Data is one of the most valuable tools businesses can use. In fact, data generates billions of dollars for the biggest online companies, like Facebook. When you have enough useful data on your customers, you can better understand their wants, needs, and interests. The better you know and understand them, the easier it is to meet or exceed their expectations. Customer data also helps you strategize correctly and create products and messaging they’ll find the most appealing. In this article, we offer common ways for you to gather data.
1. Online Tracking
Your website and your business’s app (if you have one) are excellent ways of collecting customer data. You can track visitors to your website and see how many of them hung around and scrolled down, what sections they clicked on the most and what they viewed the most, and more. Your website hosting provider might already be collecting this data, or you can use analytics software to gather and analyze it.
2. Online Surveys
On your website or via email, you can deploy a survey for customers to fill out. You can use online surveys to gather qualitative or quantitative data or both. You can host the online survey on your website or enlist the services of one of many online survey providers. Be sure to give an incentive for customers to answer the survey, such as a small discount on their next purchase or a free item; the survey could end up largely ignored if you don’t.
3. Sales Transactions
Every time you sell goods in your physical store, e-commerce website, or both, these transactions made with your customers can yield important insights about your customers and your business. You can also store transactional records with a customer relationship management (CRM) system. This data can come from your online store or a third party supplier that handles your in-store point-of-sale system. From this data, you can discover insights like which products are the most popular, how many of them you sell, and how often customers usually purchase these products.
4. Social Media
Social networking sites are a rich source of data as well. By creating and using official social media sites for your business, you can get insights on what content your customers prefer, how many times they view the page, at what times they view the page. Their interactions with your social media site can give you a clearer picture of who comprises your audience. You can also track mentions of your brand on social media by doing searches regularly. There’s also the option of setting up alerts with social media monitoring software. Many social media sites can also supply you with analytics about how your posts perform.
5. Online Marketing Data
Your online marketing campaigns can also be a good source of customer data. Whether they’re on search, webpages, email, or other online tools, these data can be harvested and analyzed with analytics software. Data from offline marketing campaigns can also be used and combined for a better picture of your customers. Even the software you use to place online ads can give you data on who clicked your ads, when they clicked, what device they were using, and more.
There are still other ways of gathering data on your customers, like the old-fashioned one-on-one interview or focus-group discussion. The way by which you get your data can be a combination of any of these online and offline methods, and it’s important you use the best methods for your business in terms of cost and timeliness.