It is often easier and more cost-effective to keep an existing customer than acquire a new one. A customer relations management system will help you maintain records and keep in contact with your customers.
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS INGREDIENT CARDS
Ingredient 2: Earn More Dollars With Customer Service
What is a customer relations management system?
It is a data management system that is used to store information about customers. Some ways of gathering this information include:
You can do this either by having a customer feedback form or by asking customers to respond to a questionnaire (offer an incentive – the opportunity to win a dinner for two).
A lot of information can be picked up purely by asking customers for their opinions when you’re dealing with them or during an informal conversation.
Get a group of typical customers together and ask their opinions. This is a good opinion-gathering activity for new products/services or ways of improving service.
How the information you have gathered is useful
Mary has learned to write everything that she learns about a customer into a notebook that she carries in her bag. Once a week, Mary transfers this information into a database on her computer (her customer relations information system). She also transfers information about the contact details of customers (name, address and phone number, email, etc.) into this database.
Recently, Mary was asked by Mrs Jones (a previous customer) to visit her at home and provide a quote for a catering function. From her database, Mary was able to:
- remind herself of the name of Mrs Jone’s cat, Phoebe, endearing herself to Mrs Jones for having remembered Phoebe’s name
- remember where Mrs Jones lived so that she didn’t have to ask her (implying that she was a special customer)
- remember details of previous catering functions that she had done for Mrs Jones.
This made Mary’s catering service much more personal and Mrs Jones gave her the business.
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