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How well do you know your customers? The importance of maintaining a client database

“Do you have a client database?”

“Yep!”

“Can I have access to it, please?”

“Well….”

Let’s say you have a customer list that’s limited to the contacts in your phone or email. If I picked 10 of them at random, could you confidently tell me when they last made a purchase?

I’m guessing the answer is no.

Now, say you wanted to mount a campaign targeting clients who haven’t made a purchase with your business in the last three months. How would you identify them? If you can’t, you have two options: abandon the campaign, or go shooting in the dark. I don’t need to tell you that option two leads to a lot of wasted bullets and very few ducks for dinner.

This is just one example of many I could furnish you with, that illustrates a simple point:

Establishing and maintaining a client database, that properly represents individual wants and needs, will give your business the edge it requires in order to triumph over your competitors.

We have all heard the phrase “it costs five times as much to maintain an existing client, as it does to attract a new one”. Although there’s some debate as to whether that statement holds up to the same extent, it still speaks to the fact that your clients already know who you are, and have been receptive to your brand. This in turn makes them much more viable prospects when it comes to repeat purchase, if they can be targeted correctly.

Your client database is your business’ treasure trove.

How do we recommend you set up the database? Well, there are two options.

Option 1: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

We could write an entire blog post about CRM, but someone’s already done that for us. Suffice it to say, CRM deals with how your business conducts itself in relation to your customers (both directly and indirectly). CRM software, in turn, facilitates this process.

The power of CRM software arises from the ability to create a client database that is tailored to your specific needs. You can then cross reference this data with information from every department of your business. Ultimately, this allows for better strategic decision making, by allowing you to recognise broad patterns that would be difficult to establish otherwise.

It must be stated that CRM software is often not a cheap investment and is therefore not for everybody. They run on subscription models and complete packages will often be priced well-north of a thousand dollars (AUD) per month.

If you cannot afford CRM software, all is not lost. There is a cheaper, highly useful alternative that will still allow you to establish a client database.

Option 2: Email Marketing

Automated Email Systems (AES) have been around for a long time and have only become more vital to properly interacting with your clients in recent years. Automated emails are nothing new, but a lot of people overlook AES’ as a convenient place to house their client database.

Although automated email solutions provide a less robust framework with which to analyse your client database, they offer a cost-effective alternative to CRM software. What’s more, they allow you to keep in touch with your customers in a constant, professional manner. The ease with which you can customise content with an AES is unrivaled when compared to regular email clients such as Outlook or Gmail.

Good AES’ will be able to track metrics such as email open rates and unique visits to your website. Such tools are invaluable when determining the effectiveness of a promotional campaign.

We always recommend that our clients have access to an AES, regardless of whether they already curate their client database in CRM software, or not. Its cost effectiveness combined with the ability to target customers at the exact right time are invaluable to any business.

Not sure how to set up your database? No time to manage it?

Olivetree marketing can help.

Contact us

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