5 effective ways to gather useful data without inconveniencing your customer

Surveys offer a common and convenient way for businesses to seek customer feedback. But they may also be an annoyance that strains your customer relationships.

Here are a few less conspicuous, more valuable ways to gather data:

1. Smart social media management

You don’t have to stalk your customers’ social accounts to gain valuable insight into their buying behaviour and relationship with your business.

Instead, use a social media management dashboard to monitor mentions and interactions across social channels. This streamlines the process of interacting with customers who have something to say about your business. Not only will you build a positive reputation via public interactions, but you can glean valuable feedback without asking for it. Be sure to track metrics, such as engagement and conversions generated via social media channels.

2. Meme-ify

You can get useful data from your customers by encouraging them to do something fun, such as creating a meme with their own picture, plus your brand text or logo. You can ask people to do a silly pose with your product and post to Instagram, but you must ask for information as well.

For example, “Take a pic in your favorite place to use our product. #MyFavePlace. The most unique location wins a fabulous prize!” You’ll encourage engagement, market your company, and gain insight into where and how your products are really being used. This is how you get survey answers without wasting your customers’ time on a survey.

3. Social insights

The advertising tools included with some social media can provide you with helpful data your customers don’t even realise they’re providing. Insights from Facebook and Twitter give you segmentation options that can be invaluable.

You’ll be able to narrow down the interests, lifestyle information, and demographics of your followers on social media. Insights can even show you purchase behaviour for your target audience, so you can see which purchases they’re most likely to make. The primary purpose is to help you more accurately target your advertising campaigns on those channels, but you can also use the data to help you improve buyer personas, email campaigns, and landing pages.

4. Exit rates

Businesses with e-commerce must leverage their website traffic data to understand customer buying behaviour. A vitally important piece of the puzzle is exit rates for each page on your site.

If you find a particular page has a significantly higher exit rate than others, check into it. Is there something about that page sending your potential customers packing? Combine this data with a heatmap to gain further insight. If something is missing, overpriced, incorrectly described, or has a mismatched image, you’ll be able to address it right away.

5. Market basket analysis

Of course, you can use a customer’s purchase history to predict their future purchases. Applying market basket analysis lets you use other customers’ whole purchases to predict those of their peers and to create cross-sell opportunities.

Whether you choose to use software on your e-commerce site or you keep track of purchases in your brick-and-mortar shop, you can see which items a person purchases together to offer them to the next customer who shows interest in one of those same items. For example, if many customers buy chicken soup and boxes of tissues together, you can place those items together in the store. Amazon.com shows you “Frequently Bought Together” and “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” suggestions on single product pages across their entire site.

Asking your customers for their feedback is probably the most straight-forward method of data collection, but generosity has its limits. Rather than take up your customers’ precious time, rely on other methods of data collection for the bulk of your information and keep the surveys to a minimum.

This content was first published on www.thebusinesswomanmedia.com 

You might also find these useful: