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The A to Z about Customer Data Collection

Indhuja Lal

Last Updated:  

11 June 2024

10 min read

Ever Heard about Customer Data Collection?

Get ready with the conches and war drums! Practice your battle cries…! And join the new battleground!

Wonder what this is all about?

Let me catch you up!

Customer Experience is the new battleground where you are going to conquer the customers with your knowledge about them, battling and countering your competitors and their strategies.

Sounds really simple, doesn’t it? Only if you have the upper hand on your customers. Win them over, for the kingdom is yours to rule. Get too cocky and loosen your breath a moment, and your competitor is going to take advantage of that one-second window and swoop out as many customers as possible.

The customers are getting overwhelmed with the choices they have for the exact same thing! You cannot afford to let your customers churn at any cost.

Redesign and redevelop your strategies, keep your swords sharp, precise and shining, ready to make your customer swoon. If Disney taught us something, it is that none of us can refuse the knight in shining armor, right?

Now that you know what to do and your objectives have been framed, how are you going to achieve that? The most treasured weapon that is going to win you this battle is customer data collection!

It is not just a record of your customer’s name and what they bought. There is more to it and if you are not equipped to see the possibilities and explore the capabilities of customer feedback collection, I am sorry my friend but you are going to lose more than just money in this war.

I know that it seems only yesterday that every business claimed their success in winning customers with just superior quality products and services. In a recent study, customer experience came in first as the single most opportunity for 2018. Another study by Walker Study foresees customer experience to overtake product and prices as the key differentiator by 2020.

Customer Experience is expected to overtake product and prices as the key differentiator by 2020.

What is Customer Experience (CX)?

Before getting deep into customer data collection, let us define customer experience (CX) properly. Customer experience is your customer’s interpretation regarding all the touchpoints in their lifecycle as a customer, of your product and thereby your company. It is driven by the emotions they have experienced. Only if they are positive, are you going to be able to retain them and successfully carry out future business. If not, they are going to churn.

According to a study conducted by Accenture, the US companies suffer 1.6 trillion dollars loss because of customers leaving the company due to poor customer service.

The customer’s journey is mostly dictated by the way they are treated during the entire process. If you think that your job has been done once a customer makes a purchase, I cannot begin to tell you how awfully wrong you are.

Your post-purchase customer care shows your customers that you care deeply if they enjoyed a pleasant experience with the product they have bought. This can increase brand loyalty and reduce customer churn.

Giving special treatment can woo any customer of this age. This is an era where everyone wants an original and unique experience that nobody else has had. They want to personalize everything around them and if you succeed in doing that, it is when customer data collection makes an entry.

All the companies are collecting more and more personal data about their customers to serve them better. As per research conducted by Primary Intelligence, 90 per cent of companies are consistently collecting customer data to improve the customer experience put together by them.

There is a reason that they are doing so, for the same research also revealed that the revenue was doubled for the companies that came under this 90%. If this is not a motivation for you to put your feet back on customer data collection, I don’t know what is.

The in-depth information collected by these firms helps to have a greater understanding of what their customers are going to respond positively and their preferences. It is better than marketing blindly based on your hunches and intuitions. The risk you are willing to take is worth more than that for sure.

Knowledge truly empowers you. With adequate information, you would be able to offer personalized, tailor-fit customer experiences and win your customer’s heart. Or you could do the marketing equivalent of shooting 1000 arrows into the sky and praying that at least a few hit the targets. It is up to you.

Though the personalization and the long bearing process of customer data collection might seem too much trouble to you, the end results are worth it. You will see astounding growth in your customer retention rates.

You can collect unabridged data about your customers if you put your will to it. But the crucial phase in collecting data is to absorb only the relevant and precise information from them. If not done properly, It would turn into a herculean task waiting to scramble your will to live.

Say you have managed to collect this information, now you have to know how to use it to fortify your grounds in the battlefield of customer experience. In simpler words, it would be a lot easier if you know what to ask and then how to collect that information and use it.

Businesses lose $1.6 trillion per year when customers move away from them.

12 Tips on Customer Data Collection

1. All Customers Are Not Equal

Each company has a different type of customer under them. Identify your customers and start user segmentation to find out how is Mary different from Robin. It could be on the basis of geography or demography or it could be based on the products they buy.

Once you get a grip on such data about your customers, you can easily target them better in personalizing their emails to find the drive value for both of you.

66% of consumers said that features, design and quality of product or service were the leading factors in determining brand loyalty.

2. Customer’s Behaviour

You want to know someone you have to understand how they behave. You need to find how they are behaving in real-time, which is better than generalizations. How long do they stay on your online site?

What content interests them enough to share it via social media?

Which link did they click into?

What are they uploading?

What are they downloading?

Anticipation is key to get ahead of businesses. If you can garner and analyze customer data in real time to generate or identify customer behavioral patterns, you would be able to predict customer needs even before the customers have realized it.

3. Source Matters

The referral source of the customers is very important yet it gets drowned while collecting all the other valuable data. Tracking the referral source of the lead can tell you the best way to reach them.

4. Personal Information

Customer data collection that includes personal preferences and interests can help you to generate touchpoints that resonate with your customers. This would help you extensively to produce personalized messages and emails as part of your Customer Retention Program.

It would also help you to keep your customers engaged and attentive.  you could give eve surprises and discounts. A recent study asserts that six out of 10 participants stated that they stayed loyal because of the surprise rewards from the brands.

Despite the importance of customer retention, less than a third of business executives consider it a priority.

5. Demographics

If you haven’t collected demographic information about your customers yet, please start now. This offers you a chance at executing highly targeted marketing strategies successfully to your customers. You would be able to do it in a way that is relevant and engaging to your customers. The more you can segment your customers, the better you can serve them and make them happier.

6. Contact Information

Customer data collection is critical for any business entity for future communication. Keep it as simple as it could be. A long-form will put off the customer and they are very eager to fill out never-ending questions.

Find out the bare minimum of information you need and then proceed. Irrelevant and messy data can turn into a headache for you when you get to the analyzing stage of the process. Keep the questions engaging and the design attractive.

If the number of questions is more than average, you could try offering a reward for filling out these questions.

Engage the visitor’s on your website with visual content and anchor a message with email submission on the first page. You could pair up an incentive with this and offer an eBook or some other valuable offer to compel action.

For example, you could offer a free eBook t the end of the blog post with more information about the topic covered, which would interest the customers. Similar email submission boxes can be anchored at the end of the content so that the customers who are interested in future communication can sign up.

Another thing you could use to assist is using something called Exit intent. When a customer exhibits an intent to exit the site, a pop-up graphic is automatically displayed with a queue to sign up. The condition for the display of pop-up can be changed according to your need. It could be when the visitor loads a page or scrolls up or down.

7. User Experience Data

You have to engage with your customers after you have given them an experience about your accompany or your products and this is known as user experience data. It helps you to find out data similar to whether the users have found the new process or area of the website helpful and hassle-free.

Many companies select a test group to go through the whole experience before letting the actual end-users experience the changes made. I would say following up with your existing customers who are very much used to the old one can get you more insightful information than a focus or test group.

90 percent of companies are consistently collecting customer data to improve their customer experience.

8. Surveys Can Do A World Of Good

Identify those customers who have completed a new task such as bought the newly launched product or visited the website that has been redesigned recently. This gives you, your target audience to send out the surveys. Whatever may be the outcome, leverage it for your success. Customer feedback, even negative ones, show you where you have space left for improvement, which is always good and welcomed. Surveys help customer data collection immensely.

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9. Watch The Analytics

It is a must to have analytics software running in your company. Google Analytics can help you to collect data regarding the usage of your websites by your customers or visitors.

The basic version can help you to fetch a myriad of information. With some customization, Google Analytics can also assist you with documents downloaded, clicks on links that lead to external websites, discover errors when users fill out forms and track interactions with site-specific widgets, among others.

Analytics, the multi-tool for website data assists you to compare the collected data with the desired data and would be able to provide you with a verdict on whether the new action was successful. For example: If the goal is to reserve movie tickets and the newly added “ seat calculator” is not properly functioning, then you will be able to see a hike in the number of people abandoning the site without booking, denoting a problem with the new process.

10. Plain Old Emails

Sending emails is a great way to integrate customers with lapses in login time back into the stream. A lifecycle email schedule might be able to inspire some kind of action. Customers may have had experienced an unreported problem. Not everyone complaints even then they have had bad experiences making the churn very hard to catch in the early stages. This would help you to counter that.

The conditions can be set by you, the remainder of emails can be set to be triggered on a month of inactivity or any other time interval. It could be sent after they have deactivated your account too.

You could ask the reasons and you get one more chance to convince them to come back or if not, at least you got enough information to ensure that it wouldn’t happen for the same reason again. Another instance where these reminder emails help you is with shopping cart abandonment.

11. Shopping Cart Abandonment

78% of average customers abandon their shopping cart before purchase as reported by Listrak. Exit intents seem to be helpful when it comes to shopping cart abandonment.

If a visitor tries to leave the site without making the purchase, you could employ a pop-up message to get their mail id and also you could try encouraging them to save their cart instead.

You could even tempt them with reminder emails with pictures of the wonderful products that are waiting for them in the cart. This is the perfect situation to employ a pop-up message that appears after leaving the cart page, without purchasing. You could even combine the ‘save your cart’ action into this message as well.

If a new visitor clicks on your site, the chances of that person becoming a paying customer are only 20 percent at the most.

12. The Legal Side!

You are collecting all this information about your customers. Is it legal? Yes! Given that you have successfully created a customer information privacy policy that is accessible to your customers.

Your privacy policy is expected to be closely following the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Information Practice Principles. They are not enforced by law, but merely helpful guidelines for collecting electronic consumer data.

You are expected to clearly state who exactly is collecting the data, which types of data is being collected, how it is going to use and with whom you are intending to share it. You are also expected to give an option to your customer for opting out of marketing material if they wish so.

If you are in the healthcare industry and is gathering information on patients, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) laws. If the company’s target audience is children and you are interacting with them online ensure your compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) which is mandatory.

Wrapping Up!

Taking a leap of faith in your guarantee to not lose, abuse or sell it, your customers have disclosed their personal and financial information to you. You should never spam them every other day or peddle the data to third parties or worse keep it vulnerable within the reach of cyber abusers.

Customer data collection is a never-ending process. It is an ongoing process till the customer lifecycle goes on, maybe even then. It is the future of your business. Your strategies and schemes and every other step you take in tomorrow are going to be out of this information. Knowing your customers better can help you to generate happier customers, less churn and more revenue. You want to serve them, know what they want. A good warrior doesn’t just have the greatest weapon, but he knows how to leverage it for his success. Be the best warrior on this new battlefield and rule your kingdom for ages to come!

Indhuja Lal

Product Marketer at SurveySparrow

A dilettante bohemian soul mesmerized with the magic of words, sworn to be unpredictable, and spellbound with the simplicity of humanity...

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