Customer management is one of the most critical factors in running a successful business. If you ask any business man what is the most important thing in running a business, most business owners will say that the customers are the most important thing in running a business, and that’s where customer management comes in, in order to succeed you must successfully manage your clients. When you are managing customers, you can sell more services, and generate more revenue. When you are not managing your customers, you are not getting maximum revenue from them, and that is your ultimate goal.
Benefits of managing customers:
- Keeping everything organized
- Getting maximum revenue possible from a customer
- Keeping in touch with your customers, and selling more services
- More referrals from a single customer
The majority of small businesses keep their client list, either in a notebook, which is doodled on all the pages, making it difficult to keep the client data clear. Others write down on a piece of paper, or a sticky note, once they are done with a customer they put the piece of paper in their drawer, and forget about it, and when they do try to find the customer data they cannot find it, or its all crumbled up.
You must have a client list, which is easy to access and easy to use, and clear. If you don’t have that then you are not managing your customers the way you should.
First step of successfully managing customers is to load all of your clients into your computer. There is no need of buying fancy expensive programs just to enter your customer’s information in. Simple program like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and etc. will do the job. Before you load your client list in your computer, you need to place your customers into the following categories:
- Existing Customers: Customers that are currently enrolled in your services.
- Former Customers: Customers that previously sign up with your services.
- Potential Customers: Customers that have contacted you about your services.
Once you have separated your client list into the above categories, you are ready to load them into any type of word document software.
The way you want to load your customers is all depending on the category of the customer you placed them in.
For Existing Customers You Need:
- Customer Name:
- Enrolled Service:
- Phone Number:
- Service Start Date:
- Service Estimated Finish Date:
- Detailed Service Info:
Here is a sample of Existing Customers client list:
Basically the same form is used for all clients, you just need different type of information from each client type category.
For Former Customers you need the following in the client list:
- Customer Name:
- Service Type:
- Phone Number:
- Completion Date:
For Potential Customers you need the following information in the client list:
- Customer Name:
- Service Type:
- Contact Details:
Now once you have created your client list, and separated them by category, now we can proceed into identifying each of the client type categories.
Existing Customers: This one is of course obvious, this category is meant for identifying the type of service you are working on, and the customer you are making this service for. Once you are done with this customer, this client becomes a former customer, and is removed from existing customers list, and moved to former customers list.
Former Customers: This is where you get most of your customer referrals and customers’ relationships. Once the customer has worked with you before, and is satisfied with your work, this is your chance to ask the customer for their business, for their friends, family, and etc. that require the type of service you offer. This turns into word of mouth starting from that client and passing on to other people. Word of mouth is the best type of advertisement, and that should be your goal, keep the client happy. If the client is not happy same thing will happen word of mouth but negatively against you, which can cause a lot of business loss. So this category is crucial to your business, you should also follow up with your former customers, call them or email them, but don’t be all about business and offering them right away another service, be friendly, and ask how is their website going and etc. Once you establish a relationship with that customer, you can easily suggest or sell other services to them, because they will consider you not as a sale person but as some one who is looking out for them. Best selling technique is saying something like “After the marketing service we provided you with, your website started to grow I noticed. You have to keep your website visitors coming for more, so you should really add a feature on your website which will allow them to see newest updates on the front page of your website. We can easily help you with that. ” There is a lot of things different things you cans ay, but that’s one of them.
Potential Customers: This is the category you will most likely make the most money from. If someone has emailed you or called you about a service, and said they will think about it, well this is your chance to win them over. If you don’t keep all of this information you would have kept searching trough your emails for that message, or searching through your call log on your phone and trying to remember what the customer was interested in. But since you have it organized here, it will be easy to follow up the client after you spoke to them, and offering them discounts.
When you successfully manage your customers you are guaranteed to have 50% more revenue, because you can follow up on most clients and get maximum revenue from them and their referrals.
The importance in separating clients into different categories is important, because you need to be able to separate the current clients with the former clients and with the potential clients, to maximize your revenue.
Another important factor in managing your clients is relationships. You will make a lot of money through customer relationships. You need to establish them by sending updates to your customer on services, and know their habits. For example if the client likes to receive work updates Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you need to provide that information to them on those particular days. You also need to keep the client happy, if you keep the client happy they will come back to your for other services. For most business owners the most important thing is selling the service and if the custom is happy or not they don’t care as long as they got the money from providing that service, and that is wrong. If you want to keep the customers coming back which generates a lot of profit, you have to make sure to do whatever it takes to make them happy, even if it forces you to do more then required for that job.
The last thing that is really important about customer management is being able to manage customer’s expectations. You have be able to provide discounts to former clients and be able to sign them up again for another service.
That is how you successfully manage customers; if you succeed you should be seeing an increase in your revenue of minimum 50%.
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