Take one look at a big corporation and you’ll see they are obsessed with collecting info. Big data is an area where companies from Facebook to Amazon and Co are stealing a march on their rivals.

Way back in their dust, SMBs see the kafuffle and shake their heads. “How can they be so focused on collecting data when I can’t pay the bills?” Yep, small and medium-sized firms have more pressing issues on their agenda which forces them to ignore the rat race.

ways to capture customer information

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The problem is data is the key to success. With enough customer information by your side, it is possible to revolutionize the company and expand. It sounds like a crappy new age method, but it’s true. These are reasons why every business needs a data capture plan.

Loyalty

Customers are simple creatures. What they want is a company which sells valuable products and services at an affordable price. And, if they can do it through a quick and accessible app, the more, the better! Think of an app as a prime example. Every time you log into an application, it remembers your details if you configure the settings. So, when you shop, all you have to do is click “proceed to checkout” and finalize the deal. There is no waiting around and no need to fill in a ton of boxes. To consumers, this is the holy grail of shopping and encourages brand loyalty. Why would they shop anywhere else and take a risk in a culture which is impatient?

Boredom

No, a data capture plan is not boring, not for the company anyway. The mind-numbingly dull part is filling in online forms with info. The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, consumers have to do it over and over for different companies and it gets annoying. Secondly, the forms are often a page or two long and take 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but shoppers won’t wait around for that long. Instead, they will bounce to a competitor who doesn’t ask the same questions. Collecting data allows the firm to avoid asking boring and potentially deal-breaking questions. Keeping your base engaged is the best way to leave them wanting more.

customer data

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Security

Shoppers want to be safe and secure online, which is one reason businesses don’t collect data. Once it’s in your possession, the onus is on the company to keep it secure. However, businesses also need to be safe when generating leads and making sales. Sadly, some people pretend to be different individuals to gain access to servers and steal data. Therefore, it’s essential to know the true identity of your customer before going into business. Otherwise, they may cause a breach which could ruin the organization. Thankfully, asking for customer info allows you to cross-reference their answers. Do their responses add up? Are they telling the truth or are they lying? The more data you have, the easier it is to understand and to protect the company.

Lead Generation

The people who visit the website are potential customers. However, they may not make a concrete conversion, such as a sale. The end goal is to get them to make a purchase, then. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible if you don’t have any contact details. Without a phone number or email address, you can’t send them a message or an email containing offers. Therefore, the chances of them coming back to buy a product or service are low. How do you get them to give away their details without making a conversion? You do it with a simple email address bar. If they enter their address, you can store it and send them the info they may find appealing. Social media icons are also effective.

Trust

Companies have to realize there is an element of mistrust online, and not just with important details. Recently, it came to light that sites were collecting “cookies” without consumer consent. It may only be a name or two but it’s enough to make consumers skeptical. A strategy that is out in the open is a sure-fire way to negate mistrust. Nowadays, a small sentence which explains a site’s cookie policy is met with a click of the “okay” or “accept” buttons. When companies don’t appear to find their processes, customers trust them more. Trust, of course, leads to greater loyalty and an increase in leads and sales.

So, if you don’t have one already, you need to develop one as soon as possible. It could be the difference between success and failure.

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