We all know that personal data is crucial for true customer nurturing. When we harness actionable insights from our customer, we do so with the intent to strengthen our relationship with them by delivering truly relevant and unique experiences. But how can you encourage visitors to share actionable data in the first place?
Like the parent that has to persuade its child into eating his greens... “Three more peas, then you can jump straight to dessert.” ...we have to encourage our customers to give up some of their personal data in order for us to make magic for them. And just as the parent that spends hours at the table making airplane noises, we ask…
Why Is Data Collection So Difficult?
80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that personalizes the buying experience. So if 36% of consumers believe brands should be offering more personalization, why are there so many hurdles to collecting the kind of personal details that are crucial for delivering it?
It should be a clear win-win situation.
For us: data-driven personalization has the power to halve acquisition costs, boost revenue, and increase marketing spend efficiency, as well as boost brand loyalty — all our favorite things.
For the customer: it helps us deliver a hand-picked experience that reinforces their sense of self and centrality on this planet.
So let’s banish the hurdles to getting customers to volunteer their personal data, and start doing some of the things that will encourage them, so we can deliver those unparalleled digital experiences they dream of.
7 Ways to Encourage Customers
1. Turn up the Transparency
You must ensure your customers understand why you are asking for their data and how you plan to use it. So explain your terms of data usage and their related rights in plain, uncomplicated language. And then be sure to highlight the benefits of sharing their information with you; what improvements they can expect through being remembered and having their experience tailored to their interests and preferences.
Make your proposition clear: You eat three peas, we take you straight to dessert.
Then, once they’ve entrusted you with their data, use it swiftly and effectively to prove that data sharing = improved experiences. Get them on board.
2. Tackle Trust Head On
With great data comes great responsibility. Marketing in today’s world is a game of balancing data with trust.
The Independent has reported that card and account fraud jumped 40% in a year, with £2 billion being stolen from 1 in 10 British adults in 2017/2018. And Juniper Research states that phone and online credit card fraud is estimated to reach $19.3 billion in 2022.
So when The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) saw an increase of 44% in data breaches in 2017, exposing 179 million records, we shouldn’t be too surprised at our customer’s hesitation to divulge their information.
You need to reassure your customers that their data is safe with you and that you recognize its value. Not just that you won’t share it with third parties, but that you are worthy of trust as a brand. Being GDPR compliant and letting your customers know how seriously you implement it is just one of the ways to instill trust.
3. Incentivize Sharing
Any incentive you offer in exchange for data must be something that your customer would consider to be of actual value. Simply receiving your newsletter doesn’t count. What about a checklist? Access to how-to videos? An extended warranty? Free shipping? Limited offers? Reward points?
Prove how you have their interests at heart by offering personalized coupons, vouchers, or discounts tailored to their interests, location, job titles, and buying history. 52% of Americans said they would share their purchase history in exchange for promotional discounts.
Show how well you’ve listened to them with predictive recommendations derived from browsing and search history.
91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations, and 47% of consumers will go to Amazon if the brand they’re shopping with doesn’t provide relevant product suggestions.
Make-up subscription company Ipsy receives five million product reviews every month thanks to a system whereby review-leaving customers receive reward points that they can redeem on exclusive products.
4. Gamify Data Collection
No one likes forms, so why not create a game that rewards customers for the information they provide?
Not only is a game likely to boost awareness of your brand and attract new registrants on your website, but it’s likely to encourage existing customers to share more details. The more they provide, the higher their score. Then you can offer exclusive benefits and discounts according to points earned during these gamified interactions (aka data-gathering sessions).
Users of the Heineken app were asked predictive questions during the Champions League game like “Will they score within 20 seconds?” and trivia questions during downtime. Points were awarded for correct answers.
5. Get Embedded in Social
Did you know that 1.56 billion people log onto Facebook every single day? By inviting your customers to log into your website using their Facebook (or Google) account, you make yourself just as accessible. Convenience like that is a clear benefit and a direct reward to your busy customer for sharing their data.
Social marketing is still going strong, and it's one place your customer has no qualms about sharing every detail of their lives—even coffee cup before and after shots make the cut. And in fact, 59% of Americans believe social media has made getting answers from brands easier. That makes it good customer-service sense, too.
So you should incorporate social throughout your buying process and customer support—ensuring you have the right tools to analyze your audience on each channel. Then it’s a case of the more engaged a customer is; the more data falls in your lap.
6. Be Your Brand
You know when you meet a new person, and you’re a bit wary—only revealing basic information about yourself? But then you find out she went to your school/also loves raccoons/hates the same politicians/makes the same airplane noises at the table. Suddenly the barriers come crashing down, and she is upgraded from stranger to friend.
Well, it’s the same with your customer.
Customers tend to align themselves with brands whose values reflect their own, and 30% of customers who feel high levels of trust and loyalty are willing to share their personal data with trusted brands.
So don’t be afraid to promote what you are. Share your values and mission statement. Exude your company culture. Infuse your marketing messages with your ethics. Go niche. This builds confidence in your audience and builds trust in your brand - this kind of trust can lead to deep-seated loyalty.
Research shows that consumers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value, stay with a brand longer, and are much more likely to recommend brands.
Supermarket chain Whole Foods lives and works by a specific set of principles that speaks directly to its audience. By having its values woven into the fabric of the company, it sets up a cycle of empowerment between itself and its customers who are inspired and passionate about the same things. Whole Foods currently has more than 300 stores in the US and registers annual sales of $11 billion.
7. Take On Technology
71% of consumers feel frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal, and 90% of consumers are willing to share their behavioral data for an easier or cheaper shopping experience.
To deliver those magical customer experiences and deliver on your data-exchange promise, you must be able to collect and manage your data-driven customer insights from all touchpoints at all times, and then act on them.
So your technology must enable data capturing across all channels, and then must store it all in one place under one customer profile. It’s got to facilitate automated data analysis and provide strong content personalization, marketing automation, social integration, and A/B testing features.
You need a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) that will support you in orchestrating a symphony of channel messages and preferences that layer along each touchpoint, delivering that ever-more-relevant yet seamless experience.
What Are You Waiting For?
If your brand can be personal, fun, helpful, convenient, generous, creative, social, trustworthy, and transparent, and you can underpin it all with the technology to match, you’ll soon be on your way to building those impactful, meaningful, and nurturing customer relationships that last a lifetime, and customers are lining up to share data with.