10 Questions to Ask When Collecting Customer Data

Collecting customer data
Tips for collecting customer data

Customers are putting a great deal of faith in you, when they’re telling you personal information. It’s essential that you understand the gravity of this relationship and the level of trust a customer is instilling in you when they disclose these things to you.

Spamming them, selling their information to another company or letting it fall prey to a cyber attack are all situations where the trust given to you will immediately be shattered. Keep their information safe and secure, and take seriously the trust they have given you.

Here are the top 10 questions you should be asking before you start asking your customers to collect their personal information.

1. Collecting customer data is very time-consuming. Would it not be more prudent for me to spend that time conducting business where I’m actually making money?

Gaining a solid understanding of your customer base is essential to growing your business effectively. “So, collecting data about your customers gives you the necessary insight you’ll need to steer your business in the right direction. You’ll have the ability to create more effective marketing campaigns and targeted email workflows when you understand the intricacies of you customers”, – says David Joyce, a Customer Data Analyst at State of Writing.

2. What kind of personal information should I be asking?

The basics are always a good start, because you’ll want that information to get in contact with those customers in the future – name, phone number, email address and mailing address. You can also delve deeper into personal information, if that will help you narrow down strategies for your marketing directives. Demographics such as age, gender and profession can be very helpful tidbits.

Although a customer may not want to share much more with you at first, as trust is developed, they may be more willing to answer more personal questions about their lifestyle and personality. Marital status, children, and more could be some information you can ask for after trust has been established.

3. What are the kinds of transactional data should I be collecting?

Keeping a transactional record of each customers past purchases gives you a great deal of insight into their buying habits. Carol Bates, a Digital Marketer at Ukwritings provides her comment: “Armed with this information, you can start pre-emptively promoting to them, when their records show they are due to make a purchase. If they have always bought the same product, perhaps recommending a newer version or sending a sample can help push them in the right direction.”

4. How can I collect customer data?

Any time a customer has an interaction with your company, you have the opportunity to collect some data. Ask how they heard about you, and ask if you’re able to add them to your mailing list or email list. Once they’ve made a purchase, you can email them with a feedback survey, asking questions about their experience, combined with demographic questions.

5. How do I organize and store the customer data?

All-in-one customer relationship management solutions are your best option for organizing and storing the data you’ve collected. You want to get the most use out of this information, so invest in a proper service that can do this for you. You’ll be able to track, store and analyze your data efficiently and effectively.

6. How am I able to keep my customers’ personal and financial data protected?

The first step towards keeping any digital information safe is encryption. You’ll want to have any customer information – from their names to their credit card numbers – properly encrypted, so it’s safe and secure.

7. Is it legal to collect this information?

All it takes to be legally allowed to collect customer information is to create a customer information privacy policy that they are able to access and read. You’ll want to clearly let them know who is collecting the data, what it will be used for and if you plan on sharing it with anyone else.

8. Am I able to sell my customer’s information to third-party marketers?

As long as you’ve disclosed to your customers that this is your plan, it’s essentially up to you to decide. “But, be aware that participating in this will likely keep many customers from sharing information with you. It could also turn them off of your business entirely, causing you to lose them as a customer forever”, – says Donna Griffin, a Customer Relationship Manager at Resumention.

9. What benefits can I get from the customer data I collect?

One of the biggest benefits you’ll experience with this data in your hands is being able to effectively narrow and target your customers, creating more valuable and successful marketing campaigns. It’s much easier to put together communications and advertisements for a customer when you have a deeper understanding of their wants and needs.

10. What mistakes are most common?

The most common mistake being made, by far, is doing in too fast. You’ve got to ease yourself in and allow your customers to build a trust with you. If you ask them when you first interact with them, what their household income is or what their marital status is, it could be too personal for the customer at this moment in time.

Appreciate the trust your customers are enlisting you with, by giving you their personal information. Put this data to use, but always keep it safe and secure from anyone who should not have access to it.

Author Bio:

Gloria Kopp is a digital marketer and an e-learning consultant at Academized service. Shes is a contributing author HuffingtonPost, Template Monster, Australian Help, etc. Besides, Gloria writes Studydemic blog where she shares her experience
with students and educators.”


  1. Ideally you should A/B test your data collection forms, often the more information you ask for the less likely people are to complete the form. Particularly in Lead Capture it’s often best to get limited contact information versus not getting any information at all.

    Once you have the customers’ data agreed you need to do everything in your power to protect their data, from an HTTPS site to encryption.

  2. Cool article. Although a customer may not want to share much more with you at first, as trust is developed, they may be more willing to answer more personal questions about their lifestyle and personality. Marital status, children, and more could be some information you can ask for after trust has been established.

  3. Wow! Superb piece that is definitely of great importance to any party that in one way or another collects customer information. Do you think that there is a need for business owners to be more versed in the various aspects pertaining to customer information? I still feel that many business owners do not know what the law requires of them when it comes to retention and usage of customer information.

  4. Cool article. Despite the fact that a client might not have any desire to impart significantly more to you at first, as trust is produced, they might be all the more ready to answer more individual inquiries concerning their way of life and identity.

  5. Nowadays, it is no longer safe to ask for customers’ information without revealing how and why they should submit it. Disclosures help the customers know that their data is in a safe place. Thanks Gloria for the great piece.

  6. When it comes to collecting customer data, then online businesses must be aware not to misuse that data for their personal sake. Customers allow businesses to collect their personal data with a feeling of trust on the opposite party. The businesses should be responsible for the protection of personal data of the customers and keep that private by not disclosing it to any third-party marketing agency.

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