In my previous three entries, I talked about using customer information to make meaningful contact. Yet again this week, I found the beast of misinformation rearing its ugly head.
I was working with a client who was planning a marketing campaign for the upcoming season. The search criteria in their database required two things: the client’s full name, and mailing address. Pretty simple right?
Apparently not. They found that more than 20% of the mailing addresses they had listed were actually their own mailing address. Yikes!
Imagine if they had launched their campaign without double-checking their own intel. As a former agency manager, I can tell you that flushing 20% of your marketing budget down the tubes is the kind of thing that will turn your hair grey.
Having a database is great, but if it’s inaccurate we may as well be calling random people from the phonebook. If our clients aren’t important enough for us to get their basic information right, how can we expect them to give us their hard-earned money?
I’m sure many of you are thinking: “If I were starting a new business, I’d get it right.” But if you’re reading this, you probably already have a database of your clients.
So, how do we make sure we have the proper information on our hard drives going forward? By updating our databases one client at a time!
It’s best to start with the basics. Trying to do too much at once leaves us vulnerable to costly mistakes. To start, we should focus on the following for each of our customers:
- Full name
- Full mailing address
- Telephone number
There are two ways to approach an information overhaul: you can delete everything and start from scratch (NOT Rhonda-approved), or you can clean up what you already have (Rhonda-approved!)
Here are some steps we can take to dust off the cobwebs:
- Start by purging the profile of any customer who hasn’t travelled with you in the last 5 years. If you haven’t heard from them by now, they’ve probably, moved, moved on, or passed away.
- Look for duplicate profiles and merge them.
- Print off your mailing list.
- Get a commitment from each consultant to contact X number of customers every day to “update client files.”
- Set a realistic completion date.
- Have checkpoints along the way; congratulate those who are ahead or on-target, and coach those who fall behind.
If you’re a manager or owner, it’s important to get your consultants on board. Incentives – praise, money, prizes – can help. If your consultants understand how important this is to your agency’s success, they’ll be eager to get it right every time.
Make sure you keep yourself in the loop as well. Schedule reports for your office, asking for every new client file that was opened that week. Share the results with your team; you might be surprised how quickly a rusty database can become your new best friend.