5/09/2016 - Posted by Emily Healey
If you’re ready to grow your business by using customer data then you need to seriously consider how you plan to do so. There are a lot of things that can go wrong from the theft of your customers’ data to driving them away with invasive and unwanted marketing techniques. However, ethical and transparent use of customer data can create a better relationship between you and your clients rather than scare them away. With that in mind, here are five ways you can use customer data the right way.
1. Ask permission first. While permission can be granted simply through your (rarely ever read) terms and conditions, if you go out of your way to make it clear what you’re doing and then ask permission again anyway your customers will be happier when they see things in action. All you need to do is address their concerns regarding privacy and intrusiveness and then illustrate all the benefits that using their data will bring them directly.
2. Create a tailored experience. From recommended items to special deals on your customers’ favourite products or services, when you personalise your offers for customers it can create a long-lasting and positive relationship with your brand by making them feel catered to. Not to mention the fact that showing your customers what they actually want to see is almost guaranteed to drive sales and can create buzz around newly launched items.
3. Track the success of your campaigns. By tracking your customers’ reactions before, during and after a particular marketing campaign you can learn a lot about what does and doesn’t work. Plus, the more campaigns you do this for, the more insight you’ll be gaining. Once you have this information you can reassess your marketing to spend more on the campaigns that work and less on the ones that don’t.
4. Improve customer service. One of the greatest things customer data has to offer is knowledge. With this knowledge, business’ have the opportunity to combat one of the biggest pet peeves of already upset customers – staff who don’t even know what you’re talking about. If employees can immediately look up a customer’s information and purchase history it means better customer service and ensures things go a whole lot smoother.
5. Keep things secure. Your customers need to trust you, especially if you’re collecting their data, so if you’re storing their private information in a database it’s your obligation to keep it safe and secure. If you’re unwilling to invest in the appropriate level of security, you shouldn’t be collecting and storing customer information at all, and if you’re still unsure, just imagine the cost to your brand if customer information was stolen for that very reason.
These are just some of the basic ways you can use customer data the right way. Once you have them in place and can see why they work better than some of the more invasive techniques you can start to get a little more creative. By establishing ethical practices around the use of your customers’ data they will begin to trust your brand and be more receptive when you start to expand your reach with more interactive and personalised marketing.