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7 Best Ways to Collect Customer Data

7 Best Ways to Collect Customer Data

In saying that knowledge is power, you recognize that you cannot possibly run or even begin building a business in any given industry without some essential knowledge. Now more than ever, all business sectors require brands to keep learning as they move forward, as customers are constantly on the lookout for better, more knowledgeable brands. That means that you need to be aware of your role in your customers’ lives, but you also need to know what impact you have on the environment, how your reputation is evolving in the industry, and the like.

The process of collating such vast amounts of data requires time, expertise, and dedicated tools. Even when you do manage to find and collect relevant market information, you need to be able to analyze and understand, and above all, implement the results of your research to make a difference. Here, we’ll cover a few of the most effective ways to collect and analyze data so that you can grow your business presence no matter your chosen industry.

Define Your Data-Driven Goals

Before you can move forward to choosing the strategy to collect your data, you first need to decide the why behind the process. What do you plan to use the data for – improving customer interactions, boosting brand visibility, enhancing CTR on your website, improving your content strategy?

By defining your goals, you’ll be able to choose the kind of data you need to collect and the most suitable method to conduct the process. This alone will help you avoid being overwhelmed by swarms of data you won’t use at all, and it will allow you to save time as well as funds, to focus on specific data sources and strategies that will help you achieve your goals.

Use Your Customer Communication Channels

Some businesses do most of their data collecting on social media only, while others primarily rely on their website analytics. However, with so many touchpoints to consider, you should unify your communications into a single platform.

Having a unified communications front that provides ample data will help you boost your operations. By bringing all your communication channels together, you enable your teams to analyze and record phone interactions, save voice messages, and interact with one another more efficiently – thus exchanging and collecting data with every customer call or message that comes through.

Your Website Is a Goldmine of Data

Heatmaps paired with behavioral tracking on your website helps you understand where your customers spend most of their time on your site, and where you need to make improvements to inspire them to stay longer. With the help of tools such as Google Analytics, you can find out so much about how your customers experience your website and where you need to make changes. Just make sure that you’re within the bounds of the law when it comes to collecting and protecting customer data from the get-go.

Utilize Manufacturing Software

Your resource management system is the central nervous system of your business. Having a comprehensive manufacturing software that encompasses everything from sales and CRM to inventory and order management is essential for keeping up with all the important business data.

A centralized database allows different parts of your company to communicate with each other, boosting efficiency and productivity for employees who rely on the same data across different divisions. That way, your sales team, marketing team, and customer support team will be able to use a shared database to document collected customer data and access it whenever they need.

Set up Surveys

As a standalone data source, surveys might not be the most representative of all sources, but when you combine them with your customer reviews on social media, comments you receive, and call analytics, you can rest assured that those surveys won’t go to waste.

By implementing AI in survey analytics, companies can leverage the discovered data to genuinely improve customer experience over time. Generating surveys is a worthwhile endeavor especially for brands that intend to put the results to good use and reward customers for taking the time to fill out the surveys in the first place.

Track Your Marketing Campaigns

Too many novice business owners will focus only on future campaigns, while those already set in motion are left to play out on their own. In fact, ongoing marketing campaigns are vital data resources that can prove useful for future marketing strategies.

Plus, with enough flexibility in your existing campaigns, you can make tweaks and allow current campaigns to be even better as you move forward. They are also excellent indicators of existing and emerging customer trends. You’ll find out which trends are slowly being replaced, so that you can move with the times.

Social Media Is Brimming with Data

Your customers’ digital footprint doesn’t begin or end with your website. In fact, social networks have become an equally abundant resource of customer data that can help guide your social media strategy and improve your customer relationships on the whole.

The data you collect and analyze will allow you to determine smarter posting schedules and boost your overall content strategy. You’ll be able to create better content that your audience will find more engaging, and you’ll find that the built-in analytics tools for each social platform are beyond useful in pointing out ways you can improve your overall strategy.

Rely on Analytics Tools to Filter Your Data

Numbers are indicators as to how successful a campaign has been, how satisfied your customers are with a particular landing page, or if there’s a repeating issue with the checkout in your online store where many of your customers seem to drop off. Such numbers help you understand your position, your customers’ perception of your business, and they can be filled with industry insights to grow your business.

Make sure to use business intelligence analytics tools designed to help assemble all of that raw data into meaningful reports. These unbiased tools are ideal to help you filter out those unique problems you’re facing, and they can show you a potential solution and help you make the right decision in the long run. While your experts will weigh in with their opinions, as well, use your BI tools as guidance to avoid human error and time-consuming tasks of data collecting and analytics.

Collecting and analyzing data will never be a one-time effort. It should be deeply embedded in your company culture to utilize knowledge to drive your business forward by appealing to your customers’ preferences and by relying on market trends. To understand those trends and preferences, you always need to listen and learn, always ready to look into any changes in the perception of your brand, to see how you can adapt and appeal to your target audience.

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by Elaine Bennett // Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she's a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more people and help them on their business journey.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.