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5 Types of Customer Data Forms You Should Be Using

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The most useful form of customer data is unfiltered honesty, especially when you use that information to then improve your processes, so that you can continually expand your customer engagement.

Northsail believes that honesty is absolutely always the best policy, which is why if we believe that a project can't be completed above and beyond client expectations, we simply won't take it on.

We guarantee that every single project we do will be completed on-time, on-spec, and on-budget – that’s why every project comes with a 6-month guarantee.

Honesty builds trust, and if you want to start Building Customer Loyalty with your own clients, you need to start collecting honest customer data from within your target market and your existing customers.

How do you do that? Data collection forms. These are sometimes obvious forms of collection, like surveys or testimonials. However, occasionally they can be unprompted by you, like customer contact through social media.

Before we dive into some of the different types of data collection forms you can utilize for your business, let's talk a bit more about what customer data is, and why it's valuable for you.

What is Customer Data?

Customer data comes in a few different forms, but at its core, it means any information that you can gain by interacting with your customers in-person or online, and getting information directly from them.

It can also relate to any information that you can gain by tracking your customers' buying behaviors, conversion trends, or results from your marketing/promotional efforts.

Whether it's your customer's contact information, like their address, email, or phone number, or their favourite hobbies, colours, or foods - it's all customer data.

What are Customer Data Collection Forms?

Anytime that a customer fills out a form in-person or online with information that could be considered customer data, then you could call it a customer data collection form.

Some are obviously meant to collect customer data, and others can feel more like carrying on a dialogue with the customer. Even holding chats through social media and recording the data for future use could theoretically be considered a type of customer data collection.

The key with all of these forms, whether they're written on paper or submitted digitally, is to make sure that you're creating databases of all the relevant information the customers have provided for you.

Otherwise, the information is far less likely to be catalogued properly, or utilized to improve future marketing strategies and business plans.

Why are Customer Data Forms Valuable?

Data amounts to hard facts. Regardless of whether you're going to acknowledge and accept the information being provided to you (which can be challenging sometimes with testimonial or review data), the fact remains that these are honest, valuable pieces of information.

Facts don't lie, and they don't care about opinions. For better or worse, it's foolish to overlook crucial information you can use to improve your future processes.

Customer data collection forms can help you weed out inventory that might be selling well now, but will end up just taking up space on your shelves in a couple of months. They can assist in deciding what types of new products or services to offer.

They're also one of the most critically important pieces of being able to execute many different types of marketing strategies. Without customer contact data, it’s much harder to get your marketing materials directly to your customer base.

5 Types of Customer Data Forms You Should Be Using

To help you start collecting as much valuable data as possible, here's are 5 types of customer data forms that you should consider building into your business plan:

1.) Email Forms

Email Marketing offers a variety of benefits from encouraging customer engagement to creating long-lasting Brand Affinity.

But you can also use email campaigns to share data collection forms with your customers, through your contests and promotions.

Create urgency by putting a limited time offer into your email campaigns, and ask your customer for a summary of their last experience dealing with your business, as a gateway into accessing the offer. It doesn't have to be long, just 2-3 lines.

You can also use this as an opportunity to seek feedback about specific products. For instance, if your database tracks previous purchases by customer accounts, you can reach out to just those customers to ask them about what they thought of the products.

For new product launches or products that you're worried may not be received well by your target market, this is an invaluable way to get some fast, honest feedback.

It can also give you the opportunity to get ahead of any product quality or reliability issues, which you may not realize until customers start to use those products. It won’t happen often, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Give these customers a 5-10% discount off their next order for taking the time to offer their testimonial, and they'll be much more likely to give you a few minutes of their time to fill out a short questionnaire.

2.) Contest Forms

Of course, contest forms are useful both in-person and online, since every customer will be expecting to offer up at least a little bit of personal information in order to enter your promotion.

This is a great means for collecting contact info like emails and home addresses (don't underestimate the value of knowing where your customer base lives), but you can take it one step further than that.

Add a section for customers to tell you about a product or purchasing experience from your brand that went above and beyond for them in the past. These word-of-mouth testimonials are fantastic marketing materials.

They’re also a great way to add credibility to both your website and your brand as a whole.

3.) Loyalty Program Forms

Apart from surveys, if you're trying to collect a larger amount of customer data all at once, then loyalty program forms can be a solid method for extracting as much as possible in one swift motion.

Most loyalty programs come with some massive benefits to the client, and in exchange for being able to access all those wonderful perks, more customers will expect to have at least a moderate amount of paperwork to fill out.

This is partially because most loyalty programs involve some sort of customer account, which tracks points or rewards depending on the system in place.

Also, when customers sign up for a loyalty program, there's a silent assumption that they're going to be continuing to use your business repeatedly in the future - otherwise, why sign up for the loyalty program, right?

Most happy customers don't mind sharing a little bit of extra information with their favourite businesses, because they've developed a personal relationship with that brand.

After all, what's a little data between friends?

4.) Surveys

As we mentioned above, surveys are the other type of customer data collection forms that can often yield the most in-depth results.

Unfortunately, surveys can be a challenging customer data collection form when it comes to encouraging engagement and creating excitement.

Just like email marketing campaigns, it can be a good idea to sweeten the pot a little, and offer your customers a small bonus for taking the time to complete your survey.

It doesn't have to be anything large or extravagant, but something is always better than nothing. It adds value for their time spent, and for many customers, that will be a major deciding factor.

Otherwise, you're going to be left hoping your customers are either so happy or so dissatisfied that they take the time to sit down and share those experiences.

5.) Social Media Polls

If you've got experience in Interactive Marketing or Social Media Marketing, you've probably already seen the value in using social media polls as a form of customer data collection form.

These polls give you priceless information about how your customers rate your products and services against one another. It can also be an invaluable source of information when you're considering expanding your product or service offerings.

Think about it - you can literally ask your target market which products they would like to see you carrying. And if you don't have some popular options on your list that you haven't considered yet, your most devoted customer base will reach out to let you know.

Sometimes subtle marketing is extremely useful. However, in situations like social media polls, it's best to be direct.

Ask clear questions, and you'll get straight answers.

Northsail Understands the Value of Customer Data

That's Why We Want You to Try Our Newest Service 'Horizon'

The best customer data comes directly from the source, which is why we believe in communicating openly with our clients. Anytime that we think we can gain some useful data by bringing customers in on the testing of a new service, we will.

With that in mind, we're inviting you to take part in the testing of our newest service - 'Horizon'. Horizon is an intuitive service that's going to change the way that you think about building websites.

In addition to adding a variety of customer data collection forms to any of your pages, Horizon lets you build high-performance landing pages and microsites, without the need for a developer's oversight.

All we ask is that you take a few minutes to let us know what you think, once you have a chance to check Horizon out. That's it! Not bad for a free trial. right?

Why miss out? Sign-up today, and let Horizon start making your site design a snap.

Sign up for early access to Horizon!

We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.

Your contact information will only be used for the early access program, not for future sales and marketing.

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