Let me make this plain; no business can survive without new-age, smart tools to manage its vital business processes.
Contact management is indeed a business process that’s vital enough and indispensable to your survival in the unpredictive and competitive market.
With a diverse group of contacts, don’t you think it’s way too burdensome to use smartphones, email servers, or spreadsheets for storing contact information?
Moreover, it doesn’t allow centralized administration and automated syncing of contacts that are spread across multiple email accounts and other databases.
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Table of Contents
What is Contact Management?
- Contact management refers to methods of storing, organizing, tracking, updating, and accessing data about your contacts to better your business relationships with them.
- Using spreadsheets to store and manage contacts will never give you timely business insight regardless of how well you handle it.
This is what, in essence, a Contact Management Software solution will provide you; data that intuitively make decisions for you!
Using up-to-date technologies, data can be stored and managed in ways that tell you how to use them for:
- Drawing in more customers
- Averting negative market trends
- Knowing customer preferences
- Identifying potential customers and a lot of other value-bearing uses.
While both contact management software and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems collect and store data, CRM solutions provide enhanced capabilities for sales, marketing, reporting, and analytics.
To effectively leverage contact data for your business dealings, learn about Contact Management best practices for smoothing operations as well as improving the system’s reliability and productivity.
CRM Contact Management Best Practices:
1. Choosing the Best CRM to Store and Manage your Contact Data
- The CRM software stores all of your key contact information, as well as interactions with each customer and lead.
- As a result, choosing the ideal CRM should be a facet of your contact management strategy.
- Examine different CRMs and choose the one that best fits your company’s size, strategy, and goals.
- Also, consider a CRM that is flexible so that it can adapt to changing business strategies while also allowing for integration with other technologies.
2. Centralizing your Contact Data in One Tool
When different departments use different tools and platforms that don’t always sync smoothly, contact management goes out of hand.
What you’ll need is a cloud-based centralized database that keeps all contacts in one place and gives access to all the right people.
By having a centralized contact database, you can:
- Maintain data consistency by establishing the appropriate integrations between your CRM and the rest of your application
- Find all of the important information in one location.
- Make it simple for teams across organizations to find contact information.
- Focus on strategic objectives rather than wasting time switching screens to get contact information.
Kapture, for instance, is a popular CRM software solution that integrates with Shopify, Magento, and other eCommerce platforms with no hassles.
3. Segmenting your Contact Data to Derive Value
- With large amounts of uncategorized data, it is impossible to extract value from a Contact Management system.
- As a result, segment your contacts based on data such as customer preferences, purchase history, or demographics, for example.
- Use Customer segmentation to roll out effective email marketing strategies by sending customized mailings or dynamic promotions to targeted customer bases.
- The email or ad now seems more relevant to your audience, increasing open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
- Platforms like Kapture use customer profiling methods to assist you to influence and build the right customer base.
Image: Segmentation of customers into active and prospective(Kapture)
4. Secure the Contact Data
- It is an important aspect of contact management to pay attention to data protection regulations.
- You must preserve your customers’ information and privacy to be the brand that they trust with their data.
- Ensure that your mailing lists are not exposed to hackers and that you only utilize contact information in a manner that your customers have specifically agreed to.
- This is because a single data leak can have far-reaching consequences on how people evaluate you.
5. Adopting Company-Wide Data Entry Standards
To get your data in the most efficient format that enhances data usage, you should be following data entry standards. Enlisted are some of the factors to be considered,
- Including mandatory fields to determine the minimum necessary information required to process communications with a potential customer.
- Managing account name changes to make sure that the account does not already exist under the new name.
- The process to follow when a contact leaves the company.
- The process to follow for deleting records such as who has the permission to delete records.
- Following account naming convention and establishing standard formats for other data fields.
Data standards should be defined and made available to everybody for reference as needed.
It is recommended to designate someone as the data administrator, who ensures that data entry requirements are met.
6. Keep Data Clean and Consistent
- Poor data, namely duplicate, incorrect, and incomplete records cause your reporting to be inaccurate and is the most problematic factor of any contact management system.
- Data that is well-organized may kickstart meaningful conversations with prospects and customers.
- This, in turn, has the potential to increase conversion rates and customer retention. Inconsistencies in the data, on the other hand, render it unusable.
- CRM data must be monitored to maintain its relevance and usefulness. This necessitates regular evaluations, the participation of stakeholders, and proper maintenance.
- Data cleaning does not have to be completely manual. There is a lot that can be automated. CRMs for example, identify duplicates so you can merge or delete them.
7. Gathering Valuable Contact Data
Collect the data that enriches your insights. Also, optimize your data collection procedures to guarantee that you only acquire relevant data and that it is collected in line with privacy requirements.
Why is Contact Management Important to Small Businesses?
Contact management for small businesses offers the following benefits:
Reinforce Marketing Tactics
Create prospective targets by studying how your contacts interact with your emails, such as by making a retargeting list that includes those who replied to a previous campaign.
Also, make personalized offers to customers who have expressed a deep interest in your products frequently.
Better Customer Relationships
The ability to keep large volumes of data about each customer is a key feature of contact management and CRM software.
With information such as customer demographics and behavioral data, you can obtain a better picture of the customer journey.
This enables your team to communicate with customers on a much more personal level leading to closer interactions and the development of trust among your customers.
Image: Send personalized wishes on special dates(Kapture)
Easier Data Access With Centralized Contacts
Data access is made easier with centralized contacts.
You must dig up the data before you can locate it when you save and manage your contact data in spreadsheets.
However, if you use a CRM, all of your contact information is housed in one central location and is accessible to all.
Easy Import and Export Of Contacts
Contact Management Systems allow you to effortlessly import contacts in formats such as CSV or XML.
Connect your preferred tools, such as Google Contacts or Outlook Contacts, then manage and export the contact data as needed.
An all-in-one CRM manages your marketing, sales, and customer care from a single system, saving you the cost of investing in different systems.
You can reach out to more prospects and close leads with less effort if you use contact management as part of your CRM software. This leads to greater revenue.
Personalize Customer Interactions
With the recorded attitudinal, interactional, and behavioral data, as well as consumer demographics, individualized customer and prospect interactions may be had in a way that resonates with them.
You can always enhance consumer engagement levels with the appropriate personalization by finding customer information quickly.
According to the recent CRM statistics, “74% of respondents said that CRM solutions give them better access to customer data, allowing for more personalized service.”
Better Alignment and Collaboration Across Teams
Your sales and marketing teams each have their own objective, and they may often function in silos, with insufficient input or collaboration from one another.
Aligning the team’s efforts can be challenging in such cases.
Contact management with CRM software offers a centralized system such that everyone in the company has a 360-degree view of the customer data.
Both marketing and sales teams can view the lead stages, and pull out and view key metrics on a unified dashboard.
Organized and Secured Data
Contact management systems collect customer information from a variety of sources and can automatically segment this information based on common attributes.
Contacts can be organized, reorganized, and tagged for easier retrieval.
Since customer data is acquired automatically using web forms and stored automatically in the database, there is less manual intervention, and thus the data is less error-prone and clean.
Cloud-based storage is also more secure than storing customer data locally on hardware.
Contact management systems backup your contacts’ data to the cloud at regular intervals, so you don’t have to worry about data loss.
Never miss an opportunity ever with well-managed contact data that provides timely insights to help you make the best business decisions.
Request a Kapture demo to learn how CRM software promotes productivity, teamwork, and customer satisfaction for small businesses through better contact management.
About the Author
|Seema C Mohan
|Seema C Mohan is passionate about all things XaaS and loves to write value-added content. She has been in Business Process Management in the past and has published technology articles in journals.