Developing Customer Data Systems

Do you have a customer tracking program that keeps record of basic client information, such as name, address, email and phone number of a client?

Do you try to keep your client lists on scraps of paper and notepads? Many small business owners use the Post-It notes system which takes up much desk space with information about clients and customers everywhere. The way to solve this is by creating “contact databases”. The contact databases requires that you put information into a customer file, using the customer file to send correspondence, extend information or keep in contact with people who you do business with.

You have to keep up with your customers who know the products and services, for they are the people individuals that will come back if your service was good. Having a contact database makes it easier to manage customer information and in some cases (depending what software you use) archive certain customer service issues.

The first application is to provide customer integration data was ACT. This software allowed business owners the flexibility of inputting the clients’ basic information, assign account numbers, job and invoice numbers and response dates.

Microsoft Office, which was introduced in Microsoft 3.1 Operating Systems, started as a basic address book. The contact database was also available in earlier versions of MS Office. Microsoft Office integrated the email client with the address book which made it easier to record customer data and email the customer .You could do mass mailings to contacts in Microsoft Office, which we discuss later.

You can create your own databases using Structured Query Languages but why bother when you have everything integrated with these packages?

As a business owner, you must maintain your customer lists and ensure customer information is up to date.

Most contact databases can be imported and exported between programs (Microsoft Office) in a format called Comma Separated Volume format which means that if there are two programs that support CSV format, then the same fields in one database can be transferred to another without you typing in everyone’s name or information all over again.

Customer databases are important because they provide you with information to help you do business.

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