We’ve talked before about how the customer is always right, and we’ve mentioned briefly the use of our CMS or CRM system to facilitate that relationship. While it’s a great service to have for your business, if you don’t use it extensively and treat it as a priority, you may as well shut up shop. Managing your customer data is not difficult, it’s a habit that you need to get into, and you need to get right. When you first implement a CMS or CRM solution, it can be overwhelming and you can quickly feel out of depth. The best way to take charge of the data is to break it down into manageable chunks and you need to ask yourself some questions so you get it right.

  1. Are you going to add all your customers to the database at the start?
    This is an important question, and it’s more involved than it first seems. If you choose to add all of your customers, this includes both past and future customers. Adding past customers is great for your data, but how are they getting into your CMS or CRM? Most of the time you’ll be able to import the data directly, but before you can do that, you have to gather the data. This won’t be easy in most cases, because one of the reasons that you’re moving to a CMS or CRM system is precisely because of that reason, you’re struggling to maintain customer data. Draw a line in the sand and make it mandatory that all new customers are added to the database. Any customers from the past can be added in time, and if they’re good customers, they’ll be purchasing again and will be added eventually.
  2. How much data do you want to collect upfront?
    It’s 2018 and pretty much everyone has received a marketing email they didn’t sign up for or is just more cautious overall with their privacy, most people are these days. The best rule of thumb is to collect as much data as you need to run your business effectively, but not so much that you stop a customer from even shopping with you in the first place. A lot of websites make a common mistake of requiring customers to create an account, or fill in a form, where you’re made to answer questions before the form will let you proceed. Not every little detail needs to be recorded in your CMS or CRM at this stage, so don’t stress about it. This sort of data can be gathered in filled in at other times, just get what you need from them to do your business. Things like name, phone, email and ABN are all standard questions from a business, however asking them what their pet dog eats for dinner is not.
  3. What should you record in your CMS or CRM system to make it worthwhile?
    CMS means Customer Management System, and CRM means Customer Relationship Management. Both of those terms spell it out pretty clearly, it’s for the management of your customer. Once they have come into your shop, either online or in person, and they want to buy something, this is where you can gather more data. Shipping address, home address, invoice details and more can all be asked for and will be given as it is required for the sale. If you’re a service business or offer after-sales support, the CMS or CRM will record each interaction you have with your customer, such as when they call, what you talked about, for how long, who you talked to and anything else that needs to be mentioned. Calls can be marked to be followed up by other staff members, or details arranged for additional support or the return of goods.

As you can see, we only talked about three main questions, each of which will probably create additional questions. This is not uncommon, and it gives you a solid foundation of where to start and why. It’s important to remember why you got a CRM or CMS system to begin with, and respect your customers by using it correctly. The best way to do this is to be consistent, and make sure you are thorough with the information you gather, without asking for too much from your customers. Only take what you need to do your business.

If you’re wondering what’s involved in implementing a CMS or CRM, why not head on over to ours and fill out a small form? As you can see, we only gather what we need so we can give you the best service when we get in touch. When we do get back you, make sure you ask about the no interest for 12 months payment plan we have in place!

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