Small business owners are great at a lot of things, like multitasking and being resourceful (among others). However, one area many struggle with is organizing and maintaining their customer lists. Having a well-maintained customer list is difficult because it can take a lot of time and effort. And we know time is not something most small business owners have a lot of.
Why it’s worth the time
Organizing your contact list and using some type of customer management system can be extremely beneficial for your business. It can help you gain insight into your business, tailor customer messages, and separate your personal and business communication. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Decide what information to start tracking
Are there certain pieces of information you would like to have from every customer, like name, address, email, phone, purchases, or appointment history? With a customer management system, you can begin to build records of all of this data in one convenient place.
When all of your customer information is organized and easily accessible, it’s easier to provide better customer service.
2. Get rid of some contacts
When you are getting organized and preparing to move all of your contacts into a customer management system, you don’t have to, nor necessarily want to, move over every single contact. There are probably some people in your customer list who haven’t had any interaction with your business in a very long time.
Choose a certain amount of time (3 months, 6 months, a year) and if you haven’t had interaction with a contact during that time frame, don’t move them over into your new organizational system. A lean customer list is much easier to maintain.
3. Create different lists or groups
Once your customer management system is populated with information, it’s helpful to group customers who have similar qualities; location, purchase history, etc. into lists. These customer lists can be used to:
- Send marketing texts or emails with content tailored to a specific group.
- Gain insights into customer demographics like age, gender, location, etc.
- Track purchasing trends and patterns.
4. Choose the right tools
When you’re organizing your customer list it’s important to choose tools that complement the way you work. For example, if you are always on the go, it might be helpful to choose tools that you can access from your cellphone.
If the main way that customers contact you is by calling or texting your cellphone, it might be beneficial to add a dedicated business 2nd number to your phone using Sideline to help you keep your business communications separate from your personal, to add another layer of organization. With the help of Sideline’s professional tools such as Auto-Reply, Business Texting, and Team Number, you can get the most out of your newly-organized contacts.