It’s inevitable that your staff members, clients, and vendors will develop relationships between certain individuals that just work better than others. Pivotal team members carry with them key responsibilities and a treasure-trove of information that often took months or years to build up. Some of your biggest clients and suppliers bond with one or two staff members only, and while it’s a scary truth – sometimes they leave. From changing companies for career concerns to spousal relocation or medical reasons, leaving all your vital company information in their head or within their personal digital world is a risk that no business should undertake.
Capture Diverse Tags In Your CRM
The best way to keep track of your customers and vendors in a way that you can’t lose them is to fill in as much detail as possible. Use your CRM to capture tags for everything. Go beyond name, email, and phone numbers by adding in partners, company contacts, brands carried, suppliers affiliated with, and any other details that help you associate to your vendor or contact.
Implement Mail Recording
Leverage the power of your CRM by “recording” emails. Make sure that when you send an email to a customer or vendor, the message gets recorded to the appropriate profile. This makes sure that your CRM contact profile has all the information you could hope for centralized, making marketing and all future contact far more well-rounded and professional. The personal touch of knowing exactly what you spoke of over not just the last call, but all communications between is invaluable.
Let The CRM Capture All Data Sources
Don’t archive emails, making the information hard to access. If your CRM isn’t already recording your messaging across all sources, then set it up to do so. Next up is making sure that full archival history to all your correspondences and past business dealings are easily accessible to the right users. Not everyone needs access to ten-years’ worth of mail, but having it all unified and available guarantees that even if it’s not sorted yet, your valuable data is indeed there.
Shape Useable Forms
The better you design your forms, the more powerful your CRM will grow. All it takes is a few basic web forms to not only help your visitors navigate your site but also guide employees through the company portal, capturing a range of ever-valuable information. Forms don’t need to be complicated, but a few tags of extra information such as what other products they were interested in while interfacing with the staff member, what sent them there, or why they opted to use your services will empower you with insight that’s sure to give sales and marketing an edge while letting you always have a complete data-set.
Make Data Logging Efficient
Don’t forget that data entry and activity logging is a massive time sink occupying five and a half hours a week for the average user. That’s an insane period of time that could be better spent on liaising with customers, prospecting for leads, and refining your sales and marketing approach. Design your forms and data collection procedures intelligently, but make sure that you cover a good diversity of information. Well-structured data collection will eliminate much of the time spent filling in fields manually, just don’t fall into the trap of going overboard. Two or three unobtrusive questions are fine for almost anyone, but you’ll scare staff and customers away with hundreds of fields.
Refine Form Placement
Same goes for placement. Don’t put forms in places that prevent smooth user action. All design needs to be intuitive, and for this to happen, layouts and forms must be tested. Do your utmost to have your teams come up with at least two ways to capture information for any given source. Split-test and stick the form design and placement that works best. Within time, you’ll refine the way that you collect data and thus unlock the full potential and value of your CRM. While testing, it is best to utilize external opinions of varying demographics. Designers, marketers, creative teams, board members, and support staff will all help the process of enriching the company database if the information captured feels effortless and necessary.
Perform Regular Data-Validation & Keep Records Current
Always remember that your contact database is invaluable if kept up to date but nothing more than a list, if not. All of the information in the world doesn’t make a difference if you haven’t maintained confirmed details for at least a few finite points. The great thing about keeping a well-rounded database of a diverse range of criteria is that should a company contact end up estranged, it’s not too hard to track down a means of making contact. Nonetheless, current data should be guaranteed by infrequent audits and constant refinement of the data harvested, and how it’s brought it. By following our advice and keeping your information up-to-date and securely stored in your CRM, you’ll never end up losing your customers, vendor relationships, or crucial links in the supply chain ever again.