Don't let good data go to waste! Here’s how you should manage your customer database
Though we say “data is king”, there’s simply too much data floating around. While customer data is crucial for branding, sales, marketing, promotions and basically getting the message across, it’s important to harness the data you receive and turn it into something useful.
Every day, businesses receive a mind-boggling amount of data, but much of the data isn’t used as effectively as it should have been. Unknown and unused data, known as dark data, takes up more than half of the data collected by companies, and that’s actually quite a lot. Each day, we create up to 7.5 septillion (7,700,000,000,000,000,000,000) gigabytes, and imagine 3.75 septillion not being used. That’s quite a lot of data going dark.
Bit of a shocker, wasn’t it?
Now, let’s go through how you can make the best out of your data, and what to look for in a CRM software.
Customer Data…? What data? What’re we gathering?
Customer data isn’t just another fancy eCommerce term. It means any piece of information about who your customers are and how they are using your product or service. Essentially, it’s what individual customers bought, what they clicked or viewed, and what information they’ve provided.
There are different platforms nowadays that help businesses collect the data they need. Instead of relying on humongous platforms like SAP or Oracle, you can choose from a whole range of niche players. Besides, social media channels like Facebook lead ads, WhatsApp conversations, or even QR codes can be a data source. We’ll discuss this later in this article.
Data on its own offers minimal value as it’s just figuring basically, so it helps to dig deeper into the types of data and how to make the most out of what you collect:
This type offers a fundamental understanding of your customer. It includes contact number, email address, job title, gender, income, and so forth. Once you have enough basic data, you can start segmenting your customers and creating dedicated CRM campaigns.
This looks into your brand’s different touchpoints and how receptive your customers are to them. For example, knowing how many pages views your campaign mini page gets, or how many people downloaded your catalog will give you an idea of whether your marketing efforts are successful.
This refers to the customer experience with your product or service, including shopping cart content, time of purchase, invoices, conversions, sign-ups, and even deactivation.
Unlike the first 3 types that deal more with the ‘transactional’ side of things, this type shows what your customers are really thinking. Reviews, ratings, customer support tickets, surveys are all great sources of attitudinal data.
We’ve got more examples of making the most out of customer data. Stay put and read till the end!
How useful is customer data?
Here are a few reasons why gathering customer data is your next priority item:
Assess product fit
Customer data lets you track whether customers are interested in your business day over day. If your retention trends towards zero, your product may be a mismatch with your intended customer base. Likewise, if sales and retention trends are positive, your product is more likely competitive.
Evaluate sales funnels
Do you know how your customers find you? What are they interested in? Do they sign up for your newsletter or watch the YouTube videos you posted? Are they responding to your sales campaign, or are they just buying the regular items? These are some of the questions customer data can help you answer.
With data showing who your customers are, you can provide personalized and segmented services. Your representatives can suggest products, initiate conversations and launch customized campaigns for your customers while getting real-time feedback from them. This way, you can stand out in the crowd by that extra bit of service.
Customer data can help you predict your traffic and performance projection, such as pricing, sales volumes, conversion by segment, and retention. This is particularly useful before big sales seasons like Black Friday, Christmas, anniversary, or Easter.
Grow your base
You have segmented your customers, know what they want, and have a good idea of what is ahead. Now, with the right data set, you can identify sales opportunities, offer relevant and relatable goods, and set the right advertising effort. This way, you can be sure to attract and retain customers and see your base grow.
Where to store customer data?
Customer data is excellent, but without a good place to store and systemize it, it’s just a bunch of meaningless numbers. So, to make actual use of your insights and not let them lay waste with the 3.75 septillion gigabyte-pile, you need to create a customer database.
A customer database is an interactive contact list that stores valuable information about your customers, like email addresses, demographics, preferences, and sales history. It will let you view and analyze everything on one platform, together with different insights and dashboards.
A good customer database will allow you to build rapport with your customers, inform them of product updates and seasonal promotions, and show you how they’re making their decisions. With the correct information, your customers will no longer be just cold contacts behind a screen – they instantly become living individuals just like in a physical store.
How to set up?
There are different ways you can set up your customer database:
This is the traditional way of getting your customer’s details. Ask your customers to set up an account for future sales, engagement, and order tracking. This not only uplifts their shopping experiences and chances of retaining them but also helps you access and make sense of their details and preferences.
Discounts and promotions
Who doesn’t like discounts? And as the saying goes, “free stuff is the most expensive”, offering a discount or running a promotion is the best way to get subscriptions and signups. Customers are happy to share their data as long as they see the worth in doing so.
Are your customers happy to stay tuned? If so, you’re in for the good news. Getting customers to sign up for newsletters can keep them engaged, and you can collect and segment your customers’ information by type at the same time.
Once you have your customer database, use a database system that is secure, manageable, and accessible. We recommend using CRM software that can help you make the most sense of your data and track your progress. Also, pick one that allows you to create email campaigns, segment them by demographics and preferences, and allows customer service via instant messaging. The goal is to turn cold facts into repeated hot sales.
Should you own your customer database?
Like everything else in life, it’s best to keep the important things around you. The same goes with customer data, as having your very own customer database gives you the freedom and flexibility in deciding on what questions to ask and what analyses to make.
It’s true that if you’re just starting, there’s no need to build your database as there are plenty of readily available options out there. If you’re asking questions like how effective your sales funnels are or how you’re retaining our customers, tools like Google Analytics and Amplitude can give you the answers right away. But at a certain point, you’d start asking nuanced questions that canned responses from mainstream tools can’t provide. That’s why controlling your data with your customized database is the way to go.
But wait. Doesn’t that involve coding? Fret not. Having your customized customer database doesn’t mean you need to build one from scratch. Some platforms provide more complex data solutions, which can help you plan for the future and always know, no matter which stages your business is in. Here’re some quick criteria for a good customer database tool:
User interface – Can you navigate through it quickly, and does it make you feel good?
Usability- Is it easy to use? Does it take a lot of time to load, and does it have good support?
Functions – What can it do? Especially, can you store and back up your data? Can you customize your reporting tools and visualizations so you can ask the questions you want?
Integrations – Can you use it alongside your existing systems?
Price – Is it reasonable and good for your ROI?
We left one of the most crucial to the last, integrating your customer touchpoint and social support with your customer database. This is where SleekFlow comes from.
Seamless integration of marketing customer touchpoints with your database
Examples save a thousand words. I shall explain three use cases to explain what seamless integration means.
From the QR code on a billboard to your backend CRM system
Since the digital era, some marketers might diminish their offline appearance. However, even people often keep their heads down facing the mobile phone, outdoor ads such as billboards still play a role in the customer journey.
Take the local beauty medical centers as an example. Beauty medical center marketers will print a QR code on their billboard, which links to start a WhatsApp or WeChat conversation.
Every business begins with a conversation. The seamless integration is when your customer sees your attractive physical ads during a routine daily commute, they scan the QR code (as they have nothing better to do during the ride). At this moment, you already collected their contact numbers and their buyer intent when you integrate those all-in-one platforms like SleekFlow with your social messaging channels. Once you know who they are, your retargeting marketing message can be more precise and effective.
The Facebook lead generation campaign
When it comes to integrating with social messaging channels, we should talk about Facebook business account. With more than 2.85 billion monthly active users, Facebook can be a gold mine for lead sources. Integrating with SleekFlow platform, you can make the most out of your ad campaigns to collect leads which will be automatically added to the SleekFlow CRM platform. That’s where you can interact with customers seamlessly.
To generate leads and contacts through your Live Chat widget
Every website needs a live chat function so that your business can move beyond the usual customer support and interact with them directly by segmentations. Your team can even access each customer’s demographic and history immediately, complete with analytics and visualization tools.
So, it’s time to capture customer data, and SleekFlow is the database and CRM platform you can trust.
Don’t know where to start? Talk to us or start for free today!