Customer data is incredibly valuable information. With it, you can discover who your best customers are, where they come from, and how best to reach them. Customer data can also help you find look-a-like audiences, create more relevant ads, understand your customers’ buying cycles, and determine where to open new locations. Having good, clean customer data can help you make wise business decisions and strategizes for how to grow, but what should you do if you don’t have any? Here’s 12 ways you can capture customer data.
Capture Customer Data through Transactions
Transactional data is your most valuable data because these are the people who are actually buying from you. Creating systems to capture data at the point of sale should be your highest priority, and then you can look at additional ways to capture customer data.
1. In-Store Purchases
One way you can capture customer data is by requesting information at checkout. However, it’s important to remember when a customer is making an in-store purchase they are ready to leave. They have spent all the time they want to at your business and may already be thinking of where they are going next. Time is precious, and their patience will be short. Any request you make at this point for information should be quick and beneficial to the customer. Examples would be requesting phone numbers for loyalty points or discounts or email addresses for digital receipts.
2. Online Transactions
Online purchases are part of everyday life, and customers are used to filling out more information for an online purchase. This includes filling in their full name, email address, and mailing address. Online transactions are a great way to capture all of the data you need. Since the information requested is relevant to the customer receiving their purchase, it’s more likely to be accurate
3. Loyalty Systems
Loyalty programs offer many benefits to both to the business and the customer. For the business, loyalty programs can show you what customers buy and how often they make a purchase. Not only can you capture customer data, but you can also stay in front of your loyal customers with great offers and inform them of your latest products or services.
For the customer, they are rewarded for being repeat customers by earning points or gaining access to exclusive deals. Loyalty programs can store their favorite products, making it easier to repurchase or even send reminders that they might be running low. Customers can also discover new products or services they might like based on past purchases.
4. Purchase Reviews
Asking customers to review their purchase is a great way to capture more data. If you only received partial information from them on the initial purchase, you can contact them and request more information as they fill out their review of your product or service.
If you don’t collect customer information at the point of sale, you can include a survey link on the bottom of your receipts and offer incentives for customers who complete a review. Just remember to keep your request for information short and simple. If you ask too many questions, your customers will abandon the review form.
Capture Customer Data through Locations
Location based data collection allows you to capture data of people who are in your store or nearby your store location. It’s also a great way to capture the information of people who are showing interests in your business or have shown interest in businesses similar to yours. While location data can be used to help capture customer data, it’s primarily used to capture strong prospect data.
With geofencing technology, you can create a digital radius around your store locations. Once a person enters the area with their mobile device, their information is captured. This technology uses data from apps who have permission to track people’s location.
6. Wifi Password
If you have a physical location and offer wifi to your customers, simply request their email address in order to access your wifi network. Whenever someone logs into your network, you can capture their information.
7. Website Retargeting
Many customers and prospects will visit your site and leave without making a purchase or filling out an information form. Their interaction with your website will go undetected unless you have a plan in place to capture their information. With website retargeting, you install a pixel on your website that will capture the visitor’s information.
8. Social Linkage
Social linkage enables you to identify prospects who are interested in businesses similar to yours. You can select social media accounts whose followers have lifestyle or behavioral attributes like your customers or offer products and services like yours. This technology uses in app permissions and allows you capture strong prospect data.
Capture Customer Data with Freebies
As people show interest in learning more about your business or want to know about your other products and services, offer them a freebie. Giving away free items is a great way to capture customer data. You are providing something of value, and in return, they are giving you information. Freebies work for both customers and prospects.
9. Newsletter Signup
Create a company newsletter that offers helpful information, announcements about new products and services, and informs readers of deals and sales you currently have going on. In order for your customers to receive this newsletter, request their name and email address.
An easy way to get people to sign up for your newsletter is to include a checkbox asking if they would like to sign up for the newsletter as part of the online checkout process. When they select yes, it scrapes their information from the purchase form and automatically adds them to your list. Newsletters offer you a regular point of contact with customers and prospects, helping you stay in front of them. Newsletters can provide insights into how engaged your customers are with your marketing communications.
10. Free Booklet/Information
For visitors who are showing interests in your business but have not made a purchase, you can offer a free information booklet or pdf. This can be as small or large as you would like, but you need to make sure it provides value to the person requesting it. In order to receive the information, request the person’s name and email address. Depending on what resource you’re offering and how valuable it is to your prospect, you can request a little more information from them.
Webinars can be used to stay in front of customers and prospects. It’s best to pick one of the two audiences to go after instead of combining them. Webinars should have a clear theme and offer valuable information to the viewer. They typically range in length from 15 minutes to 1 hour. As people sign up for the webinar, you can request their contact information such as name, email, and address
12. Coupon/Discount Code
As people visit your website, offer them a coupon or discount code if they fill in their contact information. This system works for current customers and prospects. You can also use the discount code to track what purchases were made by new or current customers.
Capturing customer data requires thought and effort, but it is well worth the investment. There are many ways you can acquire this information, so get creative. The more avenues you have to capture this information, the more customers you can analyze.
Think through all the ways customers can find you, interact with your business, and make a purchase. What are some good points on their buying journey to request or capture information?
Not every method will work for every business, so think about what works best for you and makes sense for your customers. Remember if you are requiring them to fill out an information form, keep the form simple and make sure it’s adding value to your customers and their experiences.
At AMP, we help business find their best customers and prospects. If you would like help capturing your customer data, reach out to our team.