Customer Relationship Management, as the name implies, is all about managing customer data and information. The information that databases contain today has moved far and beyond the basics of name, address, and age. Naturally, any CRM database starts with great data and there are a few tips to keep in mind as you collect that data:

  • Collect Data

When it comes to data collection, it’s important to make the process simple and to make customers want to give you data. Collect data whenever you have the chance to do it. Make sure your opt-in options are simple and focus on the information you need. Offering resources such as papers or discounts is also a great way to get customers interested in giving you their email and other details.

  • The Right Data

It’s easy to want to gather as much information as humanly possible, but make it easier on yourself and your customers and collect the information that will be truly vital and useful. This goes hand-in-hand with not overwhelming customers with too many questions and driving them away. If you do need a lot of data, try collecting it over time rather than all at once.

  • Data Standards

Don’t ever give your customer an empty box to fill out! An empty box means messy data. Messy data needs to be cleaned up and standardized. Even simple information, such as a phone number, can be recorded in a number of ways. Give your customers structured ways to answer questions and enter information.

Once you collect the data, make sure it’s put to good use.

Database Management

A few things go into database management. First, the database must be created. It has to capture and support the data you want it to have. Your business needs will change over time, so you should be able to modify the database in line with those changes. And just like your business needs will change, so will your customer information.

If you can’t manage a database in-house, a great B2B company will be able to provide the basics for you as well as other more sophisticated tools.

A great database will include information on customer transactions and the revenue generated, personal customer information, customer location, and behavioral information.

If these four points are covered and you have access to information on competitor prices and products, you’re well on your way towards success.

Getting the Most Out of Your Data

Have you ever noticed how when you shop at certain online retailers, they seem to know the kind of products you’re looking for? If you’re buying a coffeemaker, the website might suggest other makes and models. If you visit the site a few days later, it might have suggestions for other products you might be interested in.

This is a great example of data collection working at its best.

Different companies will use data in different ways, but there are a few basic steps that go into building a database:

  1. Collect data via online forms, surveys, social media, buy data, etc.
  2. Build your system around your data and business objectives
  3. Load data into the initial staging phase, perform all the essential quality checks, and profile data for frequency distributions
  4. Provide profiling reports to your client for the approval on loading that data into your target system
  5. Cleanse, standardize, match all the data to provide the best record for your client in order to target the right audience and get the max ROI

The best way to reach your customers is by knowing them well, and you get to know them well by using the data you collect in the best, most efficient way.

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