Improving Your Business with Customer Database Software
Your customers are more than just data;. In fact, 66% of of them are likely to switch brands if they’re treated like a number instead of an individual. While the numbers and information you use to describe them can feel impersonal, those same numbers help you provide your customers with the kind of service that makes them feel valued. In a way, it may seem contradictory — no client wants to be thought of as a number — yet it’s a business’s ability to capture, track, and maintain client data that allows them to treat their customers on a personal level.
In order to develop relationships with your customers, you need access to customer data. With that data, you can better understand your clients, and in the process, better understand your business. Without it, you risk alienating customers. Eighty-four percent of consumers are frustrated when an agent does not have access to relevant information.
Of course, keeping track of all that valuable data can be difficult, unless you use an effective customer database software solution.
What is customer database software?
Also known as “customer information database software” and “customer relationship database software,” customer database software is a tool designed to help businesses store and locate valuable customer data. This may include contact information such as names, telephone numbers, and email addresses in addition to other relevant data such as purchase history and legal documentation.
In terms of functionality, customer database software can be described as part of a larger customer relationship management (CRM) solution. The difference is that while CRM is designed to holistically manage the entire customer relationship process, a customer database focuses more on the data itself. Think of it as a digital filing cabinet — but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
The best customer database software can perform a number of tasks in addition to storing data. Advanced tracking tools ensure that you always know where your leads are in the sales pipeline and what your next step should be to keep them moving forward. Behavior analysis gives you insight into the mind of your client so you can personalize their experience to match their needs. Cross-channel capabilities give you the power to share vital information across channels, using that data to optimize your marketing campaigns.
The end goal is improved sales for your business. Customer database software plays an important role in sales management, letting your teams manage more leads, allowing fewer sales to fall through the cracks, and scaling your sales to match your growth.
What should you look for in a customer database solution?
Client data keeps your sales process informed, so you should only entrust that data to the best customer database software. Of course, “best” is a difficult term to pin down. Instead, you should be looking for a tool that helps your business find solutions to your own unique customer database management needs.
Here are some important factors to consider when choosing a customer database option:
Trust and security
Your customers trust you with their data. You need a customer database tool that is worthy of that trust. Database software that operates entirely out of the cloud is the answer. By storing all data securely offsite behind the best encryption precautions available, web-based customer database software protects client info from dangers both real and virtual. When you can trust the security of your customer database, your customers will be able to trust you.
When you invest in a customer data solution, you want something you can rely on. Make sure the tool you choose is one that gets updated frequently. Updates keep security tight, tools relevant, and processes running smoothly. Your customer database software handles the most important data your business has, so be sure that you can always depend on it to be up to date.
Ease of integration
A customer database is a useful tool for organizing, analyzing, and retrieving customer data, but it’s not the only tool your company needs. Your business is supported by a number of other software and processes that all need to be able to function together. Customer database solutions that integrate seamlessly with your other systems will save you (and your IT team) valuable time.
On the subject of your IT team, how fair is it to give them full responsibility of training your employees on how to use every new software tool? Overly complex software solutions, or ones without clear controls, can hurt employee adoption rates. Instead, look for customer database software that features intuitive controls and multichannel support options. That way, your teams will be able to get the most out of it without having to get IT involved.
Your business isn’t an out-of-the-box company, so why should you settle for an out-of-the-box solution? Customer database software that can be customized and configured to match your needs will help ensure that your tool is always working for you — not the other way around.
When it comes to cost, you have to look at your software solutions as investments. A more expensive tool may result in a higher ROI, making it an overall less expensive choice than one with lower initial cost but lower ROI. To determine whether a customer database solution is worth the investment, do some research. Read online reviews and take advantage of any free trial periods, and then make your choice when you’ve found something worth the cost.
What should you look for in a customer database solution?
Eighty-three percent of business executives agree that their service department plays a strategic role in the overall business. In other words, if you want to keep your clients coming back for more, you need to be able to provide top-notch customer service. Database software, when combined with the advantages offered by an effective CRM, allows you to do just that. Salesforce’s CRM platform (and Marketing Cloud in particular) gives you access to advanced centralized analytics, so you can track and examine customer data across campaigns, gaining valuable insight in the process.
Salesforce makes it possible for you to use client data to improve your client's’ experience. Personalize marketing efforts, map 1-to-1 customer journeys across channels, devices, and stages, and improve user engagement — all through the advantages of cloud-based CRM and customer database software. Additionally, Marketing Cloud is entirely web based, accessible over any desktop, laptop, or mobile device, so you’ll never have to pause the customer journey just because you aren’t sitting at your desk.
CRM and database solutions turn information into customer satisfaction.
Gartner predicts that the global CRM market will reach $3.65 billion during 2017. Take advantage of that power for your customer database solution. With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can show your customers you care enough about the numbers to not treat them like numbers.
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