Your 10-step Guide to Better Data Collection & Management

4 minute read

Data collection & management

Data collection and management is a huge undertaking. You need to follow various rules and regulations to collect customer information.

In a recent webinar from Blueprint technologies, Tenny Tan, Privacy Program Manager of Ethos Privacy, and Mark Milone, Director of Data Strategy, shared insights about the customer maturity model. Based on this model, here’s a step-by-step guide to collecting and utilizing data to maximize your loyalty strategy.

10-step guide to better data collection & management

Step 1 – Define your target customers

Even a novice businessperson understands the significance of determining a target audience. Your target group is your ideal customer profile, i.e. the customers that make the most purchases.

To begin, understanding what essential data you need to know about your target members is key. Once you define your target customers, define your goals, including what actions you want customers to perform more often.

Truly knowing your customers helps you identify preferred engagement activities and ways to improve the customer experience.

Step 2 – Determine why you need data

Data is an essential component in understanding customer purchase patterns, preferences and behavior. It’s important to determine why you need it and how it can help your business grow. This helps ensure you don’t collect unnecessary data you don’t really need and most likely won’t use. Your reasons to collect data may vary from increasing brand reach to improving retention rate.

From there, when you have clear goals, it’s evident what types of data you require and design a program accordingly. Learn more about the types of customer data collection & management tips.

Step 3 – Choose the right loyalty partner

Choosing the right loyalty partner is paramount for the success of your program’s design, execution, data collection and customer management.

Look for:

Learn more about key considerations and must-have features in choosing the right loyalty partner.

Step 4 – Digitize your data management and collection

A regular analog loyalty card enables you to collect transactional data like name, purchase details, location and mode of payment. Taking your loyalty program to the next level and improving your data collection requires you to go digital. According to Deloitte, an average U.S. consumer checks his/her mobile phone about 52 times a day.

Furthermore, customers are much more likely to engage with your brand using a mobile app than at an in-store sales counter. With the help of push notifications, meaningful rewards and engagement strategies, your loyalty app can help you collect the data you need.

Step 5 – Dive deeper into customer preferences

Next, once you have the preliminary data about who your customers are, what they bought, from which channel, move from the ‘What’ to the important ‘Why’.

After you’ve enrolled your customers in the program, it becomes easier to collect more information. By establishing trust, you can leverage incentivesgamification and other loyalty engagement tactics to request more information, enabling you to continually improve their experience.

Understanding your customer’s preferences and using them to deliver personalized experiences and offers is the crux of a good brand-customer relationship. It’s the foundation for meaningful value-based engagement that translates into a competitive edge.

Step 6 – Integrate additional data dimensions

Improving your customers’ experiences is a process. You need to continually learn about your customer’s ever-changing habits and preferences through your data and improve service and customer experience accordingly.

This is why it’s extremely important to periodically work on integrating additional data dimensions. Today, it’s much easier to trace the digital footprint of your customers and better understand their purchase patterns. The idea is to not stop at preliminary data and consider it sufficient to build a better system that caters to your customers’ needs.

Having said that, it’s also crucial that you understand ethical and legal boundaries and don’t collect extremely sensitive information that invades privacy and threatens customer security.

Step 7 – Align your loyalty and marketing teams with other departments

Once you have a meaty customer profile, it’s time to share your data with other departments. The data you collect can be used in a variety of ways.

By sharing unique loyalty data with all customer-facing teams—from sales and marketing to product teams and customer service—you can recognize and delight your customers across all of these touchpoints.

Step 8 – Manage risk in data collection and governance

Collecting data is a serious responsibility with no room for mishaps. Once you’ve gained your customer’s trust, you need to take every step to show them you can be trusted with their data.

That means following security and data privacy best practices, protecting their data from internal and external threats, and well as complying with all applicable data privacy regulations.

Step 9 – Be a good steward of data

Your customers are trusting you to protect their data and transparency plays a key role in building and maintaining that trust. This includes clearly communicating with your customers about what information you’re collecting and how you plan on using that data.

Good data management practices cover all aspects of the data lifecycle, including collection, processing, storage, use, updating, transfer and deletion.

Step 10 – Use data collection and management to differentiate your loyalty program

Overall, the data you collect is what enables you to go beyond simply rewarding customers for transactions to also recognizing them as individuals and making their lives easier. This is how you build emotional bonds that lead to lasting customer relationships.

Annex Cloud’s enterprise-ready loyalty solution includes the widest range of engagement options, 125-plus integrations, and is designed to maximize customer trust every step of the way.

Read our Security & Data Privacy Best Practices Guide to gain important tips from industry experts and partners.

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