Benefits of Developing & Maintaining a Customer Database
July 22, 2014
We have previously written about how to develop your competitive advantage through your unique value proposition (UVP; click here ). With an amazing business case in hand, how are you going to apply this to find your ideal target market to sell your products and services to?
The simple answer to this question is through a customer database. What truly astounds us is that there are still many businesses that don't value the need of a customer database or worse yet still do not manage or consolidate their database and leave it to “when they are motivated” to communicate to their lists.
A Customer Database is essentially a database or list of all your current and pat customers or members. You could either list them in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software system, or list them in a simple Excel spreadsheet (the CRM system allows you to analyse your customers better such as trends, patterns etc - this is however out of the scope of this article).
Many businesses will invest their marketing budget every single year to target their potential customers. For example, many put an advertisement into a newspaper, Yellow Pages, magazines, television, radio or Google AdWords.
They will then receive sales leads that ring them or visit their website, based on the offer in their advertisement. While they receive inquiries of those who are interested in their product or service, they should be also collecting their customer details so that they can follow-up with the customer once they leave.
The main reason for this is that it’s very rare that you will sell to the customer the first time they visit your website or read an offer in any advertisement (you can improve the chances thankfully using the UVP article!). More often than not, it takes 7-8 client touch points before someone will buy from you. By collecting their details you can follow-up with customers to help convince them.
Another way to look at it is that you will have potential customers to resell a particular product or service to. For example, if you have a seasonal service which people at a particular time of the year purchase, then you can use your Customer Database to target them again in future direct marketing blitzes at those periods of the year.
We have assisted clients to build their customer databases to 1,000s of solid contacts by helping them to put in place a system of doing this process. These contacts allow our clients to maintain contact with those on their database through newsletters, emails, offers and other activities. Having this database allows our clients to attract business by marketing to their existing and previous customers.
The main thing to remember is that it doesn't matter whether you are running a small business or a large business – nor does it matter what type of business it is!
Remember, if a customer doesn’t purchase a product or service from you, you can always contact those customers and ask them why they don't want to buy your products and use it as part of your marketing research process to understand how to improve your sales offer in the future.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!