The different types of data in your CRM and how to use them

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As we often mention in our articles, handling CRM is rarely easy. Often, there is a ton of data to go through and make decisions that has long-lasting impacts. Furthermore, you need to have experience within a specific line of work and be aware of all the options that you have available. To help you with this arduous process we are going to take a closer look at different types of data in your CRM and how to best use them.

Four different types of data in your CRM

Two computers with duplicate data that you need to tackle in order to properly use different types of data in your CRM.
Avoiding duplicate data is paramount if you want to make good use of it.

The most straightforward way to categorize different data in CRM is into four district types. Identity, descriptive, quantitative, and qualitative data. This categorization serves to make using CRM data more straightforward and to more easily understand different programs that depend on it. Also, keep in mind that avoiding duplicates in CRM data is paramount and that you start handling that as soon as possible. With this in mind, let’s explore each type.

Identity data

Identity data entails specific details which serve to better identify contacts, leads, and customers. More specifically, this data often includes:

  • Name – Both first and last.
  • Mailing info – Physical address to which you can send packages or mail.
  • Digital contact info – This includes both the email address and the telephone number. If the customer has a preferred method, it should be noted.
  • Social Media – This includes both the social media profiles that the customer uses on different platforms, as well as information about which platform they prefer.
  • Personal information – Birthday, account info related to your company.

Descriptive data

Descriptive data is more related to the lifestyle details of your customers. Essentially, it should be a holistic amalgam of who your leads and contacts are on a more personal level. Therefore, it usually includes:

  • Education and professional details – Current company name and their position within it. It should also include education level and all the schools they attended.
  • Family info – Relationship or marital status. Parental status. Any info about children.
  • General lifestyle info – Does the client in question own a house or do they rent? Also, do they own a car? Do they have any notable interests and hobbies?

Quantitive data

A person working on different computers.
A surprising amount of customer’s online behavior can be quantified.

Put bluntly, quantitative data is the data you can measure. This data is mostly related to interactions that customers have with your company, be it via your website, phone, or in person. Therefore, seeing that this data always boils down to numbers, the most common use of it is with CRM metrics. A couple of examples are in order:

  • The number of purchases that the customer has made with your company.
  • The average value of their purchase history.
  • The frequency of their visitations to your website.
  • The average amount of time they spend on your website.
  • How often they engage with your company on social media.

Qualitative data

Qualitative data, on the other hand, is more descriptive. It usually includes customer attitudes, motivations, and behaviors that are connected to purchasing decisions. Seeing that this information is impossible to quantify, companies often use feedback questions and questionnaires to gather it directly from customers. Some of the more common examples are:

  • Giving a rating score to the customer service. (How helpful were our customer’s services?)
  • Rating satisfaction of their purchase. (How satisfied are you with your latest purchase?)
  • Detailing the journey that leads them to the purchase. (What led you to our store?)
  • Explaining what convinced them to make a specific purchase. (Why did you choose this product?)

Using CRM data

Unfortunately, collecting abundant CRM data won’t do much good. To actually make use of it, you need to understand its value and how it can be applied to managing your company. Therefore, we will now explore some common ways in which people use CRM data to better their business. The important thing to note is that you need to carefully consider your business and see which of these methods is best applicable.

Using purchase history to recommend items

Let’s assume that you’ve gathered data of a customer that made a couple of purchases. Once you study it, you will most likely deduce why they made a specific purchase. With that knowledge, you can then predict their potential needs and offer the right products and the right time.

A person using a credit card while on a computer.
When it comes to different types of data in your CRM, the customer purchase history is one of the more valuable.

To give you an example, say that you are a company that sells school supplies. And let’s say that you have a customer that recently bought supplies like notebooks, pencils, etc. Now, what you need to do is to look at the timing of their purchase. If it was made before the start of a school year, you can safely assume that they will need similar supplies for the next years. Knowing this, you can then notify them of potential sales and therefore create a loyal client.

Optimizing Social Media

It won’t take much experience with Social Media to learn that optimizing it is a complicated effort. The key tool in that effort is familiarizing yourself with your audience. By doing so you will know how to structure your posts and, with lunch, engage the target demographic in the right way. Luckily, CRM information can be of great help here. By gaining CRM info you can get a firm understanding of the age, gender, and background of your target demographic. An experienced Social Media manager can then use that info to craft an effective Social Media marketing campaign and win over the right customers.

Re-engaging former customers

The modern market climate motivates customers to often change companies, or stick with one of the giants. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that companies often struggle with customer retention. Well, one way to help retain your customers is to use CRM to show them that you care.

For instance, let’s say that you have a customer that has made numerous purchases. If you study that customer you can learn about their birthdays or other important dates in their life. Then you can integrate and use email marketing, or contact them in some other way, to show your appreciation and gratitude. Small steps like this can go a long way in customer loyalty.

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