4 Customer Data Types (With Tips for Collecting Data)

Updated June 24, 2022

Customer data can give you valuable insights into the demographics that interact with a brand. Businesses can use this data to make various decisions regarding the future of their work, including changes in marketing strategies. Understanding the various types of data and how to collect them can simplify the process of better understanding customers. In this article, we list the four key customer data types and give tips to help you collect data more effectively.

Related: Methods of Data Collection (With Data Types and Examples)

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What is customer data?

Customer data is the information consumers provide while interacting with a business through various methods, including the businesses' website, mobile applications, surveys, social media and marketing campaigns. Businesses can use this information to create new products and marketing strategies. They can also work toward obtaining information that can inform decisions to increase overall customer satisfaction. This data can be about many things, such as a customer's demographics, personal information or behavior, and it helps companies better connect and engage with their clients.

Related: How To Create a Customer Database in 6 Simple Steps

4 types of customer data

Here are four types of customer data with details on which aspect of the customer experiences it entails:

1. Basic data

Basic data refers to the data you can use to create a database of customer profiles. This can include basic demographic information, like a customer's name, gender, location and contact information. Another aspect of basic data includes financial information, such as their occupation, what industry they work in, their income and even their annual revenue.

Depending on how you plan to use the data, basic data can include more specific aspects of a customer's life, including children, pets and annual spending. You can use customer relationship programs to streamline the collection and organization of this information. Some other examples of basic data about customers may include their:

  • Email address

  • Driver's license number

  • Passport number

  • Date of birth

  • Phone number

  • IP address

  • Race and ethnicity

Related: What Is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System?

2. Interaction data

Interaction data includes the variety of methods customers use when they engage with a business. This can include information about your products, like usage, purchasing habits and popularity. You can also get interaction data from marketing campaigns by tracking how users engage with your ads, social media accounts and website.

Support engagement can also give you worthy interaction data by showing you the most common subjects your customers use your support platforms for. You can use various customer engagement data platforms to quantify and sort this data easily. Other forms of customer interaction data are:

  • Website visits

  • User flow

  • Native video views

  • Email open rate, forwards and bounce rate

  • Post likes, shares or replies

  • Click-through rate

  • Cost per click

  • Conversions

3. Behavioral data

Behavior data can be similar to interaction data, but it covers the direct engagement with a brand. This can include information about how users use your services, including free trial sign-ups, user account logins and account deactivations. You can even gain behavioral data through email newsletter interaction, such as how many users subscribe and unsubscribe.

Another form of behavior data comes from how users interact with any shop feature your website includes. These can be aspects such as the most popular products, abandoned shopping carts and how many customers create an account to finish the shopping process. Website analytic tools can give you an easy method of quantifying behavioral data, so you can use it to improve the customer experience. Behavioral data about your customers also can include:

  • Subscription details

  • Average order value

  • Previous purchases

  • Devices

  • Feature usage and duration

  • User attention

  • Heat maps for mouse movement data

4. Attitudinal data

Attitudinal data gives you information on a customer's direct opinion of a company. This can help you gain insight into how well a product or service in the business is performing, including the public opinion of the brand. You can gather this data using direct methods like customer interviews, focus groups and online surveys. Another method of gaining this data can come from offering the option for online reviews on your website.

There are methods you can use to organize and quantify a customer's opinion clearly to simplify the method of data collection, including the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a metric many businesses use to help measure customer experience and brand loyalty. NPS measures how likely a customer is to recommend the brand or product to someone else, which businesses also can use to predict growth. Some other examples of attitudinal data about customers include:

  • Customer satisfaction or sentiments

  • Preferences

  • Purchase criteria

  • Product desirability

  • Motivations and challenges

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Related: Learn How To Calculate NPS

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Tips for collecting customer data

Here are some tips for collecting customer data more effectively:

Look into digital behaviors

Social media can give you direct insight into how the general population views your services and products. You can even gain useful information through the ways customers interact with your social media platforms. You can use various data aggregation platforms to analyze social media activity and gain valuable information.

Conduct customer interviews

You can conduct direct customer interviews to gain basic information along with behavioral data that can give you valuable insight. This can even be a way for you to measure a customer's satisfaction with your products directly and use that to inform decisions for creating a better consumer experience. Consider writing a list of questions to ask that ensures you can gain proper data and feedback from those who directly interact with the brand.

Related: Customer Satisfaction: 70 Questions for Feedback

Review website analytics

Website analytics measure the statistics of any user interaction with your website. This can include various aspects of web traffic, including the most popular pages, most popular products and the keywords a user wrote into search engines that led them to your website. You can use all this behavioral data to change your website's SEO and improve the customer experience.

Related: Guide: What Is SEO?

Host online surveys

Online surveys can be a valuable tool for gaining behavioral data through customer feedback. You can set up these surveys to come in the form of emails after a customer concludes any direct interaction with your website, like purchasing a product or interacting with customer service. Consider looking into online survey services to learn how to integrate the process into your website.

Related: Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Examples and How To Create One

Offer sign-up forms

Offering simple sign-up forms on your website can help you gain access to a mass database of basic information. This can also be an opportunity to judge basic interest in any upcoming products or events. You can create a form that gives you basic information and can continue to give valuable feedback about any new ideas you want to test.

Conduct focus groups

Focus groups are customer interviews you do with multiple consumers in the same space. It can be an event where a moderator asks interview questions to a group of at least three people. You can use these events to target and organize information about a specific demographic group. This can also give you access to valuable customer feedback that comes from multiple people conversing on the same subject, such as public opinion.

Look into your documents and records

There's an opportunity to gain valuable customer data before going through the active process of gathering it. You can look into internal records to gain information about financial records and gain insight into your customers' purchasing habits. This can also give you a base set of data to create a customer profile database you then can expand with further research, such as reaching out to these customers and inviting them to focus groups and personal interviews.

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