10 Pieces of Data You Should Know About Every Customer
Tracking information about businesses is often less treacherous than tracking that of consumers. Collecting consumer data is considerably more personal and, therefore, more dangerous if the information should fall into the wrong hands. "This practice of personal-data collection opens up huge corporate risk since this is practically the data recipe for identity theft," warned David McNab, president of Objective Business Services Inc., a boutique consulting firm based in Markham, Ontario.
"I strongly disagree with using identifiers of that nature. In fact, use of the equivalent of the U.S. Social Security number in Canada by anyone other than the government for any purpose carries a fine of $500 per number per use — statutory penalty," he added.
That said, and assuming you are well-versed in all applicable privacy laws and well-armed against data thieves and hackers, what data should you collect to maximize sales and leverage contacts with consumers?
Whether you deal with consumers one-on-one or interact with them solely through a contact center, more face time with customers translates to a need for more personal contact. "I would add to data collected on customers their favorite wine, chocolate, and flower — you may want to celebrate a milestone or make an apology," said Cary Sue Lavan, vice president and banking center manager at Midwest Bank in Chicago.
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Make sure to stay updated on customers' wants so that you can refer them to other companies. Lavan advised tracking "a customer's wish list, including items or services you do not provide" so that you are able to offer names of companies providing those wish items. A willingness to refer keeps customers relying on you for information and solidifies relationships at every opportunity. If you routinely make referrals, you are strengthening relationships on both ends — with the customer who needed information and with the company that received new business from your referral.
Obviously, if your only communication with a customer is through a contact center, then company policy will dictate response more than the clients' personal taste in flowers.
Beyond minor tweaks to match the data to your style of contact, here are 10 pieces of information you should have about every customer:
- Name, including any nicknames
- Complete business information, such as company or employer's name; address including ZIP code; and numbers (landline number including extensions or direct number, fax number, and cell-phone number)
- Email addresses
- Preferred means of contact
- Customers' purchase history, including shipping addresses, to help determine which purchases were gifts and which were personal
- Gender and birth dates to help you acknowledge birthdays and tailor offerings
- Source, to track from where the customer came
- Anniversary with spouse, company, or the start of business with your company
- Names of spouse (or significant other), children, and favored pets; favorite hobby, sports team, and organizations they belong to, including online groups like LinkedIn and Facebook
- A list of known wants to help match your offerings to a specific desire
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As for credit card information, skip it. There is no guarantee that the customer will use the same card on the next purchase, and it is simply too risky for your organization to keep it on file. The same applies to any information that aids identity thieves, such as place of birth, Social Security number, mother's maiden name, and other numbers from credit cards or checking accounts.
"Caution should be a watchword — ensure you are compliant with both the letter and spirit of all relevant law and customer agreements when using customer data ... you only need to mess this up once to be out of business," advised McNab.
How can CRM software help you in collecting customers’ data?
CRM software relates to an organization's interactions and relationships with its customers and repeat clients. Customer relationship management system software permit companies to interact with customer effectively, improve profitability and streamline sales and marketing procedures. Other perks of customer data collection by CRM include;
- Improved ability to resolve customer problems
- Selection of the most effective marketing media
- Tracking customer behavior and spending habits
- Improved marketing strategies
- Increased customer retention rates
- Creating purchase suggestions and recommendations
- Achieving an extensive understanding of the market
- Organizing data with CRM solutions
With the CRM tool, you can collect as much data as you want on the phone, online, or in person. Although collecting and storing large proportions of customer data and using it for your products' and services' advertisements more effectively may look like a very complicated process. Fortunately, it shouldn't be this way because of the multiple CRM system software options.
These days creating a powerful CRM strategy without including automation tools is not possible work. This is how customer management software helps in collecting customers’ data:
- Contact management – this tool of software CRM allows users to organize customer contacts into groups according to their preferences and spending behavior.
- Customer segmentation – this tool in CRM software organizes customer data from various sources and separates them into different groups based on their age and buying patterns.
- Customer opportunity management – this tool in CRM software solutions allows users to identify customers that are expected to convert. This tool, also known as lead scoring, helps streamline sales and marketing teams and optimize sales.
- Chat integration – you can use the same user interface to chat with partners and employees while offering customer support. This helps you save time and never overlook important information.
- Workflow automation – this feature helps make regular follow-ups and keep track of every detail collected.
For successful relationship management, superior data management is mandatory. CRM software can help collect and access a complete data picture of your customers. Today, several CRM vendors in the market offer powerful customer management software.
CRM tool comparison, CRM software reviews, and CRM ratings are some elements to consider for choosing the best CRM software. When you compare CRM software, you compare the features, benefits, drawbacks, and pricing plans. Whatever CRM system software you choose for your business, must have the capability to fulfill your business goals.