Getting your Customers to Provide you the Information you Need

Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash

It’s one thing to ask for information from your customers. It’s another thing to get them to provide it. The difficulty is that, if you don’t take the time to think about what information you need, you may not get the right data.

If you want your customers to provide you with the information you need, they have to know what that information is.

Information gathering is a two-way street: it’s about both your needs and theirs. It is a process of give and take. You must do something for them in return for their providing you with information about themselves and their use of your product or service.

This something can be as simple as asking them a question or two, as in an exit survey, or it can be as involved as providing a service for them or a gift certificate for some future purchase.

The importance of gathering customer information has never been greater than it is today, when customers are less likely than ever before to return calls and e-mails because they are so inundated with advertising messages in every form imaginable.

When we finally do manage to get their attention, we don’t have much time to make our point before they hang up or close their e-mail program.

You need to find ways to get them to provide you with information about themselves. The good news is that they are often willing to do so, but only if you give them something in return.

They may not be interested in filling out a survey, but they may be willing to provide you with the information you need if you will send them a gift certificate for $50 or $100 toward a future purchase of your product or service.

You can also ask for their permission to send them e-mails and other communications on occasion in exchange for giving them some of your time by answering a few questions when they call you.

In many cases, it is simply a matter of providing an incentive for the customer to spend time providing information about themselves and their use of your product or service. It’s that simple.

Many companies already know how valuable this information is and are actively seeking it from their customers, although most companies don’t do as good a job as they could at getting the information they need from their customers in return for something they value highly — information about themselves and their use of the company’s products or services.

Companies should ask themselves how valuable this information would be to them and how much it would cost to get it.

What Information Do You Need?

In order to know what information you need, you must first understand your customers and their needs.

If you don’t understand their needs, you can’t develop products or services that will meet those needs. You have to know what they want in order to provide it for them.

You also have to understand the kind of person they are and how they like to receive information.

They may not be interested in filling out a long survey, but they may be willing to answer a few questions if they know that doing so will provide them with something of value — a gift certificate or some other incentive.

They may not want a lot of e-mails from you, but they may be willing to receive one or two every month if it means receiving valuable information in return for spending some time providing it.

Once you understand your customers and their needs, it is much easier for you to identify the kinds of information that would be valuable for you to have about them.

The goal is always the same: the more information about your customers that you can get, the better chance you have of understanding their needs and providing them with products and services that will meet those needs.

The more information you have about your customers, the better chance you have of developing products and services that will make them happier and more loyal to your company.

It is not just about getting them to spend more money with you. It is about understanding them better so that you can provide them with products and services that they will value more highly than the competition’s products or services.

In other words, it is not just about what they buy from you; it is also about how they feel about what they buy from you. T

his is especially true in the area of customer service, where companies must do everything possible to make their customers feel good about buying from them and making them feel as if they are the most important people in the world.

Customers who feel this way are much less likely to go elsewhere for their purchases than those who don’t feel this way.

They are also much less likely to leave your company for a competitor when it comes time for them to purchase again — even if your competitor offers a lower price.

How Do You Get Customers to Provide You with Information?

In order to get customers to provide you with information, there must be something in it for them.

This something can be as simple as a thank you note or a gift certificate toward a future purchase.

If you have asked them to fill out a survey, you can provide them with the information they need in return for filling out the survey.

This is usually done by sending them an e-mail, which will provide them with the information they need in return for spending some time providing it.

When asking customers to provide you with information, remember that the more time they spend providing it, the less likely they are to do so.

In order to get them to spend more time providing it, you must give them something of value in return for that time — a gift certificate or some other incentive.

The more valuable the incentive, the more likely your customers are to spend some time answering your questions and providing you with the information you need.

If you are asking customers to spend some time providing information about themselves and their use of your product or service, make sure that this request does not come across as being too much of an imposition on their time.

If they feel that way about it, they are much less likely to respond positively than if they feel that what you are asking is not too much of an imposition on their time.

The Gift Certificate:

The gift certificate is one of the most effective ways to get customers to provide you with information about themselves and their use of your product or service. It is also one of the most common ways.

You can give them a gift certificate for $50 or $100 toward a future purchase.

You can also offer them a gift certificate in return for filling out a survey, for providing you with information about themselves and their use of your product or service, or for doing something else that will benefit you — for example, answering questions when they call you with questions about your product or service.

The key is to give them something in return for spending some time providing you with information about themselves and their use of your product or service.

If you don’t do this, they are unlikely to spend the time providing it.

Incentives:

There are many other incentives that you can offer in return for spending some time providing information about themselves and their use of your product or service.

For example, they can receive free samples, discounts on future purchases, free consultations, free estimates, upgrades on future purchases, special offers that are not available to others — the list is endless.

The more valuable the incentive, the more likely they are to spend some time providing you with information about themselves and their use of your product or service.

Early Access:

Early access is another incentive that you can offer in return for spending some time providing information about themselves and their use of your product or service.

This is often done in conjunction with a gift certificate or other incentive.

For example, you can give them early access to a new product or service that you are going to introduce in the future. You can also give them early access to information about the product or service before it is available to others.

Product Upgrades:

Another way to get customers to provide you with information about themselves and their use of your product or service is to offer them upgrades on future purchases.

For example, if they are a customer of yours, you can give them the option of purchasing a new product or service at a discount.

Freebies:

You can also give them free samples of your product or service. If they like the free sample, they are more likely to buy it in the future.

This is a common incentive that is used in conjunction with a gift certificate or other incentive.

Trial Offer:

Another incentive that you can offer in return for spending some time providing information about themselves and their use of your product or service is a trial offer.

This is often done in conjunction with a gift certificate or other incentive.

For example, you can give them a free trial offer of your product or service. If they like it, they can buy it at a discount after the trial period ends.

Free Consultation:

Another incentive that you can offer in return for spending some time providing information about themselves and their use of your product or service is a free consultation.

You can give them free advice about how to use your product or service more effectively.

You can also tell them about new products and services that you are going to introduce in the future and tell them about early access to these products and services before they are available to others.

These are just a few of the many incentives that you can offer in return for spending some time providing information about themselves and their use of your product or service.

The more valuable the incentive, the more likely they are to spend some time providing you with information about themselves and their use of your product or service.

About the Author

I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces, and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.

You can connect with me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) and let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.

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Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and investor.

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Alexander Lim

Alexander Lim

Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and investor.

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