Attracting and keeping customer loyalty has gotten harder these days. Wanting to be creative and innovative, a lot of companies have used mobile devices to digitize point of sale data collection.
Why is this important? Because we’ve gone from being simple consumers to so-called consumerists. People like choosing, commenting, sharing and above all, they love new technology.
Right now we can access information in real time, compare products and prices, check reviews, and get feedback from colleagues on social media.
Besides reinforcing the customer relationship, collecting data at the time of purchase can give us important insights to make our business grow.
What is point of sale data collection?
Like the name implies, it’s about collecting data during a point of sale, whether it’s physical or digitAal. It can be anything, from information about repeat sales, time of sale, goods purchased, and even geographic location and demographic data.
We can use data collection in all kinds of ways, like developing a customer profile based on past behavior with the company or on the website.
Data collection lets you make a POS data analysis, answer relevant questions, assess the results and better anticipate possibilities and future trends.
How do you collect at a point of sale?
There are a few ways; you can place an online form on your website, or collect data through surveys. These are usually more helpful since they get specific information from the questions made on the questionnaire.
You can collect data through an interactive kiosk, like by putting it at your store’s exit. Or you can have your sales team take surveys on tablets to make it even more interactive.
Other companies like to do a post-sales survey by including a URL on the receipt so people can access the survey later.
You can do smiley face surveys, which are easier to answer and make it more entertaining.
Collecting customer data at a physical point of sale is usually not as valuable because there can be errors entering data, for example. But it shouldn’t be completely disregarded because the physical point of sale is really popular and reliable.
Your sales teams can be super important in this process of collecting information. They can help advise and sell the products or services. But your role is actually more important and complex!
Sales staff should take an active role in the shopping experience offered to visitors, developing a trusting relationship with the customer, building consumer loyalty and promoting feedback by encouraging customers to leave comments.
Your associates can also collect customer personal data at checkout: to get a loyalty card, provide a delivery address, register them for a newsletter or contest, etc.
Related article: 9 tactics to increase satisfaction on digital channels.
4 tips for point of sale data collection
Data offers crucial information about customer behavior, tastes, preferences and the customer journey.
Here are 4 tips to successfully implement data collection with customers in your store.
1.- Involve your employees in the data collection strategy
At first, collecting customer data can seem irrelevant for the team at a physical point of sale. Talk to them about the need to have a reliable and complete customer database.
Tell them about the importance and benefits of collecting data: sending customized offers, generating store traffic, increasing sales, etc.
And in order to help your teams to be successful in this mission, you have to provide them with all the necessary tools (training, digital tools to capture the info, how to answer questions or objections).
Related article: Personalization and empathy in CX.
2.- Speed up the data collection process
You have to remember that store employees usually do everything at once: checking out, stocking, organizing shelves, creating loyalty cards - and customers don’t want to wait.
So in order to save your associates’ time and not lose any customers, data should be collected as quickly as possible.
This can be done with brief surveys, concrete questions, closed-ended instead of open-ended questions, using a Net Promoter Score question to find out consumer loyalty with a single question, or by using a chatbot.
Related article: How AI and chatbots help to improve customer experience.
3.- Facilitate customer consent
Employees in direct contact with customers play an important role in building consumer trust.
Give them ways they can easily obtain and maintain formal customer consent at checkout, without bogging down the purchase process. There are simple tools now that can be set up to obtain customer consent at the store, in compliance with applicable regulations.
4.- Think about a multichannel collection
Your data collection should adapt to consumer purchase behavior on different platforms.
Your customer may have already provided some personal data through an online form but doesn’t remember. Don’t ask for information that you already have in your database! Making the right collection at the right time and on the right channel is the way to build a strong and lasting relationship.
The importance of information
Today, companies have a chance to know their customers better, improve their results and check the effectiveness of their sales and marketing techniques.
Remember that your customers are increasingly turning to better service and products and to personalization, so by asking for their feedback, you’re showing that you care about what they think and need.
Data collection is a complex process, especially if it’s done at points of sale, but it definitely helps us be highly successful in our business processes and make better decisions.
This article was developed in collaboration with QuestionPro, a powerful tool that lets you create and distribute questionnaires in seconds.