Customer data input (CDI) is the entry and capture of customer information by a business. The data can be captured through various means such as online forms, paper forms, digital journeys, telephone calls, or chats. It is then stored in a database for further use.
Capturing customer data is a prerequisite of many core business processes requiring customer information and signatures, such as contract management, customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce, and marketing.
There are various methods of customer data input, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Paper forms are the traditional way of collecting customer information. Physical forms can be distributed and collected in person or by mail. The main advantage of paper forms is that they are easy to create and require no special skills or software. They are also well suited for capturing customer signatures. However, paper forms have several disadvantages. They are time-consuming to process, prone to error, and difficult to update. Furthermore, they can be easily lost or stolen, which may result in a data breach.
Online forms are web-based versions of paper forms. They have the same advantages and disadvantages as paper forms, but with the added benefit of being able to be completed and submitted electronically. Online forms are typically created using form-building software such as Google Forms, Gravity Forms, JotForm, or Wufoo.
Digital journeys are online customer experiences that guide users through a series of steps in order to complete a task or achieve a goal. They are often used to onboard new customers or help them complete complex transactions. Digital journeys are usually created using customer experience platforms such as EasySend, Adobe Experience Manager or Sitecore.
Telephone calls are another traditional method of customer data input. They have the advantage of being personal and interactive, which can help build rapport with customers. However, they are also time-consuming and require resources to staff call centers. In addition, telephone calls are often recorded, which may raise privacy concerns.
Chats are real-time conversations between businesses and customers that take place online. They are typically used to provide customer support or sales assistance. Chats can be conducted using chat software such as LiveChat or Intercom.