As a former retail business advisor, I notice that more and more retail stores are asking for customer’s phone numbers while preparing to ring up transactions. I find that there are many customers that wonder why they are being asked for their phone numbers. While a search online might find one or two of the reasons why retail stores ask for customer’s phone numbers, I have yet to see any that give all of the major reasons.
Remember that there are many websites where you can retrieve a customer’s home address simply by entering the phone number. Retail stores will update their mailing lists after asking for a customer’s phone number. While this will not take place at the register, it will happen somewhere in the depths of the computers at the corporate office.
Once a retail employee has gotten a customer’s phone number, the main computer that is searching for your address also brings up a lot more information about you. Of course, it will compute your home location, the median income of your area, and any other public information about you available. This way retailers can focus on what types of people to market certain products toward.
Retail stores asking for a customer’s phone number will become privy to a very important bit of information. Customers that have traveled long distances might have done so because the particular store does not have a location in their neck of the woods. Retailers can plan where to place a new store by the information collected in the form of customer’s phone numbers.
There are some retailers that will conduct marketing research calls about certain products or customer satisfaction. Retail stores that ask for customer’s phone numbers might follow up with you some time in the future about what you purchased, or how your service was.
There are some retail stores that ask for customer’s phone numbers that do nothing with them at all. The point is to see how many phone numbers a retail employee is able to collect to give a reflection on the employee’s order following skills and customer appeal.
Some retailers will retain records of customer’s phone numbers for frequent shopper rewards or discounts. If you lost your receipt, some retailers can look it up simply by your phone number. Other retailers have computers that will give special rewards automatically when it recognizes a customer’s phone number.
The next time that you are at a retail store and you are asked for your phone number, see if you can find out why you are being asked for it. Chances are good that the workers have no idea as to why they are supposed to collect customer’s phone numbers.