What is the purpose of a customer database?
I was looking for the last information related to customers database on the web and instead thought I was having a heartattack (yes, I’m a little excessive- And then die for a database…). So I’ll spoil the post right away:
The main goal for having a customer database is to get to know your customers. If you want to build a relationship with them, build their loyalty, and offer them a quality customer experience, it’s better to know them 🙂
A customer database is used to create commitment!
For many of you, I suspect I’m breaking down an open door, but if you look on the web, you’ll find very different answers:
A customer database would be used to:
– Control your customer data repository (…).
– Segment (we approach the subject but I would say we are not there yet).
– Create reports.
– Improving access to data….
etc etc etc, I let you check by yourself.
This list of usages or features does not tell us why, me, sales person or marketer, it would be too good if I had a database, or even an updated database:
– Great, I’ll be able to find out which customers are buying on a recurring basis for a turnover of more than…..
– Super, I’ll report to my boss and give him THE list of new customers for thismonth.
And so what??? What’s the point of knowing your friends’ birthday if you don’t pick up the phone that day?
Behind the data is a beating heart.
Each contact record in your customer database represents a person with whom you have had an interaction. It doesn’t matter if it was successful or confrontational. And this contact form should help improving these interactions.
Personally, I recently received samples of cat food….. I don’t have a cat, a dog, or even a goldfish, I’d like to have one, may be the 3 of them – but that’s another story… So I wonder how a brand came to think that I would be happy to receive cat food…
If you start from scratch with your database and want to get started, here is my proposal:
I’m talking here to very small companies or start-ups who just started and whose pockets are full of business cards 🙂
1. Choose the CRM that suits you.
The market has a plethoric offer:
– Free CRM, or supposed to be. A free CRM up to 50 contacts, are you serious? I spent a whole day choosing mine … Install, understand, chat in a different language, uninstall, install another one, start again…. Prepare the coffee and the good mood.
– Open source CRM. Be carefull as open source CRM depend on developerscommitment and involvement. Check what the community says.
– Leaders. The risks are minimal but not the rates. Normal, there are qualified people for support – among other things.
– Specialized. Some CRMs meet specific needs: public service, associative, collective catering.
– Your partners or friends CRM. Talk to them, ask for a demo.
2. Evaluate which data you have and which one you need
Your information is scattered in all directions and you do not know where to start. Take a flipchart and create a chart.
– First list the information (really) necessary for the business: name, first name, etc etc
– Then list the sources in which this information is available: Excel, business cards, Linkedin, invoices, etc etc
– and finally cross the two lists in order to find which source offers the largest amount of reliable information.
3. Let’s get started
Either we import this source directly into the CRM which will have to be enrichied later, or we enrich this source before and then import it into the CRM. Each case will be different depending on the situation and available resources.
Creating a customer database is a real project that needs to be well thought out. Do not underestimate the time spent there.
In conclusion, a customer database will allow you to discuss with your customers the topics that interest them. To exchange differently with your fans than with the undecided. To propose offers or content accoring to your segmentation. To relaunch, pamper, support your customers. And serve the best customer experience ever to engage them.
Béatrice Loriot – + 33 6 81 07 34 41 / + 34 680 907 987 – Bloriot@beautifulnumbers.fr