With access to the internet, there are so many points of reference to collect information on existing and potential clients. But what information should you collect as a tradie or service business?

As a tradie, you should be collecting customer information like age, income, purchase history and location to help you better understand and sell to your customers. Using social media tools and a CRM system, you can better collect and track this valuable information.

Do you want to learn how to improve and expand your business using the data your customers provide? Continue reading to learn all about customer data and CRM for tradies. 

What Is A CRM?

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is the name given to a system for managing customer data. These are tools and apps that help a business collect, organise and use information it gathers from current and potential customers. 

The simple organisation of this data can improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations. More importantly, this customer data gives insight into how to improve and grow your business. Backed by customer data and market research, you can carry out more successful marketing and ensure your products genuinely suit your clients’ needs. 

Each CRM system is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all. These apps have a range of features and price points, so there will be one that fits your needs and budget. Investing in a CRM, regardless of the size of your business, is a great way to make the most of the data already available to you. 

What Are The Benefits Of Collecting Customer Data As A Tradie?

As a tradie, the benefit of collecting customer data is that anything you learn about current clients can help turn future leads into happy customers. Using customer data, you can learn new information about your target audience, improve your services and change business practises to generate more revenue.

To survive as a tradie, like any other business owner, you require new and repeat clients. A CRM system will make it much easier for you to assess, contact, and market to your target audience because it will allow you to condense and view that information much easier. 

CRM systems can also help make your services more accessible to your target market, in addition to managing your business and using client statistics. For example, as a tradie, you may discover that one of the home services you provide is too expensive for your market based on the customer information you collect.

Do I Need A CRM As A Tradie?

A CRM is especially important for tradies, as they’re managing large numbers of clients, including repeat customers (and those with potential to be long-term loyal clients). It is critical to your business that you keep track of customer information and use it to improve your service.

Any business should have a CRM system, whether large or small, and this applies to trades and services as well. Keeping track of your clients’ buying habits and preferences can help improve customer retention and improve satisfaction. It’ll also help you understand what demographics are using your service, meaning you can make more informed marketing decisions. 

There’s no reason a tradie shouldn’t have a CRM. Even if your company is small, using a CRM will make sorting and using your existing customer data much easier, saving you time and effort.

What Happens If I Don’t Have A CRM?

Without a CRM system for your small business, at the very least, you’re missing opportunities to use data already available to your team. If this information can be gathered and organised, it’s a cost-effective way for your business to improve. 

If you don’t have a CRM, you may even be putting your company’s growth and success at risk. A CRM is an important tool in achieving and maintaining a positive customer experience, meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Without a CRM, you risk giving your customers an disappointing experience, which could mean losing existing customers or missing out on repeat business. 

The absence of a CRM system can also affect your company’s internal operations. A CRM system can greatly simplify day-to-day administration. Without one, your team will waste more time and accomplish less, and there’s more chance of mistakes when it comes to customer details. You’ll also avoid losing the chance to follow up with customers and potentially convert extra leads. 

Your team will change over time, which is one reason a CRM system is necessary. If a member of your team leaves, you won’t know what information they have that will be useful in dealing with clients in the future. When they leave, that information is lost if you don’t have a CRM. 

When you use a CRM, all of your information is in one place, and you won’t lose valuable information about clients due to staff turnover. 

How Do I Collect Customer Data As A Tradie? 

As a tradie, you can collect data from your customers in a variety of non-invasive ways. The idea of ‘tracking your customers’ may make you feel uneasy. In reality, gathering customer data is more about learning from the information they give you. 

Ultimately, this customer data is used to provide the best possible service to your customers. It isn’t just about what your business gains from it – it’s a way of enhancing your service delivery and adding value to the customer experience. 

Keeping track of your clients’ buying history, habits and preferences allows you to deliver a higher quality service. Learning from broader data sources like surveys can also help you tailor your services to better meet the entire community’s needs. 

Here are some great sources of customer data for trade businesses: 

Online Surveys and Direct Collection

Online surveys and direct data collection are quick, simple, and straightforward methods. You can include a survey as part of your post-service review process, offer discounts for completed surveys, or follow up regularly with clients to find out what they thought of your service. 

However, it’s not enough just to confirm customers are satisfied – you’ll always want to be recording any feedback in a way the entire team can access in future, which is where a CRM system comes in handy. 

You can be as creative as you want when gathering information from your customers through surveys. The best way to populate a new customer relationship management (CRM) system, or add more valuable information to an existing one, is to get information directly from your customers.

SurveyMonkey is a great example of an all-in-one program that will allow you to create surveys for your customers, and then accurately track and use the information it collects. 

Surveying your clients is about more than just understanding your target demographic better. It can also be used to get feedback, improve customer retention and conduct market research on what new services your customers would like to see. This kind of approach helps increase the lifetime value of your customers with add-ons and extra service offerings that meet their existing needs. 

Website Tracking 

One of the most common ways your business can keep track of new customer information is through your website. When someone visits your website, lots of data points are created, and these make for great pieces of information to use in your CRM. This is a great way to streamline your data collection and improve efficiency. 

This data can show you how long people stayed on a specific page on your website, what they clicked on, and if any pages were loaded and then immediately left. This insightful data will provide you with sometimes difficult-to-find information about what customers like and dislike about your website.

Tracking customers on your website can help you improve your digital marketing efforts. You can also learn valuable information about how customers find your website – whether through a Google search, a social media link, or your email marketing. This data helps you make the most of your marketing budget in future. 

Facebook Pixel is something that can be used to help track information of people visiting your website. This simple piece of code detects and records a variety of actions on your website, like clicking an image or buying a product, and sends it to you, giving you more information about your customer base and their journey on your website.

Purchase History Data 

A customer’s purchase history can tell you more about them than you’d first expect. Keeping track of when, what and how often your customers make bookings is critical information. 

Using purchase history to determine when purchases are made can also be useful information to store in your CRM system. If most of your customers buy your products or services at the same time, you can use that information to determine when your ads should go live for the best results. 

Often trades and services will base judgements on buyer behaviour through experience – for instance, which seasons are busy or quiet, and how often customers tend to re-book. However, there can be some surprises and extra insights to be gained by looking at the data itself. This extra information can be used as an advantage over local competitors who may not have picked up the same opportunities. 

The Square customer engagement CRM software is a great example of a CRM that tracks purchase history. It’s convenient enough for the average tradie who doesn’t want to get bogged down with complicated and unnecessary features, particularly if you already use Square to process customer payments. 

Online Marketing Statistics 

No matter what trade you’re in, online ads will be a big part of growing your business. With so much competition, running regular ads helps you target the most likely clients to purchase and keep regular leads coming in. 

After you’ve run some ads, the data they collect can keep working for you. For example, you might notice some patterns in the age of people contacting you for work or the most popular times for people to see your ads. This can help you plan future ads or strategically schedule posts to go up when more people will see them.

The more ads you run, the more you’ll learn about your expanding customer base. With more ads, you’ll be able to promote your business while also learning more about your customers. This is why online marketing statistics are one of the most effective and efficient ways to collect customer information.

The Facebook Ad Manager is a great example of the information online marketing can provide you with. Not only will the Facebook ads dashboard give you a complete overview of how much your ads are engaged with, with who and at what times, but you’ll also be given a cost breakdown for your ad campaign and cost per result, making it much easier to manage and maintain your online advertising budget. 

Social Media Tracking 

It is critical for any small business to have a social media presence. It’s not only a great way to network, expand your business, and find new clients, but it’s also essential for learning more about your current customers. 

You can access analytics about your followers through the administrative tools on your brand’s social media page. You can also check out what people are saying about your business. The more you promote your social media accounts and grow them, the more people you’ll be able to learn from.

If you have an Instagram business account, you already have access to their inbuilt analytics insights. However, external apps like Hootsuite analytics provide a much more detailed and in-depth look at your social media analytics that can help you track and promote growth. 

What Types Of Customer Data Can Be Collected?

There are several types of customer data that a small business can collect. What you collect will depend entirely on how you communicate with your customers and what services you provide. The types of information that can be collected as a tradie can be broken down into four categories:

  • Identity Data
  • Descriptive Data
  • Quantitative Data
  • Qualitative Data 

Each of these categories stores a different type of unique information. Ensuring that each category is populated with the relevant information on each customer will help you make more successful sales from your existing customers, and will also allow you to learn more about your customer base to improve your conversion rate. 

Identity Data

Identity data is any information that can help identify specific details about your client. 

The identity data is the first piece of information you’ll need, and it’s at the heart of any good CRM system. In this section, make a note of anything unique about your client or customer.

This information is useful on its own, but when combined with the other types of data stored in a CRM, it becomes a valuable business tool.

Names & Titles – As you might expect, names and titles are the most direct forms of identity data and are required in every CRM. This data should be as thorough as possible, and social media can be a handy tool to fill in any gaps. Using this section to store preferred names and titles will lead to smoother interactions between your business and your clients. 

Personal Information – Personal information includes things like date of birth and gender. As with the rest of your CRM system, the more information you have, the better. Personal information is quite a broad term and can be expanded to include things like addresses and marital status. 

Contact Details – In the modern world, there are more ways than ever to contact a customer. Having all of their contact information collated and stored in one central area is crucial to any good CRM system. Contact details include, but are not limited to:

  • Mobile phone numbers
  • Landline phone numbers
  • Work contact number
  • Personal email address
  • Work email address 

Being able to contact a client or customer is obviously important, and an effective CRM system will have their contact information categorised and stored, to make it easier for your entire team. 

Social Media Presence – Social media is no longer just used for socialising! A social media account can be anything from a person’s primary method of communication to the platform on which they conduct their business.

As time goes on, storing social media information will only become more important for a CRM system. Where applicable, it’s advised to know and store your clients’:

  • Facebook account
  • Twitter handle
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Instagram page 

Occupational Information – Occupational data is more than just knowing where your client works and where to reach them. For B2B services, having a CRM system that can sort and segment your client base using their industry as a factor helps your business run more efficiently.

Descriptive Data

The second type of data that your CRM should store is descriptive data, which will allow you to have more specific information on your client base. This descriptive data can be used in conversation to help you and your clients build rapport and improve customer loyalty, as well as to identify potential products that they may benefit from.

While descriptive and identity data are similar, descriptive data is far more detailed and subjective. Identity data is a great foundation for descriptive data to be built on.

Family Information – A person’s family situation will reveal a lot about them. What they can afford, both financially and in terms of time, is frequently tied to their family dynamics. This may include things like whether the client has children or pets. 

Personal Lifestyle – When using descriptive data to either build rapport or identify potential services a client may need or want, personal lifestyle information provides a much more complete picture of the client and what they are likely to be interested in. This can help you find common ground with a client, from a favourite sports team to shared hobbies and interests. 

Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is objective, measurable information about how a customer has purchased or booked with you in the past. This data will assist you in better understanding your clients’ purchasing decisions and patterns. 

This information is long-standing and can improve both a current product and improve the reception of an upcoming one. Quantitative data is some of the most powerful and useful information stored in any CRM. 

Transaction History – The most common type of quantitative data found in any CRM is transactional history. A client’s transaction data is a comprehensive list of their purchases, including what they purchased and how it was bundled. Specifically, transactional history covers: 

  • Purchase commitments
  • The financial value of purchases
  • The number of purchases
  • Continued or subscription purchases
  • Abandoned or declined purchases
  • Times and dates when purchases are made

These factors can help build a more complete client identity and lead to more effective client-business interactions. When rolled together, this also helps you understand your customers’ purchasing habits as a whole. 

Online Activity – All forms of online activity are useful information to keep in your CRM; it’s no longer just the websites they visit that provide useful data. Knowing which social media platforms a client uses and how they interact with them can be useful for your CRM. This can be achieved through website or social media tracking, including remarketing or retargeting with ads. 

Customer Service Data – Customer service data is supplementary data that can create a more complete picture of a client. Complaints and online reviews connected with that client will not only provide you with insight into how they think, but also help you improve your service for that client in future.

Communication Preferences – A client’s communication preferences are a crucial piece of data and can give often overlooked information on how a client communicates. Communication preferences apply to both how they send and receive messages – for instance, if they prefer or dislike text messages. This helps you understand how to follow up with customers for best results. 

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data revolves around their feelings and behaviours and can also be stored in a CRM. This subjective area of data is best obtained directly from the client, through things like direct discussions and survey results.

As a small business owner, qualitative data can help you identify problems with your products and services and make improvements. Qualitative data can also help guide any future changes to your services, pricing and marketing. 

Customer Satisfaction – Keeping track of a customer’s satisfaction is a valuable addition to any CRM system. Knowing how they’ve expressed their feelings about your company and its services will help you have more positive interactions with them in the future. Even if a client only gives a numbered rating rather than a written review, the information is still valuable to keep in your CRM.

Preferences And Opinions – A client’s preferences and opinions are simple yet crucial pieces of information to store in your CRM system. Any observed or stated preferences your client has shown are best saved here, as it’s useful information to refer to later.

Motivating Factors – Understanding why a client makes a purchase is excellent information to have within your CRM system. Understanding the basics like what they purchased, why they made the purchase, and who it was for (if not for them), all adds to a complete customer identity profile within your CRM.

As long as the data is collected legally, there is virtually no limit to the types of customer data you can collect. No matter what type of business you have or how much or little information you know about your clients, using a CRM system will benefit your service-based business. 

 

How Do I Use Data From A Customer As A Tradie?

Tradies can use data collected from customers to adapt products, services and pricing for more commercial success. Your entire marketing mix – from advertising strategies to the selection of products you offer – can be shaped by customer data. 

Here are some of the ways we have found that tradies can best use information collected from customers.

1. Revisit Your Pricing

Using data collected from customers can indicate that some of your services might need to be repriced. A combination of customer surveys and information collected and stored in your CRM can highlight which of your services are underperforming. This will let you know that the quality or the pricing of that service needs to be adjusted. 

2. Run Targeted Advertising Campaigns 

The data collected as a tradie is a great way to help you create ad campaigns that will be more effective. The information you collect through surveys and social media analytics will help you plan advertising campaigns that will better engage with your audience. If your research suggests that your audience responds particularly well to social media advertising, or referral discounts, you can use that information to run ad campaigns that have the highest return on investment. 

3. Create Personalised Offers

The information you have access to will allow you to create highly specific personalised offers. If you are an electrician, for example, and your CRM shows the majority of your clients haven’t contacted you for annual maintenance after 12 months, you can create offers designed to get them booking again. People generally respond more positively to an offer they feel is tailored to them, so this is a great way to identify opportunities. 

4. Fixing Internal Issues

Just because information you receive isn’t inherently positive doesn’t make it a bad thing! In many cases, negative feedback is one of the most valuable ways to learn from your client base. Without keeping track of feedback regularly, it’s harder to identify patterns in feedback and understand how to improve customer satisfaction. Not only will this help you better serve your client base, but this also helps you keep track of what individual customers were unhappy about in the past, and give you a chance to adjust your service the next time around. 

Conclusion

As a tradie, it’s a good idea to spend some time learning everything your CRM system can do, and how you can use your unique database of data to grow your company. The next step is to make sure you’re feeding data in as a regular practice, and getting every member of your team on board. 

Extracting these valuable insights from your client base will help you more effectively manage and grow your small business. A good CRM system is worth its weight in gold, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving for your business development.