One of the biggest challenges faced by today’s business owner is how to effectively capture the large volumes of customer data you acquire each day. Organizing and drawing insight from this information will not only help your business – whatever its size – become more competitive, but also help you generate new leads. So how can you effectively manage your customer data? Check out our top five tips.
- Plan for Success
The cornerstone of good customer data management is having an effective strategy in place to ensure you capture leads. Without customer relationship management tools, your business could miss out on important opportunities to make sales and engage with your customers – both current and potential.
From the outset, decide what type of customer information is important to capture, how you plan to use it and the best way to store it. You also need to involve multiple stakeholders and give them access to the customer data, including teams from product development, marketing, sales and operations. They all need to have visibility into customer data requirements to help formulate strategies and ensure customer satisfaction levels remain high.
- Choose a CRM for Best Communication
Any product or service provider knows that communication with customers is critical. To boost success, you need to keep track of who you emailed or spoke to, what you talked about and any other interactions. An effective CRM enables you to do all this, streamlining engagement and interaction with your clients and employees. Customer relationship management tools have the power to organize customer data from various channels in real-time and present it in one place to view. Also, many small businesses find that pairing their accounting software, such as QuickBooks Online, with a CRM solution can enhance efficiency.
- Capture the Right Data
Having a great system is worthless unless the data that fills it is worth analyzing, so you must make sure your system records quality information about your customers and their interactions. The data you collect for lead generation defines how you market or sell. Collect as much data as you can and keep it organized.
An accounting software solution such as Intuit’s QuickBooks Online can keep track of all the money that comes in and out of your business. Via its desktop and cloud-based applications, the system allows you to get to know your customers better via data. QuickBooks CRM software QuickBase has a feature called Customer Lists, which stores and edits all your customer information. It can not only help you send timely invoices and follow up on sales opportunities, but it also has customizable fields that allow you to organize information you need, such as a customer’s Twitter handle. Data can be quickly and easily imported from your current customer list.
- Don’t Forget About Add-ons
When it comes to managing and analyzing data, your CRM system should let you personalize the tools you use via the use of apps. For example, a retail business owner will have specific needs and require different information about customers than an entrepreneur working in construction.
Some great apps that integrate with QuickBooks Online:
- Method:CRM: The top-rated CRM app in Intuit’s app store, it allows you to store your customer engagement and any follow-ups in one spot. Sales staff can create invoices from their mobile devices, which syncs with QuickBooks Online in one click. Method:CRM can also be used to input leads and prospects, and then update the info when they become a customer.
- Batchbook: Boasting all the standard features of a CRM, this app can take in Twitter streams, Facebook updates and more. It helps you organize contacts, add pending deals, track where each prospect is in your sales funnel and set up email or text alerts for your follow-up tasks. The website is optimized for mobile devices.
- Insightly: A popular and free app, it combines your CRM and project management to let you track customer payments against project milestones.
- Put Milestones in Place
For a CRM process to be successful, your team must have goals and key milestones to achieve. Once these are established, you can track your customer satisfaction, and also work out how to improve it.
Point-of-sale software tools such as QuickBooks Point of Sale has CRM functionality that keeps track of revenue and a customer’s order history so you can personally tailor your product or service offerings. You can also analyze customer buying preferences.
Having a great customer data strategy, underpinned by an effective CRM, is essential for any small business owner wanting to grow their clientele and retain their valuable customers. Make sure you choose one that is flexible and customizable to help you stay ahead of competitors.
For an easy way to import your all-important customer data into QuickBooks Online, check out our step-by-step guide.