A customer database is generally used by companies which have repeat buyers, which go through regular updates, give repeated services or for cross selling different products to the same customer. Nowadays, customer databases are being maintained by each and every company so as to remain in touch with their customers and provide them swift and rapid service. There are several ways a customer database can be used by companies.
1) Identifying prospects – Identifying the buyers who regularly buy from you and also customers whom you can cross sell your products can be found from your customer database. You can decide the marketing and advertising strategy and message on the basis of features demanded by your current customers. A certain set of features may be common in a group of buyers and you can be on the lookout for other such customers who match the demography / psychography. Finally, your existing customer can become a repeat customer through usage of your customer database.
2) Which customer should receive promotional offers – Recently, we had to carry out a promotional activity for a company by giving promotional gifts to their key customers. Thus the major question was, whom do we categorize as our key customer or our average customers or as someone who just drops by from time to time. At this point of time, if we didn’t have a customer database with us, classifying our customers would have become a major problem. On the other hand, promotional activities can be of various types. On purchasing a product, you can send the customer a thank you note, you can remind him of his overdue service and other such measures which makes the customer happy that he took the decision of buying the product from you.
In case the customer has only done an enquiry, you can send a soft reminder about what happened of his enquiry and is he still looking for the product. During promotions, you can maintain 2 different databases, one of suspects and the other of prospects. Furthermore, prospects can be tapped for multiple products / services in your arsenal later on.
3) Increase customer loyalty – I love Pizza. But i hate going through the hassle of introducing myself every time to a pizza joint so i can order my favorite pizza. That’s why i like Domino’s. Domino’s pizza is known for its home delivery, and it has succeeded in the same through its ability to maintain an impeccable customer database. Whenever a customer calls, Domino’s knows the persons mobile number, home address and his last order. This is how you command customer loyalty. Today, customers want convenience. Make the purchase experience as convenient as possible for the customer and he will remain loyal to you.
4) Reactivating customers – A customer might not remain in touch with your company. In that case, you need to send such offers to the customer that your company becomes the center of attention again for your product category. Look at the way Intel advertises itself. Through a 4 second jingle in every advertisement, it just reminds customers that Intel is there for them. Similarly, if your brand has moved out of the customers eyes, it will be moved out of the customers minds too. You need to send timely reminders to re activate the customer for your brand. The best example of re activating non users is social media companies. Remain absent from your favorite social media network for a few days and you will find a prompt reminder from your network that they are missing you. That is the way you bring back lost customers.
5) Avoid common database pitfalls – A few decades back, where databases meant files upon files of Microsoft excel, there was a big confusion as the same customer was called by different executives and there was no co ordination of how to manage the customer database. This resulted in the customer becoming irritated with the company and the company wasting its time, money and resources on the repeat calls. Today, the situation is different. Companies have large MIS and CRM databases to track their prospective and existing customers from time to time. These systems have helped to minimize errors caused by using an unorganized database. Nothing can harm your reputation more than annoying your customers. And annoyance happens when a customer who does not want to be contacted for your product is called again and again from your company.
Another example of using a database wrongly would include your service being deactivated before time or your service not being provided on time. For example, a customer books a train ticket on my site. However, i am unable to get the tickets to him in time. Or, although the tickets have been booked in my system, they have not been booked in reality and the customer has no reservations. Thus in these cases the customer will be left stranded and he would not use or recommend your services to anyone the next time.
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