Customer data is the most valuable asset any business has. It provides different opportunities thanks to the broad spectrum of information it encompasses about the people and businesses your company serves. Customer data is any information about customers businesses collect to understand, communicate and engage with customers.
Customer data is categorized into various classifications depending on the point of view. Following you will learn more about these categories and how your business can approach and use them.
Customer Data Categories Based on Usage
Customer data is categorized into the following 4 sections, based on its usage:
1. Customer Basic Data
Also called identity data or personal data, this type of data is the most basic information that identifies an individual customer. This type of data can be separated into two sub-categories: Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Non-Personally Identifiable Information (Non-PII).
1.1. Personally Identifiable Basic Data (PII)
This sub-category is any data that you can use to identify a customer’s identity. It includes a customer’s name, gender, age, phone number, postal address, email address, profession, and social media handles.
1.2. Non-Personally Identifiable Basic Data (Non-PII)
This sub-category is anonymous information and you can’t use it to identify any one person. It includes IP addresses, cookies, and device IDs. Various laws approach these data points differently. For instance, according to GDPR, non-Personally Identifiable Information such as cookies can be categorized as personal data. So, to avoid any potential interference, we’ve classified them under one umbrella.
How to Collect Customer Basic Data
The most effective way of collecting basic data is online forms. Online forms like Formaloo, GForms, Typeform, Wufoo, and Socital help you collect basic data. Each of these tools has its own pros and cons. While creating online forms, make sure you know how to create forms with high conversion rates.
2. Customer Engagement Data
Also called engagement data or descriptive data, this data category shows the touchpoints that customers have with your brand. It includes information such as the customer’s behavior on your website and their interaction with you on social media and through customer service.
How to Collect Customer Engagement Data
You can collect the engagement data through various channels like your website, mobile applications, social media, email, customer service tools, and Ad engagement information. In order to collect the engagement data, you can use tools like Formaloo, Google Analytics, and Mailchimp.
3. Customer Behavioral Data
Behavioral data depicts customers’ experiences with your product or service such as browsing habits, online activity, and buying patterns. The difference between interaction and behavioral data can seem fairly nuanced depending on your business and industry. In other words, engagement data may or may not be a part of behavioral data.
Online businesses are usually known as premier users of behavioral data, such as free sign-ups, logins, using features, deactivations, and downgrades.
How to Collect Customer Behavioral Data
To collect customer behavioral data, you can use tools like Formaloo, Mixpanel, and Hotjar. These tools help you collect transactional data, product usage, and qualitative data. Some examples of behavioral data include:
- Subscription details
- Purchase details
- Previous purchases
- Average order value
- Cart abandonment data
- Average customer lifetime value
- User attention
- Heatmaps (clicks, scroll, mouse movement data)
4. Customer Attitudinal Data
Attitudinal data is driven by the feelings and emotions of your customers. It helps you understand what customers think about your company and the products and solutions that you provide. Using NPS surveys, reviews, and customer interviews, you can understand the emotions of your customers.
How to Collect Customer Attitudinal Data
Attitudinal data is usually collected using interactive forms, surveys, interviews, feedback, and reviews. Online tools like Formaloo and SurveyMonkey help you collect and understand attitudinal data.
Customer Data Categories Based on Sources
Categorizing customer data based on its source, we get to three main categories. Each of these types of data provides actionable information to marketers. Following you will learn more about each category:
First-party data is the data you collect directly from your customers. Businesses collect first-party data through various ways such as:
- Tracked webpage visits
- Uses of the mobile apps
- In-store or online transactions
- Subscription-based emails or newsletters
- Company social media profiles
- Feedback surveys
Second-party data is another company’s first-party data that is either shared with your organization through a partnership or purchased by your company. In other words, the second-party data is similar to the first-party data, but it comes from a source other than your own audience. The seller/sharer collects data directly from their audience, and it all comes from one source.
Third-party data is data that you buy from outside sources that are not the original collectors of that data. There are large data aggregator companies that pull data from various platforms and website, aggregate this data, and then sell it as third-party data. Third-party data is usually anonymous and Non-Personally Identifiable (Non-PII). The biggest use of this data is for Ads and retargeting.
What Are the Next Steps After Collecting Customer Data?
As it’s always said, your current customers spend up to 67% more than new customers. Therefore, by analyzing the data of your current customers, you will understand how you can increase your profits and reduce churn.
Using customer analytics tools like Formaloo Customer Analytics Platform, you can understand the exact patterns each customer has while interacting with your brand. Formaloo also helps you understand the next actions you should take to encourage each segment of customers to be more active and buy more frequently.
Formaloo also helps your business collect customer data and also analyzes it so you know which customers have the potential to leave, and what actions you can take to retain them in your business.
Regardless of type, customer data is the key to better marketing. Rich businesses are rich with their data and analytics. So, plan to collect the data of your customers wisely, and analyze them to understand and provide a better experience to your customers. All this brings you customer success which is the key to continuous growth.