Fun Fact – did you know that data is currently traded at a higher value than oil? Think about it: every card that’s swiped, every lead that comes in and every invoice that goes out is essentially like oil being pumped into your cash register. At the end of the day, there are two sides of the data spectrum you can fall on: you can take this information and turn it into cold, hard cash or you avoid all of the “oil” everywhere because you don’t want to deal with the hassle. Whichever side you fall on is up to you (hint hint: I’d pick option 1). Here are some of the most common statements and questions that we get from business owners surrounding data collection:
"Why do I need to collect data on my customers? I know who comes into my location."
I hear this one all the time. As a business owner, you’d like to think you know your regulars like the back of your hand but if you’re not in your store working the register every hour the store is open, you do not know ALL of your customers. Data collection allows you to see who your customers are while giving you the opportunity to leverage that data to market to potential new customers. Data in this day in age for your business is gold and should be treated as such.
“My staff is not going to do that so we will not be collecting that data.”
The only reason a staff member will choose not to do this is because you’re failing to explain the “why” behind your ask. If you give an explanation, most staff members will do it. If they resist, take a different approach and offer them an incentive. For example, if you ask me to run a 100-yard dash, I will most likely decline but if you tell me there’s $20 in it for me, I’m already 10 yards on my way! The same goes for data collection. When you give a proper explanation and truly hit on why it’s so valuable to your business, most of your employees should hop on the data bandwagon.
“My Customers don’t want to give away that data and I don't want to invade their privacy.”
What most customers don’t realize is that they’ve given away their data before, many times in fact. Whether it be to win a new car or receive a free appetizer by joining a rewards program at a local restaurant, their information is being shared. This data is essential to your business and in order to collect it, you just have to give away something equally as valuable in return.
Here are a couple examples of how to easily obtain customer information:
- “Would you like me to email you your receipt? For each email we receive, we donate XYZ to save the environment.”
- “Would you like to join our rewards program? When you sign up, you’ll receive 10% off your purchase!”
If you don’t have an easy way of collecting data, it’s probably time to look into a new CRM/POS system that collects the information for you once a credit card is swiped (if you want to know more about these contact us here). This is an investment on YOUR future. Every credit swipe that doesn’t collect any consumer information is money literally leaving your cash register.
"Is collecting my customers' names enough? What can I do to improve my match rate?"
Although that is a good starting point, there is a lot of room for improvement. At the very least, you should collect first name, last name, date of purchase, and purchase amount with every transaction. You can even take it one step further and collect phone numbers, email addresses, date of birth, and addresses to improve your match rates even more.
"I collect my data every now and then. Use what I have."
Data collection is important and it has to happen every transaction everytime. You can’t finish a puzzle with only half the pieces. If you have holes in your data collection practices, it will lead to poor match rates and poor audiences for your future marketing efforts.
Are You Ready to Collect Data like a Pro?
The livelihood of your business depends on how well you can grow and thrive in the age of data collection. If you are not doing this now you are already behind your competitors. If you’re new to data collection or have had no luck with your efforts, follow the tips above and you’ll become a pro in no time.
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