Clientbook Blog
March 21, 2023

Three types of customer data retail sales associates should be tracking

For high-end retailers with regular clients, it's important to maintain your relationship with them to keep them coming back into your store. And this can't happen without solid customer data management.

This is especially true as your customer base grows you can't rely on manual notes and spreadsheets anymore to keep all of those names and dates organized. 

But what kinds of customer data do you really need to keep on a client, and how do you keep it all straight? In this article, we'll go over what customer data is, why customer data collection is important, and the most important customer data types you need to track and store. 

Want help managing client data at your retail store? See how Clientbook's clienteling software can help

What is customer data? 

While you likely have a good idea of what customer data is, let's give it a proper definition. Customer data includes any information or customer insights you have on a client that you've gained from interacting with them, reviewing their website activity, launching marketing campaigns, or through any other means. 

Ideally, all of the customer data you have on a buyer is housed under one customer profile so it's easy for your sales team to pull up and review when they need to reach out to a client or just want to refresh their memory before a meeting or call. 

Why is it important for retailers to track customer data? 

Collecting, tracking, and storing high-quality data on your clients is important for a lot of reasons, especially for retailers with a lot of key customers they have a direct relationship with, or want to build one.

Below are just a few of the reasons why retailers need to prioritize having high-quality customer data on hand:

  • Keeps your team organized: When you have a collection of customer information housed in one place, it's easy for your sales team to find and use without having to ask around or bug the client with questions they've already answered. 
  • Allows you to create personalized experiences: If you have data on the past purchases a client has made, your sales associates can make personalized product recommendations on their follow-up based on items they know they'll like.  
  • Simplifies customer segmentation: Sending messages to all of your clients of a certain age group, gender, or who have purchased items of a certain brand is easy when you have that data and can create customer segments based on those groupings.
  • Improves customer retention rates: The more data you have on a client—and use it effectively—the more your client will feel like you know them personally and stay loyal to your brand.

Top three types of customer data you should be tracking 

If you're not currently collecting or tracking much customer information, it's never too late to get started.

Below are the top three data types you should start training your sales team to collect and record after their customer interactions.

1. Data on client contact information

First and foremost, get the basic contact information you need to follow up with a client again after they leave your store. This is especially important if they left without making a purchase—you'll want to reach out again soon to get them back in your store. 

Get their name, phone number, email address, and even what social media platforms they're on so you can invite them to engage with you on your accounts.

You'll also want to have information on important dates in their life that may be relevant to your industry. For example, as a furniture retailer, you'll want to know when a client is planning a move or renovation that would be a good time for them to refurnish their home. 

Or, if you're a jeweler, you'll want to collect dates like birthdays and anniversaries that are ideal times for your client to make a special purchase for their significant other. 

2. Data on client preferences 

Next, your sales team needs to ask good questions to clients about what they like best so they can build an accurate customer profile.

If you own a fashion boutique, they should learn about each client's personal style. If you own a music shop, they should find out what instruments the shopper plays and ones they're interested in picking up. If you own a furniture store, they should find out what pieces they already have in their home so they can match products that fit. 

It's also important to find out if a client is shopping for themselves or someone else. If they're shopping for someone else, they may want your help choosing something you think is best. That's another area where client data can be helpful. 

For example, if a client is unsure what their daughter would like best, you can show them best-selling products that other female clients of her age group have purchased in the past, helping you seal the deal for a client who otherwise may not have known what decision to make. 

3. Data on client activity  

Finally, tracking customer behavior—both in-person and online—is crucial to getting clients back in your store. Your team should have an accurate record of when each client has visited your store, purchases they've made, and who they're shopping for. 

When it comes to their online activity, you'll want to monitor their website activity—like sessions, bounces, and cart abandonment metrics—social media engagement, and response rates for everyone on your email lists.

This is where having a retail CRM with custom integrations with your point of sale comes in handy so you can keep track of all this data in one place.

How do you collect customer data?

Now that we've covered the most important customer data types to keep track of, let's talk about how your team should go about collecting it. 

Clienteling is the best way to train your team to gain insights on your clients who come into your store. Clienteling is a technique used by retail sales associates to build long-term relationships with key customers. So instead of just having a transactional customer relationship, there's a genuine customer relationship—and your buyers will feel the difference.

Through clienteling, the sales associate gets to know the client on a personal level and knows exactly what they might want to purchase in the future and when. Your team can then use those insights to follow up with a client with personalized recommendations. It's a win-win for both the customer experience and your sales goals.

How to easily keep track of customer data 

If creating accurate customer profiles and tracking customer records sounds intimidating, know that there are customer data platforms available to help make the process easy and seamless. 

Clientbook is a clienteling software and client management platform built for retailers to help manage client relationships with ease. Whether you're looking to build customer profiles, set up automation tools, create audience segments, or even build custom wishlists to highlight product details for your clients, our software has it all. 

Conclusion

Adding customer data collection and tracking into your business processes may seem daunting at first, but when you know what to look for, how to do it effectively, and the customer data platforms available to set your team up for success, you'll be well on your way to making it happen.

If you're ready to see how Clientbook can help with your customer relationship management, schedule a demo today.

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