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5 best practice tips for collecting customer data

Posted by Perceptive Customer Insights Team - 16 November, 2015

5 best practice tips for collecting customer dataWe’re sharing some gems that we’ve learned about collecting customer data. We often get asked these questions by our clients and hopefully this answers some of your questions too.


1. "What type of data should I collect and why?"

Personal data

For surveying purposes, you’ll want the basics, such as:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email addresses
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Profession


For your own customer data though (to go in your CRM) and sales and marketing purposes, more complete data such as:

  • Company
  • Role title
  • Address


Set these as mandatory in your forms and marketing collateral. You might want to include country as well if your services stretch into international regions.

This means you can communicate in a personal way, and follow up with them if there’s a problem with their order. 


Transactional data

Additionally, you may want to record your customers' transaction history to analyse it and know which products and services to offer them in the future. This is also known as “basket analysis,” and enables you to automatically delivering personalised product recommendations based on past purchases.


Related content: What is the difference between data and information in business?


2. "How do I get sales reps to enter complete CRM data?"

The best way to get around relying on sales reps to fill in data for you is to make the important fields mandatory in your online forms. Incomplete information is a sign of poor data quality.

As filling in info can be quite time-consuming, sales reps can miss this out. You’ll want to have the following mandatory fields:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Address


3. "How do I avoid duplicate lead and contact entries?"

Prevent duplicate records by comparing the email address of the contacts. These will be unique for each individual.

In many CRM systems today, you now have an option to check whether the newly added record already exists in the account.


4. "How do I deal with existing duplicate records?"

For this scenario, instead of just deleting one record and potentially losing important data from one that isn't present in the other, merge the two contacts into a single entity instead.


5. "How much data should I ask for?"

The biggest mistake when collecting data is to ask for too much at one time and overwhelming your customers. What is also a common occurrence is that you go through the effort of collecting the data but end up not using it, and what’s worse: making assumptions about customers based on collecting transactional data only (or something of the sort).


Learn more about how you can get the data and insights you need to increase customer retention, by using the Net Promoter® Score. Get our free e-book by clicking on the link below:


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Topics: Customer Insights

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