Customer data becomes inaccurate at an alarming rate. Failure to maintain your databases will result in most of it becoming unusable within a few years. You squander so much time by having inaccurate information because a simple phone call to a prospect that should take a couple of minutes can turn into the tedious process of data mining and trial and error. Furthermore, a lot of companies clog up their database with duplicates of customer info. Customers are often annoyed by duplicate emails and you waste money in the process. These copies will build up until they are using up costly memory space.
The importance Updating Records
The fact of the matter is that it is not only important to update records, you are legally obliged to have accurate customer details in your files. The Data Protection Act states that “the data shall be accurate and complete and, where necessary, kept up-to-date” – section 2(1) (b) of the Act.
Updating your records ensures that you are in compliance with the regulations while also avoiding the wastage of resources. You should monitor your customer details on a regular basis. There is a tendency in most establishments that “someone else will do it” and this leads to the problem escalating until it is a real mess.
Database Management as a form of Marketing
Database management is all about having up to date information at your fingertips making for a more commanding customer service and/or marketing campaign. It links all your customers and their details in one easy accessible place. You can observe this information to discover new trends or new tendencies in customer behaviour and then use this new found information to your advantage when marketing a new product or service. In a competitive retail sector, this can propel you above the competition.
A Principal Marketing Tool
As mentioned previously your database will unite all the marketing statistics of your company. Statistics sourced from enquiries, customer recommendations, your sales, service and results from your customer surveys for example.
It helps you Prioritise and Schedule Efforts
By examining the data you can identify the most profitable custom in the market, the customers that use your company regularly to buy products. This allows you to focus on the prospects that best fit your ideal customer profile. Then there is the option to schedule calls that can be made, for example call backs or after sales support. A well-kept database allows you to monitor what is working and what is not with regards a marketing campaign. Small to medium sized retail businesses can use this strategy to thrive in today’s competitive retail sector.
It is not necessary to mine every bit of information about your client to effectively market your product/service to them. Determine the most relevant information to you before setting up the database.
Some fields you may want to use include:
- Customer name, address and postcode.
- Interested in receiving relevant mailings or email.
- Phone, mobile and email details.
- Ever responded/bought before.
- Buying history – what, when, where, why.
- Size and date of last purchase.
The Call Centre Solution
Call centres are ideal BPO companies to outsource to when it comes to database management. Due to the amount of outbound calls a contact centre can make on a daily basis they can update your database faster and cheaper. Employing a third party like this allows you to fully focus on more pressing issues whilst the call centre fully focuses on optimising your database. This kind of time management is what all forward thinking businesses are doing in today’s hectic economic climate where every sale counts. You will be amazed at just how many of your personnel you free up when database management is outsourced to a third party, especially for medium to large businesses who have extensive databases as it is common for most users to be overwhelmed by the job functions, both in terms of skill level and people.