Doing business with customers and clients who’ve bought from you before is a no-brainer. It’s much easier to generate repeat sales from someone who has had a good experience using your services or products in the past, than it is to secure the business in the first place.
Yet, so many business owners are not taking advantage of these easy wins!
So, here’s how to make a customer database work for you:
Firstly, what is a customer database?
It can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet containing the contact details of previous customers. But to really get the most out of it, you need to include as much detail about their transactions as possible:
- Which service/product did they buy?
- How much did they spend?
- Did they respond to a promotional offer?
- Do they have particular likes/dislikes?
- How did they find you? Social media / recommendation / networking etc?
A good customer relationship management (CRM) database can be a really useful investment for storing, tracking and comparing all this information. It can also help you to track marketing campaigns and keep notes on potential new leads.
CAUTION: However you collate this data, remember it is vital that you follow GDPR laws on collecting, storing and using personal information.
How do I use it?
Your database can help you pinpoint customers and clients who might be receptive to new offers, products and services. Let’s say you own a pet shop and are running a promotion offering 10% off dog accessories. Your database could help you identify customers who own dogs and have bought dog-related products in the past, and so might be particularly receptive to an email detailing the offer.
If you send the dog offer out to the whole database, then you’ll inevitably send it to people who don’t have dogs and just aren’t interested. Not only will this clog up inboxes but it will increase the chances of future emails being deleted before they’re even read. Consistent, targeted communication demonstrates you have taken the time to get to know your customers and their needs. It makes them feel valued. So always think about a segmented approach rather than a ‘send to all’ one!
Make your customers feel special
You could also keep note of relevant dates specific to individuals. For example, birthday offers are a popular way of rewarding customers and encouraging them to treat themselves.
There might be important dates related to the product or service your customer purchased from you. An obvious example is a car dealership which could send out MOT and service reminders, as well as tempting offers on new cars when the owner’s vehicle reaches an age at which they might be looking to upgrade.
This all starts to add a more personal touch and in the example above, could be quite useful too!
Databases aren’t just for sharing information on promotions and offers. They’re a great way of keeping your customer base up to date on your news. Now, in particular, is a good time to reconnect. It’s likely your business has undergone many changes over the past few months. Customers may want reassurances about how you are operating safely in the current climate or even be wondering if you are still open. If you’re in the hospitality industry, for example, are you only able to book limited covers? Have your business hours changed? Have you expanded your outdoor seating area?
There is so much information people need to know now, but also at other times, so make sure you tell your customers and potential customers too.
Use the opportunity to tell them how you are diversifying and doing your utmost to ensure their experience with you is as safe and seamless as possible.
If you’d like help creating a database, and designing and drafting eye-catching emails, newsletters, and mailers, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org