How Small Businesses Can Use Customer Data To Stay In Touch 26/04/2017 Attracting Customers When it comes to reaching out to customers and keeping in touch, often businesses need look no further than capturing data on site. Gathering customer data, such as email addresses, allows businesses to contact their customers, learn about their interests and work out how best to target them. This also helps to build stronger long-term relationships whilst increasing the chances of them returning to your business again. Offer Free WiFi With the rise of smartphone usage and in-store digital experiences, more and more customers are looking to connect to WiFi when they’re on-the-go. But, whilst a lot of businesses are now offering WiFi on site, a lot of them still aren’t taking advantage of the data they’re gathering. Collecting an email address or getting customers to sign up through their social media accounts can provide businesses with a point of contact to stay in touch about promotions, offers and news. Some broadband providers such as BT will offer guest Wi-Fi systems as part of their packages, or businesses can set up a secure hubspot of their own. You can find out how to setup WiFi for your business safely and securely here. Loyalty Programmes Customers always like to feel like they’re getting something in return for providing their details, whether that be a discount or a free perk. A lot of retailers now offer loyalty cards, or use apps and email signups to reward their customers, which is a great way for businesses to gather email addresses and alert customers about upcoming promotions and events too. State the benefits upfront to secure your customer sign ups, e.g. offering a 10% discount for providing details or following on social media there and then. The Paperchase Treat Me card is just one example of how a retailer are offering their customers instant perks and rewards in exchange for an email address. E-Receipts More and more businesses are now offering e-receipts as their latest digital feature. Not only is it a more environmentally-friendly way to conduct a business transaction, but it also makes for a great way to capture email addresses and stay in touch with your customers. Attitudes towards going paperless have proven positive too, as research found that 45% of UK shoppers would like an e-receipt when buying an item in store. Using e-receipts also allows businesses to monitor what services or products have been purchased, and consequently enables them to get to know their customers better and tailor experiences for them. Respecting privacy When collecting customer data it's important that businesses respect the privacy of their customers, and work to establish trust in their relationship. This means ensuring that customers are fully aware of what they are signing up for and how their data will be used. You can do this by making sure that all of your communication is as transparent as possible, and displaying terms and conditions as a simple statement or checkbox.