Without knowing your client, you can’t offer him the best experience you want him to have. That’s why most marketing & sales projects will require a phase of customer data collection. Your company may also be or want to be a data driven company. In any case, you need a way to collect and store your data efficiently. Here are 5 methods of collecting customer data that actually work!
1. Customer Data collection forms
In all existing data collection methods, forms are the most commonly used tools. On a website, visitors can, for example, fill in a form to subscribe to a newsletter, create an account, or download an ebook. The data retrieved from the form is then stored in a CRM.
In order to obtain more data from existing customers, companies can send out forms directly to them. If you are thinking about sending out such a form, consider giving away a gift for giving their personal information. These forms are usually sent out by mail.
To increase the response rate even more, you can send these forms by SMS or automated call and include a link to your form in your SMS. If your reasons for gathering data are clear and that your gift is attractive, your customers should not see this as too intrusive, but more as an opportunity. Cherry on the cake: the forms can be linked directly to your CRM. Everything is done automatically. From the sending of the message to the actual filling of your CRM!
2. Customer Surveys
To gather information, UX designers often use surveys on how users perceive the company’s interfaces. While their primary goal is to gather information on usage, you can also use them to collect customer data.
Usually, a survey contains a personal information section with data such as age, gender, or job. These are personal information that you can use for other purposes and you might want to store. Be careful to not change the primary goal of your survey, which is to gather feedback. If you want to store the data of the survey in your CRM, add an extra step at the end of your survey, asking for the necessary permissions.
Surveys usually get a high response rate when they are communicated well. To increase response rates for B2C companies, surveys can be sent out by SMS or automated calls rather than email.
3. Sales information
There are many methods of collecting client data and most of them can be used simultaneously. Many data collection methods exist. In addition, most can be used at the same time. If you are a B2B company, your sales team will probably know a lot about your customers. In order that you can re-use that information, they will need to update the CRM after every customer interaction. You can also create a checklist of fields. Fill them out for each customer and ask your sales department to gather missing information during meetings or calls. Chances are that asking directly for a mobile phone number will be more successful than asking for it through a form.
If you work in a B2C company, you probably do not have a sales team that can gather customer data. However, you can get the information you seek through account features. By implementing features such as “save this item for later” or a wishlist, you can gather information on product interest easily.
4. Loyalty cards
Today, almost every company uses a loyalty program. If implemented well, they can really increase your customers’ loyalty, but they also serve secondary purposes. You can, for example, require a mobile phone number to send participants special offers by SMS.
Loyalty cards are one of the most powerful customer data collection methods for B2C companies. By being part of a community, customers feel more connected to the company. They are more inclined to share their data with someone they trust, so the moment they subscribe to a loyalty program is probably good timing to ask for this data.
5. Analytics tools
Collecting customer data is not only about classical personal data, such as age, gender, email address, and so on. It is also about getting to know you customer even more. There is a lot of information your customers give you unconsciously by visiting your website. If they visit the same page three times, you can deduct that they have a real interest in that specific product or service.
Analytics tools like Google Analytics can gather and give you that kind of information. Most companies already have some kind of tracking tool on their website, but these tools are often not seen as data collection tools. Using it as such and mixing the information you receive from your analytics platform with the other customer data collection methods will allow you to get a bigger picture and implement a real customer-centric strategy.
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