Are you correctly capturing your customer data?

For this blog post, we won’t be discussing other companies’ Big Data success stories… We will be discussing your customer data. You may know that customer data is at the heart of competitiveness nowadays, but data is useless if not captured properly. We then ask; what are your data capturing processes?

There are four important questions you need ask about your customer data and the processes involved in its capture: is the data complete? Is it consistent? Is it safely stored? And, is it being used in the best way.

Customer data may be captured automatically or manually. Automatic capture takes place when customers sign up onto your website and fill in forms. Manual data capture takes place when an employee enters the data into a customer relations management software system manually. The employee may have gained this information when acquiring leads over the telephone, in personal conversation, or via email. Manual capture systems are prone to clerical error and omission but so too are automatic self-entry systems.

If you are using any system, manual or automatic, there are simple ways ways to improve the likelihood of your data-capture processing being more complete. For example, many people make mistakes when asked to type their date of birth into a webpage or spreadsheet. These errors can be reduced by simply adding a dropdown menu so that people may select their date of birth. Excel is commonly used for all types of data processing. Using the excel cell validation functionality may help avoid many simple errors that are a nightmare to clean up later. http://www.excel-easy.com/basics/data-validation.html

The safety and legality of the storage processes need to be considered when storing your customer and client data. Client data are personal and private and need to be collected in a manner that is legal for your country and, likewise, stored in manner that accords with these laws. Every business needs both a business data policy and a website privacy policy. The physical location of the server storing your data may determine the laws that affect the conditions under which your data are subject to.

It is important to collect data that is useful. Even though there is effectively no limit as to the quantity of data that we are able to store, customers are not going to be willing to fill in 20 pages worth of forms during the sign up process for your good or service, so it is important to make sure that the few questions that you can get them to answer are the most important ones. You can add flexibility to this by only making a few questions mandatory when customers signup and hope that they fill in the other non-mandatory questions.

It is essential that you can make sure that you can link these customers to as many of your product and sales databases in your business as possible so that you are able to follow them through your website from the beginning to end of the sales process. The ability to do so may provide you with accurate customer demographic profiles coupled with purchase patterns that seamlessly integrate into your overall enterprise financial statistics.

If you’d like us to provide you with a free audit on your data capture processes feel free to ring us on 020 3700 6714 or fill in the form below:

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