A Microsoft Certified Application Developer and Act! Certified Consultant specializing in Design, Development, and Analysis of business operations assisting companies in implementing software packages that fit a company’s needs. With extensive experience in the full life cycle of the software design process including requirements definition, prototyping, proof of concept, design, interface implementation, testing, and maintenance, Joe has spent the last 12 years helping business owners grow their business by improving their sales and manufacturing/distribution processes. You can find more by Joe at SystemsNet.
A thorough knowledge of your customers and prospects is invaluable and critical for your company's success.
A recent article from Business 2 Community highlights six fundamental features of a long-lasting relationship with customers. Knowledge is second on the list. Whether you're cultivating relationships in a B2C or B2B context, understanding your clients' needs, goals, preferences, and buying habits is essential to providing them the kind of products and interactions they expect.
What are some of the benefits of knowing and understanding your customers/prospects?
- You're less likely to miss out on an opportunity for an initial communication, a sale, or a follow-up that strengthens their impression of your reliability and dedication.
- Your communications are more likely to be appropriately tailored to a specific prospect or customer; a targeted, personalized interaction increases the chances of initial or repeat business transactions and favorable reviews.
- Your marketing campaigns will prove more effective, reaching current and potential customers through the appropriate channels and with the right message.
- A greater knowledge translates to important insights that help you refine your approach to marketing, sales, and customer service.
- You waste less money and time on ineffective ways to reach out to and interact with people; your efforts become more efficient and productive, yielding tangible results.
How can Act! help?
From its launch date a few decades ago, Act! has become well-known as a high-quality, top-rated CRM solution, a valuable tool for SMBs in managing customer relationships and contact information.
With new versions regularly released, Act! has evolved to accommodate the kinds of changes in marketing, sales, customer service, and general communications brought about by globalization and rapid technological developments.
The following are some of the ways Act! will help you develop a meaningful understanding and rich knowledge of customers:
Tracking relationships. Act! enables you to track your relationship with any prospect or customer - from the moment of your initial interaction all the way to closing the first deal or sale, and then beyond that to repeat business. At a glance, you can determine your status with any individual or organization doing business with you.
Maintaining a thorough record of communications. These include information from phone calls, emails, and video conferences, along with notes from in-person meetings. They encompass positive testimonials, criticism, and concerns expressed both online and offline. You can easily spot issues that have been left unresolved or concluded unsatisfactorily. Through Act!, you can tailor your communications - such as the format of an email – based on the type of customer and your history with them.
Keeping information complete and centralized. Along with records of communications and feedback from specific customers, there's other important data that Act! makes accessible and easily updated from any device. The information includes customers' demographics, purchase history, and a profile of their preferences, habits, interests, goals, and needs. Act! helps you deliver timely, personalized communications (as opposed to generic content that misses the mark and leaves people unconvinced that you're the best fit for them). Act! also works seamlessly with programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Quickbooks, integrating information from multiple sources and reducing errors and redundancies.
Generating useful insights. When is a customer most likely to need a given product or service? When is the right time to contact a prospective client who expressed an interest in doing business with you? Act! furnishes you with insightful reports both about specific individuals and groups of customers. Reports can help you predict when you're most likely to secure a sale.
For further information about Act!, please contact us. We can help you determine whether the software would work well for your company. If you decide to use it, we can configure it for you so that it's tailored to your business needs and appropriately synced with other software.