The importance of creating and maintaining a client database cannot be overstated. It provides a crucial information resource for your business not only in terms of contacts, but also in building sustainable revenue. This article came about after we recorded a recent short episode for The Simplified Marketing Podcast in which Andrew Black of Heroes on Hand (Business Coach for Trades people) came up with the idea. Below we explain in more detail why you need to keep and develop a client database for your business.
Better organisation using a client database
Every well-run and successful business is one that is organised and that starts with maintaining a client database. Being able to refer to a spreadsheet whenever you need makes it easier to find important contacts at short notice. This also makes you more productive as a business, with less time spent fumbling around trying to find phone numbers and emails for key communications.
Client databases play a central role in helping you to understand where your sales are coming from which can then be used to develop future sales. You’ll get to know which contacts are most important to your business and who you can connect with to develop your sales pipeline. The database also makes it easy to get back in touch with lapsed clients you may have lost touch with. This is particular useful during quieter periods when you need to drum up new business and revenue.
The more information you have about your customers, the easier it is to understand their pain points and offer direct solutions that can help. This can also be used for marketing and promotional campaigns, using common client information to understand who your target audience is and what sort of marketing they will respond to. It also means you have tighter control of how your marketing budget is spent to produce the best possible results.
Improved customer service
Whether for an ecommerce store or a small, physical start-up, customer service remains one of the most important factors in any business relationship. You should look to enhance and improve it wherever possible and a client database can help you do that. From storing encrypted usernames/passwords for client accounts, or keeping notes on customer preferences such as delivery particulars, availability times or shipment/payment details, tailoring your service to their needs as much as possible will prove to be invaluable.
More customer loyalty
Maintaining a client database will tell you more about your long-term and most profitable customers so you can offer them some special treatment. Tailored marketing towards this smaller group will be able to address their requirements directly and should produce more sales as a result. A database also allows you to keep in touch with this particular client group more easily, so you can drop in phone calls or emails to catch up with their latest developments and show you have an active interest in their business growth.
New product launches
If you have a new product or service in the pipeline, a great way to test its effectiveness is by using a small portion of your client base in the first instance. The information stored in your database will make it easier to identify who will be a good fit for a trial run. These trusted customers can also provide valuable feedback you can then use to make any alterations needed before rolling it out to everyone.