If we try to wrap our minds around the fact that we live in a data-driven world, we can easily conclude customer data is significant. However, understanding what your buyers’ needs are and how to meet them comes from meticulous data collection. Nowadays, information is the most valuable commodity.
We’ve all come to a point where an ad on some social media platform reached us right after we’ve searched for it online. Coincidence? Not in a million years! A logical question arises, though; how do these tech companies get to your data and know just which products to suggest?
The data clues that you leave behind, like breadcrumbs, are responsible for these seemingly spooky events. Afterward, these companies follow them back to you, and voila. It seems like they are watching you or even reading your mind. But they're not. Therefore, this article covers the importance and challenges of data collection.
Why Collect Customer Data?
Potential and regular customers interact with businesses in many different ways. They might look at your online presence, visit your website, regularly check your social media, call customer support. Whatever the case, whenever they make any of these interactions, tiny bits of personal information are left behind. And noted.
All of these data breadcrumbs can be used as leverage. You can use this data to your advantage, as it gives multiple business benefits:
- Adapting the marketing and advertising strategy. The provided customer data can aid in giving you a hand in marketing products and services in the right way. If you follow your buyers’ needs, you will know which ads attract more customers; where they are coming from (online, retail, or email marketing), which marketing methods work better, etc. Customer data can help navigate your marketing strategy with promos and ads that align better with your target audience.
- Providing personalized customer services: Customer data is a true treasure trove of useful information for your business. Customer likes, dislikes, behavior patterns, and preferences are all hidden inside customer data. Subsequently, data collection gives you insight into your buyers’ needs. What they’re looking for, which platforms they mostly use, how they want to interact with particular brands, etc. This way, you can give them what they need even before they know it, which is the true power of collecting customer data.
Challenges in Collecting Customer Data
Before you start collecting your data seriously, you need to know the challenges that await if you decide to get to know your audience better. Here are the main two:
- Complying with data security and privacy laws - The increase in data privacy awareness brought regulatory bodies and governments to intervene and enact legislation regulating customer data storage and management. These rules vary from country to country, but here are the most important ones:
- GDPR: General data protection regulation is a digital law enacted by none other than the European Union itself. It takes care of storing, collecting, and sharing customer data by various companies. One of its chief principles is giving customers a chance to manage website cookie preferences, along with the ability to review and remove personal data.
- HIPAA: The main rules that HIPAA enforces are there to protect medical records and other health-related information of patience.
- PCI DSS: PCI DSS is a data security standard that all businesses must adhere to if they’re collecting credit card details and other confidential financial information.
- Technology and Tools - Each business has numerous customer touchpoints, and to collect the data from every one of them, you will need to invest in numerous data collection tools. For example, these include form builder software and social media monitoring.
Finally, after considering the significance of data collection, it’s safe to assume that your business needs to start doing so now. Your buyers’ needs are there to be fulfilled, and what other way than by listening and analyzing them? If you possess this valuable information, you can easily adapt to them. Hence, by covering all potential angles you'll give your customers an experience they’ll never forget.