Do you know how your customers have been lately?

It is common business knowledge that it is a lot more expensive and time consuming to find new customers than it is to keep the ones that you have, but how does this relate to the modern world?

One of the great things about smartphones is that they allow you to create and access information that you have about your customers.  This can be extremely useful if done properly.  The first step is to create an online database with information about your customers and prospects.  This can be done easily using a Google Docs spreadsheet.  What is nice about Google Docs spreadsheets is that besides being free, they are very easy to read and can be populated with as much data as you want about each entry.  This can include a person’s name, phone number, email address, business, interactions that have taken place, last date of communication and notes. This is a valuable amount of data about your customers. You can also update it directly from your phone and have the information saved. This makes it easier to do when you are out working away from your office and is especially helpful if you are working with others and sharing the same spreadsheet. This way you can ensure that customers or prospects are not contacted by multiple people with the same message.

If a spreadsheet does not suit your needs and you need a more robust customer management program, it would be worth your time to check out some of the other CRM apps that are available such as Insightly.  These typically have a monthly fee but can do a great job of tracking all of the relevant information that you have about each one of your customers/prospects.

Whatever you decide to use, just remember it is important to stay in touch with your customers. Try using an email management program such as Savvy Sender. This allows you to create email campaigns that don’t end up in people’s spam boxes. It also allows you to see who opened your emails, and who did not. Try to think of a creative subject for the email and people will be more likely to open it.  Remember, not only are people much more likely to be repeat customers if they occasionally hear from you, but they will also be more likely to recommend your product or services to their friends and colleagues if they get a periodic reminder. Plus, previous customers can be an invaluable resource to find out current market trends.  Try creating a free online survey using Survey Monkey  that you can send out and ask your contacts specific questions about their preferences.  There might be untapped markets awaiting you that can take your business to the next level.

Lots of great possibilities exist for your business. All it takes is the willingness to try something new.