What is a customer database?
It’s simply a vehicle for collecting and organising information about your customers. Usually these are programmes on your computer though you can use online databases now. The information could be as simple as name, address and telephone number or could include additional information like email address, purchasing history, how the customer found you and so on.
You could get more business through using a customer database.
Most businesses hold at least some details about their customers but many see these as simply necessary to send out the bills. Did you know they could be a valuable tool in developing your business? We all know how much time and money you have to spend to find new customers, whether that’s through advertising, networking, door drops or direct mail. Yet most businesses have an untapped resource right under their nose. Your existing customers already know you, trust you and hopefully like you and your products or services. They would probably buy from you again, especially if you kept in touch with them to let them know about new products, special offers, events or talks you are offering. So don’t just use your customer details to pay bills, use them to send letters or emails about new products, promotions, special events or news about your business that would interest them. Full article click here
Have you registered with the Data Protection Act?
A word here about your statutory responsibilities when dealing with customers’ data. If you hold information (on paper or digitally) about your customers you should register with the Data Protection Act. Find out more at http://www.ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/data_protection.aspx. The Act set out how you should deal with customer data and what you can and can’t use it for.
Record information that can be used in your marketing
Getting specialist customer database software can allow you to match up basic address information about your customers with e.g. information about their purchases. This information can inform your marketing strategy for example
• you can spot key trends and promote popular lines even more
• you can recognise purchasing patterns of individual customers or clients
• it is easier to manage your relationship with your customers if you record their buying behaviour, e.g. when you speak to them on the phone you can be more helpful if you know their buying preferences
• you can sub-divide your customers according to buying behaviour, e.g. types of products purchased, time of year purchases made, taking up special offers.
• you can send targeted messages to different groups of customers according to their buying interests and past behaviour
• you can easily export data from a customer database into e.g. email newsletter programmes and keep in touch with customers with appropriate mailings
• if you also record customer complaints, you can see trends in this area and quickly address any issues in quality or service that keep appearing.
Although there is a cost to setting up a useable customer database, just remember it costs more to keep going out and finding new customers than it does to keep existing customers returning to you. So are you making the most of your existing customers?
To find out more about customer databases speak to Bestof member Telemat and develop your business further by keeping in touch with your customers.
Member since: 10th July 2012
I am Diana Vickers, the site owner of thebestof Carmarthenshire. This was launched in Carmarthen town in June 2008, to support the very best of the area’s businesses with their promotions and marketing....