Many small to medium sized businesses find that as they grow, to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, it is vital to move from informal systems to more efficient computer based records. This helps to ensure that any information that you have is up to date and accurate, contacts are made when promised and all staff can access a central database for consistency.
To deliver a quality service to customers you need to:
- Keep Clear Records: if you want to give a professional service you cannot rely on a messy collection of scribbled notes plus a random collection of sticky notes, held in different places or even by a number of different people! Consistency and ease of access have to be the order of the day. A computer based system can help store emails, details of quotes and orders, notes from telephone calls, letters, appointments etc and recall them at the touch of a button.
- Save Time: you don't need multiple software packages. Use a CRM to store all of your customer or contact information allows you to have instant access to it in one place. This helps save time searching for what you need and helps improve efficiency. A CRM also allows searches to be saved to use again and again.
- Ensure Everyone has Access to Consistent Records: anyone from your business who speaks to customers should be able to access customer records. People are busy and wish to achieve their outcome in a single call where possible, so help them achieve this. All staff involved in service delivery need to know of the promises or deals made, so then can ensure successful, timely delivery.
- Email/SMS: save time by sending messages directly from your contact information. Use mailing lists for sending messages to specific groups and personalise these messages.
- Target Your Marketing: marketing is now probably more vital than ever before, but it can be expensive in terms of both time and money. Ensure that all marketing and sales activities are as targeted as possible by mailing specific sectors of your database.
- Use Mail Merge: set up your own direct mail campaigns to promote your special offers, exhibitions, vouchers or other events. Remember you need a critical mass of people to hear about your offers to help ensure that your marketing initiatives succeed!
- Create Task Lists: start each day with a clear list of things to be achieved and ensure that every promise to contact a prospect or customer by a certain day is honoured. Ensure you never forget that follow up call or mislay contact details again!