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Say you have a shoe store. Using a computerised system, you can capture size, style and colour of shoe, plus its value (and therefore profitability). It is also not uncommon these days to ask for a person's name and telephone number as part of transaction process. Be upfront, say you are using information to build a better understanding of customer's needs to provide improved service. Sure some will refuse, but most won't. You can now start to build a profile of your customers.
Other questions to ask include how person found out about business (if by advertisement, which one), have they shopped there before (in which case you have some data already). Don't forget to ask if they would like to be informed of new shoes that meet their size/colour/style needs.
This information can be used to determine recency and frequency of sales to particular customers, enabling specific promotional programs to be offered to those identified as most desirable.
Ongoing communication with clients gained through data capture when they are visiting your business is vital to ensuring they are constantly aware of goods and service you provide. This can be via letter, email or SMS.
Future business direction can also be gleaned through recognition of customer requests, especially if they are for items not normally carried in a store’s inventory, or included in overall service package.
By better meeting your client’s needs, many businesses find location less important and customer loyalty and repeat business far more valuable.
Matt Eliason is CEO of PlusOne Marketing a business offering Marketing, Media and Communication services and advice. Read the regular blog for Ongoing Tips
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