Your client database is one of your most powerful tools for sustaining relationships with your existing customers and at the same time expanding your business with repeat sales. Here are six effective ways to keep your client database current, accurate and ready to work for you.
- Tend to the basics: Pay careful attention to the basic content and structure of your client database. Make sure the database is configured to capture the information you need in a format that can be easily managed, exported and used for automated functions such as generating addresses for mailings.
- Clean and purge: Inevitably, some of your customers will move, change phone numbers or do something to render the information in your database out of date. Regularly scour your database for outdated and duplicate information, either through a manual search or automated software.
- Capture electronic and social media contact information: Use of electronic communication and social media continues to grow, making this type of contact information very valuable. Configure your client database to capture email addresses, SMS/text addresses and numbers, Facebook page URLs, Twitter information, LinkedIn addresses and related information. Make sure to get your customers’ permission to contact them through these avenues.
- Analyze your data: Perform different searches through your client database to analyze the data it contains. By assessing the material in the database, you can gain valuable insights into your customers’ interests, economic status, buying habits and product needs.
- Communicate regularly: Stay in touch with the clients listed in your database. An occasional friendly message can build customer loyalty and goodwill. Invite customers to contact you or your staff with problems, complaints, comments and questions. Include an easy way for your clients to respond when they are back in the market for your services, or have a referral for you.
- Avoid constant selling: Don’t sell to your customers with each message. Instead, regularly send coupons, interesting articles or other useful items. Also ask customers outright to keep their information updated; if they see your messages as a valuable resource, they’ll happily help you keep your database current.
What’s the condition of your client database, and what can you do to tune it up so that it serves your sales and business development goals in the best possible way?