Setting up a client database

30 May 2014

Last blog was about merging different information sources into one big database to get more insights about your customer.

But most of the time we, as small business owners, need to take even one more step back and start with that information source on its own. Most of us don’t have our separate information sources in order.

As an example I am going to use a client of mine. Before I started working with them they knew who bought from them, talked with them, etc. But all that knowledge was just in their heads. They had no real database of people who had communicated with them and bought from them and would love to stay in touch to hear about new developments.

And heads aren’t all that reliable to give you information when needed or to see the bigger picture…

And so, we needed to start from scratch making a client database for this company.

Using mailboxes and orders as a way of finding everyone that did business with them or had asked quotes from them, and putting this all into one big database. It was a lot of work but definitely helped with the next proces of setting up a newsletter.

Of course you can do this working backwards but starting it now and then not having to worry about it later is so much easier!

What does your database need?

Think about the information you need to get ahead in your business.

Is it just their name and address? Or do you want to know how much kids they have, in what region they live, what they bought from you, how much they spent? Their social media accounts, their email addresses, their age…

It is all possible (within reason of course) but you have to think about it now.

Don’t make it too hard. Just use these steps to get started:

Steps to start a client database

  1. Take Excel (or Google Drive’s Spreadsheet or anything like it)
  2. Think up all the information you want to know and put them in different columns
  3. Now go check out who you already do business with and place them in the first column in different rows
  4. Now fill in as much information as possible
  5. Is there information you have but can’t put in the spreadsheet? Yes? Is it important? Yes? Add a row. No? Just delete
  6. Is there information you lack? Yes? Try to get it

Got it? Now it is just a matter of keeping this up to date.

Do you have a database full of information about your clients?

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