Customer Information Form Basics: And the benefits of it to companies and customers is, well… big. And while Big Data is becoming more accessible to small to medium-sized businesses SMBs , the basics of customer information — small data, if you will — is still where customer and experience meet for most organizations.
To collect this information, you need a method, and the customer information form is a tried and true way to get to know your customers. Four Types of Customer Information Not all information is equal. But the more you know about your customers the better you can serve them.
Basic Contact Information This is the solid foundation you need to stay in contact with your client. Name, address, phone number, email address and the like are essential to making sure you can contact your customers in a timely fashion. Almost every form captures this basic data; the trick is having the real-time systems in place to make sure it is accurate. Business Specific Information This information includes what you need to know to provide your products and services to the customer properly.
You need to know if the client prefers synthetic motor oils. You need to know what computers and Internet service the clients currently have. You need to know the square footage the customer is looking to cover. You want to collect data on their previous experiences, issues and resolutions, as well as likes and dislikes. This process can help fill in historical gaps in your customer information. Consider the information you need from your customers to service them effectively.
Their feedback will be invaluable in knowing what information to capture and the process will inevitably make their jobs easier as well. Now, once you have a comprehensive list, cut it down a bit. Customers are assaulted by information-hungry companies all day long.
Do you really need my phone number to sell me a pack of batteries? Make sure your form only asks for information that is really useful. Strike a balance between comprehensive and easy-to-provide 2. In some businesses, a well-branded hard copy information form will work just fine, but it does include extra labor to digitize and the greater possibility of data entry error.
These days, digital solutions are incredibly inexpensive and within the reach of almost any business. Consider using tools like Wufoo , having forms on your website, or even having a tablet in store for collecting customer information. Making a few brief points throughout the form and, more importantly, making sure your communication when delivering the form — whether delivered by employees or digital means — says something to the customer about how the information collected will be used to their eventual benefit.
Put a little life into it and add some personality. Of course, your context matters, and you have a lot more leeway to make your form fun if you rent inflatable bounce houses for parties as opposed to selling funeral services.
Regardless of your industry though, you can always find ways to add a more human touch to your forms. Use the Information to WOW Your Customers Now that you have the information, use it not just to provide your product or service but also to surprise and delight your customers.
Just a little something extra that will make the customer take note. A card when their favorite team wins the Super Bowl. A small gift while they are waiting for a large order to come in. Remembering what magazine they like to read while they wait and handing them the latest copy. And while we may be talking about customer information forms — your teams can use observation and conversation to get these customer insights as well.
In the end, a well-planned customer information form is an excellent way to begin getting to know your customers, quickly. The tips and guidance above should help get you off to a good start.
Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker , and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: