May 28, 2024
Customer data

Collecting customer data: what is it and how does it work?

customer data

Customer data, also known as customer information, is the information you have about a customer. It is managed through customer data management. It can range from a simple phone number to the purchase history or preferences and needs of a customer. In this blog, we’ll show you what it is and how you can collect customer data.


Types of customer data


There are four main types of customer data: basic data, interaction data, behavioral data, and attitudinal data. All four types of data are important for your business and should not be overlooked.


Basic or identity data

Basic or identity data are exactly as the name suggests: data of a customer that makes them unique. Basic data includes:

  • Name
  • Address and email address
  • Gender identity
  • Phone number
  • Age and birthday
  • Race and ethnicity

The basic data can be expanded with, for example, the place where the customer works or the income. Collecting this customer data is useful for companies and marketers. This allows them to create a persona and get a clear picture of the target group.


Customer data about interaction or engagement

Interaction or engagement data pertains to the interaction that has taken place between your customers and your company. It looks at the entire audience rather than specific target groups. Interaction customer data includes:

  • Website visits
  • Click-Through Ratio (CTR)
  • Bounce rates
  • Conversions
  • Clicks on advertisements
  • Reactions to social media posts
  • Engagement with emails, such as click-throughs or bounce rates

This customer data is important for understanding the behavior of the target audience and responding to it.


Behavioral data

Behavioral data refers to customer data that also involves interaction. Here, more focus is placed on direct engagement with the company. Depending on the type of business you have, some behavioral data may be combined. Behavioral data includes:

  • Purchase history
  • Abandoned shopping carts
  • Subscription renewals and cancellations
  • Product order values
  • User duration on your site
  • Heat maps to see how a customer navigates through the website or shop

You can get this customer data from your own website, but also from your email interactions, for example.


Attitudinal data

Finally, there are attitudinal data. This customer data contains opinions of your customers about the products and services. The previous three types of customer data are easy to obtain, but this type is somewhat more difficult to acquire. Instead of hard data, you can interpret these data differently. Attitudinal data include, for example:

  • Customer reviews
  • Responses to online surveys
  • Personal interactions with customers
  • Word-of-mouth advertising

Attitudinal data are therefore more difficult to obtain. In a survey or reviews, questions can be answered in great detail, but also very briefly and concisely. It is up to you to see which information is important and useful. Don’t be afraid to talk to customers yourself, you will get a lot of useful information from this. You can also read this blog about obtaining customer information

customer data platform

The importance of a customer data platform


Customer data is stored in a customer database. A successful marketing campaign hinges on personalization and good data. Comprehensive and accurate customer data ensures a proper description of the customer profile. With a well-defined customer profile, businesses can determine which channels and methods should be used to communicate with the customer. Read more about the definition of a customer data platform here


To collect and analyze the vast amount of customer data, a good CRM system is necessary. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, which involves managing customer interactions. A good CRM system contributes to effective marketing, sales, service, and management.


Different ways for customer data collection


As already highlighted in the blog, there are many advantages to collecting customer data. Here are some simple ways to collect customer data:


Listen to what customers are saying on social media

Consumers nowadays are increasingly sharing their product reviews or service experiences on social media. Moreover, more and more companies are responding to customers via social media. With social listening apps, such as Brandwatch and Facelift, you can analyze your social media platforms and gain insights into your target audience.


Utilize a loyalty program

From customers who sign up for your loyalty program, you receive a lot of personal information such as interests, location, and demographic data. This is ideal for targeting, personalization, cross-selling, and upselling.


Install a chatbot on your website

With a chatbot, customers can interact with AI on your website to answer their frequently asked questions. This way, you can find out where customers’ pain points are or what information they cannot find on the website.



An important aspect of customer data collection is compliance with privacy regulations (GDPR). Always process personal data securely and ensure that this data is not leaked. It is also important to inform customers in advance that their customer data will be used. They must give their permission for this.


Customer data and a well-functioning customer data platform is indeed very valuable for various purposes. Nowadays, in the digital age, customer data collection has become easier. Make smart use of this opportunity. Good luck!