Manage Your Contacts in a Systematic Way
29th March 2021
In the business world, you need to collect and manage a lot of information about your customers, prospects and referral sources.
To do this effectively and efficiently it’s important to have a robust contact management system in place. Ideally find one that fits your needs as early in your business journey as possible, so that from the outset everything is stored and accessible in one place.
It’s helpful if your system also incorporates customer relationship management (CRM). CRMs allow you to regularly connect with selected customers, prospects and referral sources with minimum effort. A good management system will also help you to manage your sales process.
Contact management systems
A great contact management system is a powerful business tool that will help you and your team stay organised and efficient with your time.
Some popular systems include:
- Microsoft Contact Manager
In addition to the obvious function of maintaining names, company addresses and contacts, contact management systems have numerous additional capabilities, including:
Tagging – tag each name with multiple attributes such as customer type, industry, profession, specialty, size of business, size of town, number of employees, birthday and contact owner
Lists – import mailing lists in various formats. Sort and create lists by multiple attributes. For example, quickly identify everyone in the database who:
- Is an estate agent
- Works in a particular city
- Has a specialty in commercial property.
Direct Mail – no need to mail merge from another programme; your contact management system has its own word processing system.
Reminders – a reminder system that tells you, among other things, when to follow-up on a previous email; this feature is essential for marketing.
Note-taking – this function allows you to summarise conversations with a contact. You can also “attach” documents to a name.
Email – via Microsoft Outlook directly from the database.
Links – to popular software programmes such as Microsoft Office and Sage.
Many contact management systems also have popular features such as:
- Phone logs
- Call reports
- Personal calendars
- To-do lists
- Expense reporting
- Automatic dialling
- Customer recognition on inbound calls
- Automatic email capture
- Sales pipeline management
Something we all love is receiving recognition for the work that we do and the impact we make, and your customers are no different.
Why not set up a central “clipping service” in your contact management system. Have everyone in your office take responsibility for clipping out anything they see in a newspaper or other publication relating to a customer or friend of your company.
Another great idea is to sign up for Google Alerts and socialmention.com with all your customers’ names. Whenever one of their names shows up online, you’ll receive an alert. When they’re mentioned (assuming it’s positive), send them a congratulatory email or personalised note and celebrate them on your social media platforms.
In addition to tracking your customers on Google Alerts, put in your own company name as well and see what comes up – could be interesting!
You’ll find lots more helpful business exercises and tips in our new “Top Tips and Ideas for Business Growth” eBook – click here to download your free copy now.