Building Business Relationships

Are you struggling to create and keep profitable customers? Columns for Sales and Marketing Management who wants to build business relationships.
Sunday, September 21, 2003

Ways to keep customer data clean

Before you get wrapped up in any specific software platform, it is important to have some ideas on how to keep customer data clean. Clean data produces accurate assumptions about your customers.  The following methods help you invest in marketing that produces a higher sales conversion rate.

  1. Consolidate a master record of customer information in one central repository.  No matter how many applications you use in the course of business, all information should flow to one central repository that support reporting. You will make more educated decisions if you can see every detail in a single location. If possible, integrate software applications to support batch updates of your master record.
  2. Integrate data elements between divisions and software applications.  Know which data elements are common between divisions, and make sure each party has the most accurate information. If a certain detail is important to marketing, but collected in sales, then have a process in place to pass along the information.
  3. Perform data cleansing and verification over regular periods.  Data maintenance isn't a once-in-a-while event, it is a regularly occurring activity. Plan to verify customer addresses quarterly, preferences monthly, and test your assumptions daily. The accuracy of your data governs the accuracy of your results.
  4. Produce a standard model for aspects of your customer data.  Standards in both database design, application interface, and how data is stored, simplifies the maintenance of customer information. Like address standardization, your staff must be aware of how certain materials are entered. Regularly train front-line employees in both collection and documentation of customer details.
  5. Collect customer information at ever interaction in a regular organized manner.  Use simple forms at each point of interaction to collect key information you will use to improve your customers experience. While data collection happens at various points, all details flow back to a central reporting platform. Tell customers how you will use this information and your privacy policy early in the relationship.

The right software solution depends more on your implementation than brand popularity. Software is just a tool. Your use of tools is what makes the results you desire to receive.

Justin Hitt teaches executives how to create strong business relationships that can increase profits while improving customer loyalty. To learn more about business relationships visit Inside Strategic Relations or call +1 (276) 254-8747

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Make effort to understand customers desires

Do you want sustainable profits gained in an ethical manner? 

You can have a higher level of customer retention and experience higher sales conversions when you understand the desires of your customers.  Not NEEDS, not WANTS, but DESIRES. An individuals desires move them more than anything else (with wants second, followed by needs) even in business relationships.

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