Your 10-Step Guide to Better Data Collection & Management

by Erin Raese |

Collecting data is a huge undertaking. You need to follow various rules and regulations to collect customer information. In a recent webinar conducted by Blueprint technologies, Tenny Tan, Privacy Program Manager of Ethos Privacy, and Mark Milone, Director of Data Strategy, Blueprint Technologies shared some interesting information about the customer maturity model. Based on this model, here’s a step-by-step guide to not only collecting data but also utilizing it to the best of your abilities through customer loyalty strategies.

 

Step 1 – Define your target customers

Even a novice businessperson understands the significance of determining a target audience. Your target group is built around your ideal customer profile, that being the customers your products and solutions can help the most and that make the most purchases. While designing a loyalty program and collecting data, you need to have a deeper understanding of who you’re designing your program for, who is most likely to participate, and what essential data you need to know about each of these individuals. Once you define your target customers, you’ll need to define your goals, including what actions you want customers to perform more often. Really knowing your customers will help you identify what kinds of engagement activities your target customers may prefer as well as inspire ways to improve the customer experience.

 

Step 2 – Determine why you need data

True, data is an essential component required to understand customer purchase patterns, preferences, and behavior but it is important to determine specifically why you need it and how it can help your business grow. This helps ensure you don’t collect unnecessary data that 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. When you have definite reasons to collect data, you know what kind of specific information or data you require and can design a loyalty program accordingly. Learn more about the types of customer data and collection tips.

 

Step 3 – Choose the right loyalty partner

The next and the most important step is choosing the right loyalty partner that will help you design and execute your program as well as collect and manage customer data. Qualities you need to look for in a good loyalty partner include experience in your industry, a flexible loyalty platform, integrations that enable you to personalize every customer touchpoint, the ability to handle your specific challenges, and a commitment to security and data privacy. Learn more about key considerations and must-have features in choosing the right loyalty partner.

 

Step 4 – Digitization

A regular analog loyalty card can enable you to collect transactional data—such as name, purchase details, location, and mode of payment. If you want to take your loyalty program to the next level and improve your data collection abilities, you need to go digital. According to Deloitte, an average U.S. consumer checks his/her mobile phone about 52 times a day. 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 and meaningful rewards and engagement strategies, your loyalty app can help you collect the data you need.

 

Step 5 – Dive deeper into customer preferences

Once you have the preliminary data about who your customers are, what they bought, from which channel, the next step is to move from the ‘What’ to the important ‘Why’. After you’ve enrolled your customers in the program, it becomes easier to collect more information. The trust is already established, so you can leverage incentives, gamification, 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 unique communications 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 on preliminary data and consider it sufficient to build a better system that caters to your customer’s 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

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. Learn more about what data governance really is and how it relates to an effective loyalty program.

 

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 life cycle, including collection, processing, storage, use, updating, transfer, and deletion.

 

Step 10 – Use data to differentiate your loyalty program

The data you collect is what enables you to now just reward customers for transactions but also recognize them as individuals and make their lives easier. This is the way 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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