Marketing is crucial for most organizations in their efforts to acquire new customers and maintain their relationships with their existing ones. There are many factors involved in developing proper marketing strategies. One of them is the collection and proper analysis of interactional data.
Interactional data is not used to its full potential by many organizations in its ability to really understand its customers and what it can do to optimize their experience and secure their loyalty.

Overview: What is interactional data?

Interactional data can be defined as all of the correspondence between a business and its customers. This is primarily used for an organization’s marketing research and can include queries, complaints, and requests.

2 benefits of interactional data and 1 drawback

There are some major benefits of interactional data, as well as a drawback:

1. Benefit: Better targeting

Collecting interactional data and adequately analyzing it allows you to better target your products and services to the exact needs of your customer base.

2. Benefit: Real feelings

With interactional data, you are able to have a clear picture of the real feelings and motivations of your customers. Beyond simply knowing what their buying habits are, you can understand what leads them to make the types of buying decisions that they do.

3. Drawback: Time-consuming

Collecting and sorting through this type of data can be time-consuming. A significant time commitment will be needed if decisions are being held off until a sufficient amount of interactional data is collected.

Why is interactional data important to understand?

Interactional data is important to understand for the following reasons:

Continuous improvement

Having a clear understanding of interactional data is important because its analysis and making changes based on your findings is a great way to help ensure your organization’s continuous improvement.

Reactive to proactive

Understanding interactional data is important for any business that wants to move beyond being reactive and become more proactive in the decisions it makes.

Smart marketing

Having a firm grasp on interactional data is important simply because it can lead to better marketing decisions for your company.

An industry example of interactional data

A good example of interactional data being used to provide an organization with a competitive advantage would be the rivalry between Netflix and Blockbuster. With every rental interaction placed with Netflix, the company made sure to make note of the title, track what the customer liked, and make further rental recommendations. The organization’s technology also kept getting better and better at tailoring the recommendations with more titles picked. This greatly improved the customer experience and made customers feel like they were really being seen by the organization. In contrast, the most that Blockbuster offered was a loyalty program that offered every tenth rental for free.

3 best practices when thinking about interactional data

Here are some practices to think about when introducing interactional data into your organization:

1. Find ways to benefit the customer at the immediate interaction level

Along with spending the time to fully analyze the interactional data and making big decisions for the continuous improvement of your organization, try to find ways to improve the experience of your customers immediately upon their interaction with your organization. This will do a lot towards building up loyalty towards your company and helping create a competitive advantage.

2. Contact center

Understand that your contact center is one of your biggest tools for collecting interactional data and then using that data to create successful business strategies that improve the customer experience.

3. Make the connection

Make the connection between your interaction data, transforming the information into a real understanding of your customer, and using that data to improve how your customers relate to your business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about interactional data

What is more important, transactional or interactional data?

Both types of data are integral to creating the right kind of customer experience. Focusing completely on one over the other would be a mistake.

Are most companies successful with utilizing their interactional data?

No. Around 78% of companies have difficulty sorting through, analyzing, and digesting the data that is collected.

Is social media interactional data?

Certain aspects of social media can be considered interactional data. Examples would be comments that customers make in response to social media posts or direct messages that are sent.

Interactional data in your business

Interactional data is crucial in understanding the needs of your customers and being able to deliver the ideal experience for them. Every interaction that happens between someone connected to your organization and a current or potential customer should be kept track of, and that data should be mined for whatever important information can be gleaned from it. There are many cases of just one interaction with a customer sparking an innovative change in an organization with an eye on optimizing the customer experience.
About the Author