Data Management: Keeping Your Customers Straight to Encourage Customer Loyalty

Good data management is about more than keeping track of a customer’s phone number and address – it can be used to increase customer loyalty.
If you don’t manage your business’s data correctly, it can be easy to lose track of important information like customer birthdays, purchases, and other special occasions you can use to reward your customers.

Using a good data management program or company can simplify the process, so as a business owner you can focus more of your time increasing customer loyalty rather than sorting through piles of data.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how good data management practices can help show your customers you care, while increasing brand or company loyalty at the same time.

Start Tracking Customer Data
If you don’t collect and manage customer data, you won’t be able to track purchases, customer behavior, mailing addresses and phone numbers, and other information relevant to your business and clients.
If you haven’t thought about it, now is the time to start researching data integration tools. Using pen and paper to keep your data sorted isn’t enough – there are plenty of affordable software packages and data management companies that can simplify the process and be fully customized to your business’s needs.

Ensure that the method you use to track and manage your customer data is fully scalable; as your business and client base grows, so does the data that you collect.
Think about the future and make sure the software offers all the features you need, from cloud-based storage to mobile access.
Although it’s possible to migrate from one data management tool to another, it can be much easier to do some research and find a tool that best suits your business from the start.

Consider What’s Relevant
Once you’ve found a tool to collect and manage your customer data, consider what type of data you’ll collect.
If you’re using the data to encourage customer loyalty, think about what kind of programs you’ll use to reward your clients. Once you know exactly how you’ll use the data, it’ll be much easier to collect and manage.
If you go in blind, you could end up collecting irrelevant information that offers no significant value to your business or your customers.

For example, if you plan to send out gift certificates or discounts on your customers’ birthdays, make sure you collect their date of birth and mailing address.
Set up a reminder for all the birthdays that occur during a given month, and mail out your rewards so they reach your customers in time.
Simple rewards programs like these can encourage customer loyalty and show them that you care.

If you plan to track purchases and offer rewards based on a dollar amount spent or number of visits, ensure that the software can be fully integrated into your point-of-sale system, or that you can easily add the data as it occurs.
If you don’t accurately track purchases, you could end up with unhappy customers who may choose to take their business elsewhere.

Whatever programs you choose to offer to your customers, ensure you’re collecting the relevant data from the beginning.
Keep it organized and accessible, and set up reminders and notifications so you can keep track of dates and special occasions.

Keep the Data Organized
Loyalty360, a loyalty-marketers association, found that the success of loyalty programs relied heavily upon data integration.
That being said, Loyalty360 found that while 7 in 10 companies could integrate data, 61 percent said that data integration is still a challenge for them.

data management creates customer loyalty
Image courtesy of Jeanne Claire Maarbes /

As your business grows, so will your database and the data that you collect.
If you don’t properly manage your data and keep things organized as you grow and add customers, it can be easy to lose track of your customers and the loyalty programs you offer. This can be especially true if you collect data from multiple channels.

Assess how your data management system is working for both your business and your customers from time to time across the entire organization.
Don’t forget to include employee input, as they may have valuable insight on how you could improve the system and the company’s processes.
It can also be a good idea to survey your customers to find out how they feel about your loyalty programs and what they would like to see in the future. Data analysis is just as important as data management and integration, so ensure you’re analyzing the data correctly and including data from all channels.

Good data management practices could mean the difference between a successful customer loyalty program and one that fails.
If you haven’t started to collect customer data, now is the time. The organization of your data is just as important as the type of data you collect. Ensure you collect data that’s relevant to your business, and that you keep it organized as you grow and add more customers.

Brian Flax, freelance writer and holder of a master’s in education technology and a bachelor’s in entertainment business, is experienced in a variety of topics including business management, data integration, and technology.

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