For any business, the most valuable asset is its customer base. It takes years to build up a loyal following and to organise all the relevant details effectively. Yet too many small businesses overlook the importance of a well-managed system for customer information.
Remember the last time you went back to the beauty salon, restaurant or dentist you have been loyal to for years. Did they know how long you had been away, your preferences, your customer details? Probably not. I am often asked for my contact details again and again on booking an appointment.
It’s no longer enough to keep a notebook log of customer and transaction details – just think of what your company would lose if the precious books were to go missing, get stolen or be lost in a disaster such as a fire or flood. Even your computer files and spreadsheets can easily be corrupted or lost, especially if they are not backed up regularly.
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is the key for small businesses to engage customers and protect their details. To ensure the greatest security and reliability, cloud applications offer an affordable option. Files stored in the cloud don’t need to be backed up, and you can easily control who has access to them.
Even the most simple CRM system offers small businesses the chance to further engage their customer base. By storing each customer’s name, contact details and an optional note for each entry, you can add the all-important finishing touches to each customer experience. For example, you can send a reminder to a customer before their next appointment is due, or have the details of a previous order on hand to help with their next transaction.
bOnline sites are based on a cloud platform hosted by Google and they now come with a easy CRM system. And coming soon, email marketing and booking systems integrated with your customer contacts will help you take customer experience to a new level.