Parker Mitchell, Account Manager from Texn Rewards, based in Texas, US, looks at customer data collection and the importance of keeping it up to date, particularly with the auto recycling industry’s ever-changing marketing strategies.
When collecting customer data, it is important to consider data integrity, quality of data, keeping data fresh, and pitfalls of constantly changing marketing strategies.
The most important part of collecting data is that you have integrity, and your customers can trust you are doing it ethically. They need to know that you will not sell their sensitive information and that it will not be compromised or used for any other purpose other than intended. You can show this by masking sensitive information on any screen that the customer or your employees can see, much like companies mask the credit card number except for the last four digits. Another way is to let your customers know that you take the collection of their sensitive data seriously and that it will not be sold or used for any purpose other than what is stated in the legal disclaimer.
It is also important to collect quality data. Quality data means different things for different people. Some folks only want to collect first name, last name, phone number, picture, and waiver signature. Other folks may also wish to collect email address, birth date, and/or zip code. It is important to consider which data is essential and not collect anything extra because you do not want to slow down your business by collecting too much data. If too much data is asked for, then customers will often provide inaccurate data or opt-out of providing any data. You want to make it easy for the customer, especially if the data is collected at your business when there is a line of customers. No matter how much data you collect, there will always be a percentage of inaccurate data that customers provide. You can minimize this by having integrity and only collecting what is necessary.
There is no harm in doing a deep clean of your data every couple of years to make sure old contacts who have not been back, do not continue to receive marketing from your business. You want to keep your data streamlined and fresh. The fresher your data is, then the better results you will get through your marketing campaigns. If someone checked in two years ago and did not come back, then you do not want to continue to send them ads. They have been receiving ads for the past two years and did not come back. Constantly cleaning up your list will keep your marketing efficient. Your marketing provider might do this automatically by dynamically filtering your database every time an advertisement is sent out and filtering out inactive contacts. Even if they do this, then a deep clean every two years is still recommended, so you get an accurate count of how many active customers are in your marketing database.
One pitfall of constantly changing marketing providers every couple of years is that you need to keep good records of your customers checking in. Some people try to extort businesses after a couple of years of receiving a marketing advertisement because they know companies like to change up their marketing every couple of years and may not still have detailed records from a couple of years ago. If you have a marketing provider who does a good job collecting/storing customer data and provides good marketing results, in that case, it might not be worth changing marketing providers just because another marketing company quotes you a slightly better price than you are currently paying.
With Texn Rewards, we usually collect first name, last name, phone number, picture, waiver signature, and timestamp of each check-in. When customers join on the kiosk, we explain exactly what they are signing up for in the legal disclaimer before they sign in. Then, we send new phone numbers a welcome message which explains how they can opt-out if they no longer want to receive messages. We include how they can opt out of at least one marketing message each month. If someone has an issue while at the yard and disputes it with you later, we can look up the customer by phone number or name and download the check-in data for the date they have an issue with. The waiver download includes all of the data we collect just in case you need to utilize this for disputes to prove a customer signed the waiver that day.