A good business knows its customers well, from their likes, their favorites, to their absolute distaste for a product or service. Having knowledge and understanding of customer behavior allows companies to address customer-related concerns, upgrade their service, and meet consumer demands even before they are explicitly voiced out.
However, there will be times when unpredictable changes happen by sudden shifts in trends or, in special circumstances, by phenomena that leave a global impact such as natural calamities and sickness outbreaks. In these situations, companies’ priorities and behaviors also change, and the rapid shift may no longer be covered by the data you currently have.
When your needs are no longer supported by your current resources, then it is time to update your customer data.
5 Ways To Gather Customer Data To Help Your Business
Collecting customer data is crucial to businesses. That is especially true for B2B companies. With the right tools and strategies, you will be getting relevant information that will help improve your services and create a long-term relationship with your customers.
- Research And Surveys – The very basic method of collecting data from your customers is by doing your own research and asking your customers directly. Prior research will allow you to brief yourself on what’s happening in the environment that triggered the change in business behavior. Surveys, on the other hand, will let you know what exactly your customers are expecting, whether from your service in general, in response to the new trend. However, surveys do not guarantee that you will be getting authentic feedback that is not tied to closed questions. Respondents also have the tendency to not read or analyze open text questions as doing so may take a lot of time and resources. Nevertheless, surveys can still provide feedback that can help B2B companies create effective solutions to address clients’ issues.
- Social Media Engagement – People are actually vocal in social media, so make sure that you utilize this platform well. Post engaging content and see how your followers react to each one. Engagement also allows you to check for insights easily based on customer demographics.The social media sites a company has to use are based on the type of business and target audience. For B2B companies, the most relevant options would be LinkedIn and G2.com.
These social networking sites also help with social listening, which is the process of finding out what types of needs and sentiments prospects express online. At the same time, it helps in identifying potential leads and evaluating marketing and PR strategies. Check company mentions, the number of likes or shares from your audience, and the types of comments that the company’s posts are getting. Use native analytics that gives information about when page visitors are most active, what content gets positive engagement, and how many impressions your posts typically receive. The data gathered from these metrics will help in creating more valuable and effective content to improve engagement.
- Website Engagement – Similar to tracking social media engagement, also monitoring activities on your website will let you know which services or products are most frequented by your customers and other potential clients. What are they looking for? Is there a particular reason why a certain page is suddenly gathering more clicks and interest?
- Use A Reliable Data Management Platform – With a great deal of information incoming from your various data collection campaigns, it is important to have a secure and well-performing platform that you can use for analyzing customer data in order to obtain the most reliable result. Remember that your marketing strategies and customer service improvement will be based on the customer data you have gathered and getting them mixed up might lead you in the wrong direction.
- VOC Programs – It is important for B2B companies to make customers feel that they are appreciated and that their voice is taken seriously. This is a great way to establish trust and loyalty. While market research can help with this, it should be accompanied by a good Voice of the Customer (VOC) program.
VOC programs allow businesses to evaluate if customers see the company’s decisions and investments as valuable and aligned with what the brand promises. Additionally, unlike market research, VOC programs let businesses collect customer data in real-time. Thus, allowing the key players of the organization to immediately take action based on the feedback.
To successfully improve customer service and experience, B2B companies need to find the right platform and technology that will ensure a seamless integration that will link feedback to other operational and sales data.
By being data-driven, businesses put the priority on collecting the necessary and crucial information from their customers to create a reliable database that can help them decide on the next best and big step. When you realize that you are slowly getting out of the loop with none of your present data justifying the changes, then it is time to update your database.
There are a number of ways to get in touch with your customers and with the influx of information to expect, having customer data management software that can keep up with your operations will make the workflow easier and faster.
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