Last Updated on April 8, 2016
Customer data management is the method by which you collect and manage a variety of information about your customers so you can analyze it. Companies use this data to figure out how to improve their businesses, better serve their customers, and encourage customer loyalty.
You have all this data! Now what do you do with it?
When you started your business, you were able to track your company’s customer data via a simple Excel spreadsheet that you managed yourself. Ah, the good old days! Now, with your success comes a need for a more sophisticated data management system. Here are some tips you can use to make sure you have the best data and that it is organized properly.
1. What Do You Want?
If you don’t know what your end goals are, you aren’t going to know which data you want to collect from your customers. You’ll be more likely to go overboard and try to collect more information than you could ever hope to use. This also increases the likelihood that you will alienate buyers by trying to find out too much about them.
Remember, if your needs change in the future; you can adjust your data collection strategy. There is, after all, a difference between big data and too much data.
Here is a very basic example: let’s say that you are a touring musician. When you first started building your email list, you simply needed people’s names and email addresses so you could send them information and updates about the music you put out. Now, though, you’ve got quite a following and want to make sure you play where your fans are. Asking people to change their settings on your list to include their zip codes is fine. Asking them for physical mailing addresses or phone numbers is not!
So much data, so little time!
A lot of customers will give you false information because they want to keep their private information private. It’s important to test the data you get (especially if you’re collecting big data) to ensure its authenticity. It’s also important to test the information regularly.
Remember: People move. They change their phone numbers, etc. You’ll want to have measures in place through which people can update their information with you (and through which you can request updated information if something bounces back from a no longer relevant address).
3. Use Technology
There are tons of different cloud-based solutions and software programs (like Syncsort) that will help you with data management. These programs are great at collecting data from a variety of databases and giving you the results you need in just a few seconds. When you have big data to sort through, it can save you a ton of time and effort. You can even use software that allows you to collect data in real time, which can help increase customer satisfaction by quite a bit.
This is especially helpful if you run a retail operation or manage a store. Real-time integration helps you ensure that you are only selling what you actually have in stock as well as being able to contact fans of a certain product when you introduce a complementary product into your inventory lineup.
Remember: The more data you collect, the harder it gets to manage it on your own. This is true whether we’re talking about simple numbers (like a massive email list) or a large variety of information (like managing medical records).
These are just three of the different things you can do to improve your customer data collection and management. Have you implemented big data collection and management measures in your business? What has worked for you? What hasn’t? Do you have a favorite program or solution that would benefit others? Share your knowledge with the rest of us!