Data is one of the most valuable resources for businesses. The more information you have about your customer’s interests and needs, the better service you can provide. When the Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted lives in today’s situation, it is even more crucial to know your customers in their current state of mind to meet and exceed their expectations. An enhanced understanding of your customers allows you to create services and products of their interest.
Understanding your customers isn’t that complicated, but it needs a thoughtful analysis of how and where you can collect the essential data. Define the aspects of consumer behavior meaningful to your business, and start to collect that data effectively.
Steps to Collect Customer Data Effectively
Collecting customer data must be done correctly, as it is a lot more valuable for businesses. There are different ways of collecting necessary information, but it is helpful to opt for a step-by-step process ensuring useful data collection. Follow the steps listed below for effective customer data management.
Step 1: Determine Information You Want to Collect
The first thing that ensures effective customer data management is to define the customer data that you need. Collect only the essential information that can add value to your business. Gathering too much unnecessary information can hinder decision making and increase the risk of hacking. 60% and 73% of all data within an organization go unused for analytics. Thus, determining what data to collect requires strategic thinking.
Step 2: Employ Security Policies
Your customer data includes invaluable information about their occupations, addresses, phone numbers, and financials. Keeping your customers’ data safe will increase the trust component, building good relationships with customers. According to research, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million in 2018. The report also stated that for breaches of 50 million records, companies could lose about $118 million. It is estimated that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) undergo average losses of $120,000 per data breach. Employing security policies and being transparent about your data collection helps to build trust.
Step 3: Collect Data
Once you finalize the data type, and implement data security policies, you can start collecting the data. You can store and organize it in the data management platform. If you’re collecting data from a marketing campaign, set a specific timeframe to gather the data effectively.
Step 4: Use Customer Database Software
Companies that take customer data seriously use a secure database to store the data instead of traditional excel sheets. Make sure to use a customer relationship management system compliant with GDPR. Having a CRM helps keep all of your data in one place, track customer interactions, and have a unified view of customer data.
Step 5: Back-Up Data
You must have a well-guarded backup of all your customer data if there’s an issue with your system. Keep a safe backup of your customer data to protect it further. As the chances of losing data are high, having backup and a recovery plan is essential. Businesses can rely on the right backup system that keeps customer data safe.
Six Ways to Collect Customer Data
There are various ways of collecting data that is significant to your business. You can directly ask your customers for information, monitor your interactions with customers, or observe customer behavior. According to your business goals, choose the type of data you need, and start collecting it. Here are some ways to collect data.
1. Conducting Surveys
Surveys define the direct way of asking customers for information. They can help collect quantitative or qualitative data according to your business needs. You can make a list of a questionnaire that respondents can answer in one or two words or give them the list of responses to choose from. Also, issuing customer polls can help you collect real-time data. You can conduct these surveys online, over email, over the phone, or even in person.
2. Tracking Transactions
To know your customers, you should gain valuable insights about your customers. You can store the transactional history in a customer relationship management system. This information will help know how often customers visit your website, which products are more popular and why, and how often people like to purchase. It will help you enhance your services and products according to customers’ requirements to serve them better.
3. Marketing Analytics
Irrespective of the platform, every marketing campaign can help to collect valuable data. You can also import data from offline marketing campaigns. If you track your marketing campaigns performance, you can get to know who clicked your ads, what device they used, how many times they click, and more. These insights will help you personalize the customer experience. Tracking your offline campaigns will give you information about how likely people refer your brand to others or products they like the most.
4. Subscription or Registration Forms
You can gather valuable data from site visitors who want to sign up for your rewards program, email list, or another program running on your website. Offering customers something in return for providing information will help you collect important data. While collecting data through these forms, ask for only essential data, and avoid asking for too much information to discourage people from participating.
5. Monitoring Social Media
The pandemic restrictions have forced people to stay indoors, which has significantly increased the time they spend on social media. This is the best place to collect your customers’ information. However, social insights are often fractured, incomplete, or confusing in nature. To hone in on customer data in social, monitoring your customers’ activities, setting up alerts, or employing third-party social media monitoring software can be helpful.
6. In-Store Traffic Monitoring
In the case of the brick-and-mortar store, it is most straightforward to gather insights from monitoring the foot traffic in-store. The most manageable way to do this is with a traffic counter on the door that helps you track the number of people who come into your store throughout the day. These insights help you know the most-hectic days and hours. You can install security systems with motion sensors to help you track customers’ movement patterns in your store.
Collecting high-quality data is a foundation for your business’ success. With an effective process, you can gather the information you need, also organize, analyze, and activate it. With the right ways of data collection, you can have better customer data management.