics to build deep empathy:
Combine data from all channels and customer touchpoints
Then, combine qualitative insights with quantitative analytics to understand patterns and put users’ joys and frustrations into context. Use Hotjar Heatmaps and Session Recordings for granular customer data—you can even filter Recordings to locate customers who told you they were satisfied or dissatisfied for more joined-up insights.
If you have the resources, invest in a natural language processing tool. These identify and extract information from sources like text, social media, and speech, and correlate insights with historical behavior data to predict customers’ future actions.
4. Better data-sharing between teams
Customer analytics is everybody’s business now. It benefits no one—least of all your customers—for valuable insights to stay in departmental silos.
Getting teams to cross-functionally access, share, and understand customer analytics improves everyone's ability to better understand your customers. It also makes it easier for teams to collaborate and achieve alignment around what the customer wants.
These combined insights make it easier to take data-informed decisions and improve the customer experience across all departments.
To apply this trend to your business:
Combine data across departments, like marketing, sales, customer service, product, etc., as well as using external sources to access deeper insights
Empower your teams to access, explore, and act on customer insights with training in the tools and skills they need to work with and understand data
Use intuitive, no-code tools like Hotjar that are easy to use and accessible to all your teams
As the use of big data, mobile devices, and cloud-based services continues to grow, so, too, will the need for customer analytics tools that can handle these larger datasets. Teams will need to become more adept at using these tools to glean insights from customer data. And businesses will need to invest in training their employees on how to use customer analytics tools effectively.
5. Focus on your customers' data privacy and protection
As consumers become more aware of the value of their data, companies need to get smarter about how they use and protect it. More transparent data policies also help create trust and customer loyalty.
Also, as third-party cookies are phased out, it’s becoming harder to access third-party data and track customers across the internet. This means businesses need to find other ways to understand their customers and maintain a competitive edge, while protecting sensitive data.
Ways to prioritize data privacy in customer analytics:
Focus on achieving a more contextual, nuanced understanding of the customer experience by mapping the customer journey from start to finish
Collect more ‘zero-party’ data, like Hotjar Survey responses, to bring the voice of the customer into decision making and reduce reliance on third-party data
Use a privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics like Plausible, which offers open source web analytics without cookies—or Hotjar, which records user interactions and insights but not sensitive customer data
Ensure your website has up-to-date server protection, access controls, and encryption where needed
6. Adopt AI and machine learning methods
As the number of channels and data sources grow, so does the amount of data you can gather. This can take up a lot of resources, so companies with multiple distribution channels are increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate data extraction and processing. And far from taking over from humans, the latest AI tools are designed to work collaboratively with people and help teams achieve deeper empathy.
Advanced AI and ML tools also help segment customers more accurately to let you run more targeted marketing campaigns and offer the right products to the right customers, greatly increasing your potential for personalization.
How to apply the AI and machine learning trend to your business:
Use predictive analytics to look at historical customer behavior and predict future behavior. For example, based on the past products a customer purchased, you can put together a marketing campaign to send them samples of new products that match their interests. This lets you identify opportunities faster and more accurately to boost revenue.
Use prescriptive customer analytics for concrete strategies to make changes that create customer delight. For example, running prescriptive AI might show you that changing the position of products on your website to link with the season or upcoming trends improves customer engagement.
Use algorithms to score individual customers and predict their satisfaction, loyalty, and other metrics. Comparing predicted and actual metrics shows you the customer pain points you need to improve.
Though AI and ML require some resources to set up, smaller companies can implement this customer analytics trend by:
Using a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to track customer interactions, score deals according to the probability of closing, and make ML-powered sales forecasts
Installing a chatbot on your website to answer simple questions, so customers get answers to their product issues fast. The more a chatbot learns from user interactions, the more sophisticated it becomes and the better it serves customers.
Using algorithms to make product recommendations and suggestions as users browse your website
7. Use cloud-based analytics
Cloud-based analytics services provide scalable, cost-effective access to high-power computing. This makes running AI and ML more accessible for smaller companies, allowing them to compete with larger organizations in understanding their customers.
As the need for powerful data analytics grows, more and more companies move from costly in-house tech stacks to cloud-based services or a hybrid on-premises/cloud setup.
To apply the trend to your business, check out services like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Analytics to see if cloud-based analytics fit your company’s needs.
Stay ahead of the curve with customer analytics trends and improve PX
The way your customers interact with your brand and products changes all the time—so you need to spot, predict, and react to changes fast to create customer delight.
It helps to have your finger on the pulse of customer analytics trends, like gathering real-time, multi-channel insights; achieving cross-functional team collaboration and data sharing; taking advantage of AI and cloud analytics; and prioritizing data protection.
Want to understand what really drives customer desire?
Hotjar’s product experience insights let you see the customer journey through their eyes.