Data Collection at the Point of Sale

It’s been said so often that it’s almost a cliché: That you need data to build good customer relationships.

But that’s not so easy to gather at the point of sale. You can end up with incomplete records if the consumer doesn’t want to share information.

The only way around this problem is to equip your retail salespersons with answers to common questions.

Let’s say you want the shopper’s phone number or ZIP code. Many people will want to know what it will be used for.

The obvious response is that the company needs the data so it can send more appropriate offers for products and sales. But what if the salesperson doesn’t know this? He may give a wrong or incomplete response, and this can fuel distrust.

You may want to offer an incentive for providing information—say, for a coupon redeemable on the next purchase. This will allow the shopper to quickly reap the benefits of participating.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore best practices. It pays to be open about how data is being used, and to clearly state your privacy policy.

Ultimately, it is the customer’s choice to provide the information. But you can make a persuasive case by showing the value to the person. This will lead to a stronger relationship—and better ROI.

Denise Hopkins is the vice president of marketing and product development for Experian Marketing Services.

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