Drop off rates on data capture forms are running at 73%. That's a big number: three quarters of users starting to complete a registration form will drop out.
In most cases this is due to poor marketing practices and a lack of thought for the role that a data strategy plays in delivering a positive customer experience.
We have identified 5 facets of a data capture form that can have a negative impact on customer experience and result in customers dropping out of your forms.
1. There isn't a clear, compelling value exchange
The number one problem with many data capture exercises is that they focus on the business need rather than customer need.
Today’s consumers are savvy and willing to share their data with brands. But there needs to be a clear benefit to them.
That benefit needs to be both why they should share any data with you and why they should tell you specific pieces of information.
Only collect data that has a demonstrable value to a customer. Asking where they heard about you or when a policy renews doesn’t cut the mustard.
This does afford you a great opportunity: to incentivise customers or to give the impression of better service or greater social currency by sharing more information with you.
2. You're asking for more data than you need
Those familiar with the Lean Startup approach will know about minimum viable product. And the principle is the same with customer data: what is the minimum amount of data that you need to collect in order to service the customer and build a relationship with them?
If you aren’t planning to telephone the customer then don’t collect a telephone number. It creates a barrier to the customer completing the form and creates complexity for you.
Trying to collect data that is perceived as unecessary or too personal has a huge effect on form completion. Date of Birth is the field that most users drop off at, followed by phone number. Between them, they put off 51% of all form starters and account for 69% of all drop offs.
3. You're ignoring where the customer is in their journey
Failure to recognise where a customer is in their journey and relationship with your brand can be fatal.
If you are trying to capture data on a new user then what is the basic level of data that you need to serve and understand them? It's important that you don't overwhelm. Similarly, a longstanding customer who has logged in is unlikely to tolerate being asked to enter the same data again.
The solution lies in progressive profiling where you capture only the data that you need but do this repeatedly and systematically through the customer lifecycle.
If you have the opportunity to collect more information through the customer journey then demonstrate to the customer what you already know and never ask for the same information twice. Remember the concept of Show Me You Know Me.
The customer isn’t going to be interested in your internal barriers to knowing them.
4. You are unclear about consent and GDPR
Data protection is always a hot topic and its only going to get hotter with forthcoming changes to EU regulations (regardless of Brexit). Any business collecting data must ensure that it is:
- Used fairly and lawfully.
- Used for limited, specifically stated purposes.
- Used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive.
- Kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary.
- Handled according to people's data protection rights.
- Kept safe and secure.
The net effect of this legislation is that brands must be operating in the best interests of consumers.
The implications for the humble data capture form are profound but link to the need for a clear value exchange: capturing data for data's sake has never been best practice.
5. You are failing to leverage new technology and reference data
At a simple level having an address lookup on data capture forms is better for customers (quicker) and for brands (more accurate data in line with GDPR and lower costs).
Emerging technologies open up even greater possibilities.
We believe that Chatbots will dramatically change how customers interact with brands and how brands will be able to understand their customers. Studies have shown that adding a chat button for questions on a website can increase form completion by 31%.
Chatbots aren't a vision of the future - they are becoming pervasive and the opportunities are enormous. Bots are already helping to deliver customer service, transactions and recommend products to customers. As they increase in sophistication they will distribute content, entertain and be able to react to users inputs.
About Simon Spyer
Marketing consultant with deep experience using customer insight and data to design and deliver martech solutions that deliver great customer experience and commercial benefit.