A Perfect Contact Management System for Small Businesses
Till 1990, every big and small business used to collect customer contacts by manually visiting client sites. Business cards and paper forms used to be the highest means of customer data. But during the age of the internet, a single sign-up form, a product purchase using email IDs, an online community account and social media accounts are major databases of customer contacts.
In the previous article, we understood what a contact management system is and how it impacts an organisation’s inbound marketing activities. In this article, we will understand reasons for a small business to consider building a perfect contact management system.
Before that, let us understand – What is a Contact?
A Contact can be explained as anyone who receives the end result of marketing, sales, or engagement activities conducted by a company. If a company targets potential customers individually as per buyer persona or if the customers interact with a business due to the result of a mass marketing, everyone becomes a contact for the company.
However, the contact needs to be frequently updated based on the stage of the buying process. Tracking all these activities is called Stage Tracking, and this tracking becomes an input for improving an existing contact management system.
What is a ‘perfect’ contact management system?
As explained earlier, a contact management system is a foundation of storing, updating and adding customer details as per recent interaction. It is a database that mostly, during initial days, contains common customer information across industries – Email ID, First Name, Last Name, Contact Number, Address, Payment Options, etc.
However, as you keep upgrading this system to become an integral part of your Customer Relationship Management (CRM), then you try to fetch further more information, such as – how they are responding to your marketing strategies? How are they engaging with the contents posted on social media networks? Which page did they visit frequently on your site? Which product did they search for on your site? Did they buy the product or added the product in the cart and forgot? What information did they query while interacting with customer care? What’s that status of any issue reported by the customer?
Based on these customer provided details:
- Marketers can measure the outcome and impact of any campaign.
- The product management team can decide which products are doing business and which are not.
- Content team can work harder to pull more leads and potential customers by reframing their contents.
- Sales managers can evaluate the performance of individuals or whole teams.
A contact management system contributing to CRM activities is still one step behind being “Perfect”.
The Final step to create a perfect contact management system:
Any business would expect to access live data instantly, which could reflect a data structure and a pattern, especially when an organisation is running a campaign for a shorter duration. This could be achieved by integrating Cloud-based CRM and contact management systems.
- Since a cloud-based CRM system is centrally updated and managed, hence, all users and applications get in sync with the complete system, thereby, reducing chances of any gap in data update.
- It also helps to track and monitor brand mentions on social media platforms by feeding social media information into the system.
- Usually, cloud-based CRMs and contact management systems help businesses to generate data analytics for better representation of issues, performance, lead generation and conversions, which further lead to better planning for next required actions.
So in short, start small with necessary contact details, and then slowly move towards tracking actions and reactions of customers towards campaigns and any marketing activity. Finally integrate the entire contact management system on the cloud platform to access data for better planning.