Definition of Customer Database
A customer database is a collection of information that includes lead contact details like a person’s first and last names, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. It can also include the following data:
- Demographic characteristics: age, gender, marital status, household composition
- Profession-related characteristics: job position, mutual contacts
- Buying behavior: shopping preferences, past purchases, the average sum of bill or invoice, previous cancellations
- Firmographics (for B2B clients): industry, number of employees, ownership, etc.
How complete your customer database is depends on your goals, the type of data you collect, the leads you have, and how your company is going to use this information. Descriptive fields for unqualified leads and loyal customers may differ significantly. While the first ones can consist of only name, email, phone number, and gender, the second ones can include more substantial information. Say, the address, information about kids/spouses/parents (if any), previously ordered goods, or the responsible account manager’s contacts.
Why Build a Customer Database
As online sales increase in frequency, making the most of the online traffic will be crucial for driving your business forward. By focusing on building a customer database, you’ll gain valuable insights about your customers to then leverage into sales decisions. For example, you might find that one of your products is particularly popular with the 18-29 year-old age group. You could then look to promote the product with links to buy it on social media where younger consumers are more likely to visit. The database insights will give you a clearer plan for upselling and improving your business performance.
A customer database also provides an opportunity to build rapport with your customers. You can inform them on product updates, new services, and communicate your strategies to keep them informed. It also offers an opportunity to show your human side, interacting with your customers and showing them that you care. Effective and honest communication leads to loyalty and brand affinity — just be careful not to spam your customers.
Importance of Customer Database
With more emphasis towards the use of statistical techniques, methodologies, and applications to develop models of customer behavior, attitudinal data, business patterns, future forecasts, and decision making marketers tend to be heavy users of customer Databases. Business Intelligence tools help to enhance business operations with interactive access and manipulation of data. A customer database, which is an internal database, is usually preferred than a data warehouse for marketing purposes as a data warehouse can contain a large pool of unstructured information which is irrelevant for marketing purpose and requires additional business intelligence tools for analysis. Database marketing helps target the right customers at the right time. However, a customer database carries only the relevant information in a structured format which can be retrieved or analyzed using simple queries or minimal business intelligence tools.
Customer Database Management Tool Selection Criteria
When selecting a customer database app for review consider the following evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Does it look modern or outdated? The best database management software will work well AND look good.
- Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Easy database software will offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
- Features & Functionality:
- Backup Client Base Online – Client databases need some sort of backup system to ensure the safety and longevity of your valuable data. An online backup system is ideal so that you can access it anywhere. However, you will also want to be sure they employ the best safety standards for all your client data.
- Reporting and Analysis – Does the software offer a number of reporting tools and data visualizations? Are the reports easily downloadable and shareable?
- Robust Search Functionality – Does the system make it easy to search and sort data in different ways? How far back do the results go? Can you narrow search terms to get the most relevant data for your query?
- Mobile App/Access – With today’s mobile workforce, you might want a client database app that is smartphone compatible so that you can access your client details on-the-go. Considering the increasing number of remote or off-site workers, having an iOS and/or Android app is a huge plus.
- Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?
Benefits of using a Customer Database
Customer Database is of immense importance to the growth of a business. Marketing and sales can be improved a lot with the help of the data that one gets. All that is required is to analyze and strategize. Here are some of the advantages of customer databases.
- Simplicity: The organized way in which data is stored in a database makes it much more helpful. It becomes a convenient and fast process to retrieve any data that you want.
- Analysis: Various tools can be used to analyze data when it is stored in a machine. Microsoft Excel, Power View, and Power Pivot make analysis simple and interpretation of the data much more accessible.
- Data privacy and security: The identity of the users is authenticated. Only the users who are authorized can access the data that conforms to the database’s security features. There are various levels at which a particular user can view data. All the users aren’t allowed access to all the data, thus maintaining the security and privacy of the consumers’ data.
With so much emphasis on the statistical techniques and applications to develop various models and make predictions, data is a must. Tools for business intelligence help enhance the various operations in business and make correct decisions. Thus, maintaining a customer database can be a useful tool for utilizing various machine learning and artificial intelligence methods. This helps predicts the various outcomes of a decision and its probabilities, making the decision-making process a lot easier.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Customer Data
- Customer Data Management (CDM)
- Customer Data Platform (CDP)
- Customer Demographics