Five ways to use data to grow your business from day one

Knowing who you are as a business and who your customers are, is key to the success of any enterprise. Technology that allows you to mine information, data and insights from your customers is revolutionising the way we “do” business, and all businesses should be utilising customer data from day one. Improving customer loyalty, personalising customer experience and learning from customer reviews and feedback is crucial to not only understanding your business, but learning how to improve and implement successful growth strategies. Here are five easy ways to gather your customers’ data and how you can learn and grow your business based on data insights.

1) Make your website interactive

Your website can be the first representation of your business a customer will see. Make sure it’s mobile responsive and interactive by leveraging social buttons, shareable content, offers, polls and  email sign ups. Then use Google Analytics to measure that interaction. How long do they spend on each page of your site? What sections are most popular? Test adding a comments section or does a chat box increase interactivity? What links are they clicking? Once you know what is most popular on your website you can use this data to hone your website design, develop tactical marketing , and learn to anticipate what your customer wants and is looking for.

2) Use free Wifi access to collect data at your physical locations

If your business has bricks n mortar locations as well as online, be sure to offer complimentary wifi at your locations. To access the WiFi your visitors will need to register with their email address or login via social media. You can use this info later to invite them to your social pages or survey via eDM to find out more info like: age, employment, likes and dislikes. All of this builds up a picture about what type of people are visiting your locations and therefore help you to tailor your customer experience to them.

3) Encourage online reviews

According to the 2016 Sensis social media report, as many as 60 per cent of Australian consumers read online reviews and blogs before making a purchasing decision.

Sign up to review sites such as tripadvisor and encourage feedback from your customers. Save the valuable data from online reviews – the good and the bad as both allow you to take action and improve customer experience. Not only are review sites a great strategy to encourage new customer discovery and hopefully acquisition, but you can use the qualitative data to inform your business strategy.

4) Gain real-time feedback during their experience with you

Using review sites are a great way of collecting qualitative data after the fact, however, collecting quantitative in-store or online feedback from real customers in real-time is even better. Use a service such as TruRating that allows you to collect ratings from your customers on their experience as they pay, giving you opinions garnered from every customer – not just the very disappointed or overly-impressed minority that will leave a review on a website. Gartner research says that feedback gathered in the moment is 40 per cent more accurate than when collected 24 hours later.

5) Build relationships using your existing customer database

Customers who have shared their data with you either as an email address or a social follow are more likely to be a repeat customer, so their over-time experiences are worth asking for. By doing this you’ll be completing the full customer picture, along with the other data you will have gathered through review sites and in-store rating technology. Use SurveyMonkey or similar, to ask short questionnaires (no more than five questions) and offer a prize related to your business as a hook to get completion.

Sophie Jillings, Head of APAC, www.trurating.com

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