If you are new to the world of customer data, you will be pleased to know that there are many different sources and methods of collection.
Much of the data collection is done automatically from point-of-sale systems or marketing software. But with the advent of big data and AI, the methods of collecting consumer data are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
Why collect customer data?
Data is useful. In fact, it is even more than that, data is crucial!
Customer data is likely to form the basis of your marketing strategy and is essential for refining your customer experience.
Types of data include qualitative data, such as customer reviews, and quantitative data, such as the bounce rate on a landing page.
With the right analytics tools, you can drill down into demographics, customer behaviour on your website, and assess sentiment towards your brand.
If you have a website, you already have a great way to collect all kinds of data.
Every time a customer visits your site, they leave behind dozens of juicy data points that you can use. For example:
What led your customers there? Did they follow a particular ad, or a mention on social media that got a lot of attention?
Once they arrived, how long did they stay and how many pages did they visit?
Did they sign up to your mailing list?
It is likely that your web host or provider is already collecting some of this information. Other useful tools include Google Analytics, Google Search Console and customer journey analysis tools such as FoxMetrics.
Surveys are one of the most effective ways to collect explicit data directly from your customers.
One of the best things about surveys, such as customer satisfaction surveys, is that there are many ways to conduct them. You can ask people questions in person or over the phone, send them a text or send them a link to a form. Some websites even use pop-up surveys for people who spend some time browsing.
The downside of surveys is that there is no guarantee that customers will respond. It’s easy to ignore them. But there are some things you can do to encourage people to give you feedback in this way.
First of all, timing is everything. Don’t send them too early. Give customers a chance to familiarise themselves with your product or service before asking for feedback. But you can’t send them too late either, because they might not be as enthusiastic as they used to be.