20 Reasons You Should Capture Your Customer’s Data
Customer relationship management is critical to your business success. Are you paying enough attention to how, why, when and what you capture when you engage with your customer?
1. Do you have a Customer Relationship Management Database of your customers?
A database is essential to be able to track your customer’s progress and ensure that you are communicating with them effectively and efficiently
2. Is your Customer Relationship Management Database up to date?
CRM Databases are implemented with enthusiasm and commitment to be the heartbeat of customer relationships and sales but unfortunately often focus shifts and employees become lax and forget to enter information and gaps in your customers history start to show discrepancies. Remember customer retention is always easier than new customer engagement so renewed staff focus to pay attention to entering customer information into your company CRM is imperative to your success
3. What data do you capture?
Have you explored the capabilities of your CRM Database? It is important to capture a comprehensive snapshot that tells a story that is valuable about your customer. How you use this data will vary according to the nature of your business.
4. Should you capture the age of your customer?
Age is a sensitive piece of data to capture but it helps you customize your service or product offering to become more attractive to potential customers. Introducing an age range for choice can overcome reluctance and still allow for a degree of anonymity in disclosure.
5. Is it wrong to ask what gender your customer is?
Expecting a customer to disclose their gender on a form that enters a CRM can besee n in some industries but generally you can add this data once you have connected with the customer after the initial subscription or enquiry and complete the customers profile yourself.
6. Your Mobile is so much more than a contact phone number!
Your customer’s mobile is so much more that a telephone number to contact them. Your customer’s mobile enables you to include your customer in SMS campaigns for promotion and send reminders and alerts. You can even include payment links in your messages to assist your customers to pay for products and services.
7. Don’t abuse customer’s email address.
Abusing an email address is a common mistake a lot of businesses make when they capture a customer’s email address. Overuse of an email address can be a lazy salesperson using email to communicate with their clients as a preference over face to face or phone contact or it may be a marketer who is overzealous sending eDM’s. Treat your customer’s email address with respect and use sparingly.
8. Your Customer’s History can give insight into their future
Attention to detail when capturing and maintaining your customer’s data will create a timeline that tells a story about your customer’s relationship with your business. The timeline comments will give you insight not only into your customer’s behaviour but also what motivates them and what doesn’t. Remember a good CRM is a CRM that is all about your customers and not you.
9. The Nuts and Bolts: Being vigilant with attached documents
So you are capturing your customer data and populating your customer’s story. This is only half the story though. The other half is ensuring that your customer’s contracts, agreements and other documentation is attached completing the relationship between your business and your customer. If you have to address any customer queries or conflict this is vital to be able to access in your CRM when the customer contacts you.
10. Is your customer really your customer?
Many sales people ‘set and forget’ unfortunately. Once the contract is signed and the commission or bonus paid the relationship changes to a service relationship and you are at risk for ‘contract complacency’ to set in. What is ‘contract complacency”? This is when the contract can lapse and the expiration date is not renewed. In theory your customer is no longer under contract and you are at risk of losing them if an opportunity presents elsewhere. Make sure you set alerts to remind you to follow up and secure your customers.
11. What can your customer’s web address tell you about them?
It is always good to research your customers business and learn more about what they do and this will help you understand what they need and how that fits in with what your business offers. A web site can also tell you just how your customer’s business is evolving. Are they predominantly a traditional business, a business undergoing a transformation to embrace digital or an omni-channel business that uses a number of channels to engage and interact with their customer base?
12. Do your customer’s use social media and why you want to know this.
If you have an understanding of your customer’s social media engagement you have a communication channel that can be accessed to not only talk to share with your customer but the scale to get your message shared across their networks. This is potentially a very powerful marketing tool for your business.
13. Is a land line really necessary?
Never assume that a landline is redundant today. Many customers will not have one but the one’s that do may use it as their primary contact point. At the very least it is a secondary contact point to their mobile and is unlikely to change like a mobile may.
14. Faxes don’t even exist anymore do they?
The fax is becoming less and less relevant, however to dismiss it will segment your customer base as older or traditional customers will still be reliant on it as a communication tool and may not be familiar with alternatives such as scanning and attachments to share documents. Your customer data needs to accommodate all of your customer’s communication pathways to remain relevant for interaction and engagement with your business.
15. What products have your customers purchased recently?
What a great resource! Documentation of previous purchases and dates is a powerful tool to determine buying behaviour and frequency. This enables you to determine a personalized marketing plan that is customer specific to elevate individual customer’s status that recognizes their loyalty or reveals their lack of patronage.
16. Are you breaking up with your customers or getting engaged?
Why are your customers using your business? You need to know to understand better to meet their present and future expectations so you can meet them. Customer retention is a much more cost-effective option than new customer engagement so establishing a service timeline is invaluable to do this effectively. Any feedback from customers should be noted that helps you to refine the delivery of the service to not only meet customer expectations, but to exceed them.
17. Personalize your contact with your customers business
The ‘contact name’ field is crucial to relationship building. Your customer is not a business it is the person you deal with who facilitates the business on behalf of the business. People make decisions not brands. Make sure this is current and is always updated so you don’t ever lose that personal relationship with your customer.
18. What’s in a Business Name?
On its own a business name is just a business name but the business entity or brand is search critical to your CRM. The data that is linked to the business name is where the power of the customer data comes into play but the touch point starts with the business name. If the business name is reputable from a reporting perspective this has kudos and demonstrates market penetration and alignment for decision makers.
19. Where are your customers located?
A physical address is still vital for your records even if your customer’s business is virtual. Establishing a physical address is important to have a recourse for many reasons including bad debt recovery and purchase delivery.
20. Easy access of all your customer data at your fingertips.
A responsive CRM that is accessible through desktop, tablet and mobile with full functionality is mission critical. Access is imperative to ensure it is up to date and visible by all business members to be able to deliver a quality and fluent customer service.