How To Collect Customer Data in 8 Easy Ways

In a world where third-party cookies and data are quickly disappearing, collecting your own first-party customer data is critical. 

So, if you’re wondering how to collect customer data for your sales and marketing strategies, you’ve come to the right place. 

On this page, we’re going over the best customer data collection methods so you can gather valuable information from your audience to inform your strategies. 

Just keep reading to get started! 

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What to consider before collecting customer data

Before you start implementing data collection methods, there are a few things your business should consider:

1. The goal of your data collection

You probably already know your company’s reason for collecting customer data. You may want to know more about the people who buy your products to optimize your marketing campaigns or understand your customers’ needs to boost your sales efforts. 

Outlining your business’s goal for collecting data will help you determine which data collection methods to use, how much to collect, and what to do with the information once you have it.

2. The type of data you need to collect

The answer to this question depends on your data collection goals. Your team could collect many types of data like statistical information and qualitative data like preferences and motivations. 

If you need to know what type of business tends to buy your products, gathering data like company size and industry will be helpful. If you want to know what factors influence your customers’ purchases, it would be good to understand their pain points.

3. How you’ll store the collected data

Finally, it’s critical to consider how your company will store the data once it’s collected. The data storage solution you choose will determine how long you can access the data after you collect it and how well it’s protected from leaks or misuse. 

A popular customer data storage solution is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. A CRM platform enables you to collect and store tons of customer data so you can use it to strengthen customer relationships and drive more sales. 

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How to collect customer data 

Now that you’ve thought through the “why” of collecting customer data, it’s time to plan the “how.” Here’s how to collect customer data in eight different ways:

  1. Surveys
  2. Email newsletters
  3. Blog subscriptions
  4. Chatbots
  5. Customer transaction and purchase history
  6. Social media
  7. Website tracking tools
  8. Customer relationship management (CRM) software

1. Surveys

Surveys are a great way to learn more about your prospects and current customers. You can create a survey that asks your audience to share their feedback and experience after:

  • Purchasing a product or service
  • Calling your customer service team
  • Signing up for your email newsletter
  • Navigating your website

Be sure to include questions in your survey that enable you to learn more about your customers and prospects. For example, you can ask questions about their age or location. 

You could also ask customers why they decided to purchase your product or service to better understand their pain points and motivations. 

2. Email newsletters

Another great way to gather customer data is to create an email newsletter. When customers sign up for your newsletter, they’ll usually need to provide their email address and name at the minimum. 

collecting customer data with an email signup form

Then you can use your email newsletter to collect further information from your customers. 

For example, you can ask them what types of content they would like to see and which products or services they are most interested in. You can even use your newsletter to send your audience one of your surveys from the tip we mentioned above. 

3. Blog subscriptions

Do you have a company blog? If not, it might be time to start one. Besides aiding your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and lead nurturing tactics, your blog posts can also help you collect valuable information from your customers and prospects. 

Consider allowing customers and other website visitors an option to subscribe to your blog to get notified when you publish a new post. You can include a blog subscription form on some of your web pages and blog posts. 

At the minimum, you can ask your audience to provide their name and email address to sign up for your blog. Additionally, you can ask subscribers about what blog topics they would enjoy most to better understand your audience’s interests so you can create more relevant blog posts in the future. 

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4. Chatbots

Collecting user data is a breeze when you use chatbots throughout your website. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots can interact with your customers to answer their questions and provide them with solutions. 

how to collect customer data with a chotbot

Using chatbots, you can learn about your customer’s pain points, which products or services they are most interested in, and what information they’re searching for on your website. 

Your chatbot can also gather even more data from your customers by asking them to fill out a survey about their experience using the chatbot. In your survey, you can ask your customers questions about their demographics and interests as well as their experience using the chatbot. 

5. Customer transaction and purchase history

Next in our guide for how to collect customer data is to take a look at your current customer transaction and purchase history. 

When it comes to collecting user data, one of the best ways to gather information is to look at your current customers and their order history. 

When customers purchase a product or service, they usually need to provide some of their information, like their name, email address, and physical address. 

By looking at your order and purchase history, you can view similarities between your current customers. For example, you might notice that most of your customers are located in the same city. 

You can also use your customer purchase history to see which products or services result in the most sales for your business. 

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6. Social media

Utilizing social media is another great method for collecting customer data. Many social media platforms give you valuable insights into your audience. 

For example, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram come equipped with audience insights features. You can view which time of day your audience is most active, audience demographics like location and age, audience interests, and much more. 

collecting customer data with social media insights

So, if you don’t already have a social media profile, now could be the perfect time to create one so you can start gathering valuable information from your audience. 

7. Website tracking tools

The seventh method in our guide for how to gather customer data is to use website tracking tools. There’s a plethora of website analytics tools that enable you to track data from your website visitors and current customers.

For example, Google Analytics lets you gather tons of data about your audience and current customers. 

collecting customer data with google analytics

With Google Analytics, you can track the following:

Google Analytics is a great way to gather in-depth information about your current customers and gain insights into the success of your sales and marketing strategies. 

8. Customer relationship management (CRM) software

Last on our list of customer data collection methods is to use CRM software. A CRM like Nutshell enables you to automatically collect and store audience information the second customers or prospects fill out forms on your website and contact your business.

Plus, you can also use Nutshell to track your sales performance and customer purchase history. With a CRM like Nutshell, it’s easy to collect customer data and use it to build brand loyalty, which turns into more sales and revenue for your business. 

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Frequently asked questions about collecting customer data

The considerations and customer data collection methods discussed above provide a good starting point for how to collect customer data. Have more questions? Take a look at these FAQs for some answers: 

What are the benefits of collecting customer data?

Gathering information about your customers brings several benefits, like the ability to segment your audience for marketing campaigns and use customer feedback to improve your products.

What is the best customer data collection method?

The best method for collecting customer data depends on your company’s goals and resources. Customer purchase history might be a great source of information about where most of your customers are geographically located, but it won’t tell you which topics they like to read most on your blog. The data collection processes your organization uses should be tailored to its unique needs.

Is it legal to collect customer data?

It’s generally legal to gather information about your customers, but various laws and regulations govern how companies can collect and use customer data. It’s important to follow all relevant data privacy regulations and best practices.

What are some common customer data collection mistakes?

Here are a few mistakes to steer clear of when collecting customer data:

  • Asking customers to provide irrelevant personal information
  • Not informing customers that you’re collecting their data 
  • Not giving customers the opportunity to reject having their data collected

Make customer data collection a breeze with Nutshell

Ready to start collecting customer data? Make collecting user data a breeze with Nutshell

Nutshell is a user-friendly CRM platform that enables you to automatically collect information from your leads and customers directly from your website, like their demographics, email addresses, interests, and more. 

Want to test Nutshell’s customer data collection features for yourself?

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