Technological advancements have changed the way in which surveys are done and how data can be collected. This has led to a drastic decline in face-to-face data collection over the past years, with a rapid increase in digital data collection. The increased and widespread use of mobile phones and other smart devices has presented researchers and companies a better platform to effectively collect data in more creative ways.

Data collection can be broadly categorized into;

Active data collection: which involves actual response to some stimulus, like interaction with a questionnaire.

Passive data collection: here data is collected without any action required from the respondent.

These two methods cannot be treated as substitutes but rather as compliments to the collection of rich data regrading customers' financial lives.


Chatbots

A chatbot is a computer program that can simulate a conversation or a chat, via auditory or textual methods, with its users in natural language through messaging applications, websites, mobile apps or through the telephone.

A chatbot is programmed to interpret and understand natural language to complete tasks during conversations with its users. Some sophisticated bots can access sentiments and direct follow-up questions based on the sentiment direction.

Survey bots make for a more conversational style, which should lead to better quality responses and can be deployed in online surveys or through messaging apps, websites and mobile applications.

Mobile Phone Surveys

This method is becoming increasingly popular, despite concern around self-selection bias, because they are cost-effective, quick and generally provide good enough reading for data incorporated decision making.

Mobile phone surveys can either be deployed by using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) or Short Message Service (SMS) technology for markets in which feature phones denominate, or web questionnaires for where smartphones prevalent. Mobile phone surveys could be a viable method to collect high-level customer data in some markets. These surveys are cost-effective, work on all phones, and are considered an unobtrusive contact method, deploy well-used and well-understood technology, have quick turnaround times and can have large samples.

Customer Reward Programs

Ever wondered why most of the big supermarkets are willing to give you discounts simply for putting in your phone number, email address or scanning your reward card? That's because your shopping profile is valuable to them. Based on your spending habits, they can simply estimate your annual income and how you would frequently shop.

It is essential to create a rewards program for your customers. This will in overall boost your sales by encouraging repeated shopping, and you will definitely gain customer level data on how, when and what your customers are purchasing. This can earn you extra points if you can sync it up with your e-commerce platform for even more data on the items your customers browse before making their final purchase online or in-store.

Online Marketing Analytics

Google analytics should always be able to give you demographic data on each of your visitors whenever they visit your website. This information can help guide you on how to effectively prepare your marketing campaigns, and which aspects to get the most attention.

Heat maps can help you in understanding which sections of each page on your website generate the most interactions or mouse clicks. Social media analytics can also help you learn more about your followers on social media. Powerful Facebook marketing tools can also help you market to audiences that mirror your present following.

The amount of data that can be obtained from online interactions with your brand is virtually limitless. A safe place for your future analysis is instructing your marketing team to install and customize plugins and programs that collect and store this data in a safe place.


Take Away:

As customers interact with your brand, from search to final purchase, you will gain more insight into how you can personalize your offers, which is a key factor in generating customer loyalty. And as your brand evolves to speak to the observed needs of your market, you will uncover opportunities to expand or focus your products and services on the things that generate the most impact to the bottom line, which is best achievable by appropriately studying your customer data.

Presently, there are numerous ways to collect data. It is important to assess the relevance of the data to the problem at hand, as well as its quality, then choose on the most appropriate way to collect your data which should be creative and innovative to enable you to get the most out of it. Quality can be considered a function of various dimensions such as the size or completeness of the data and coverage of the population of interest.