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How to Implement a Successful Customer Data Management System

By Janet Taylor Subscribe to RSS | March 21st 2012 | Views:
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Managing one's customer data, and using it to direct the main focus to a 'customer first' approach, is still a relatively innovative concept for some businesses yet the success of the business and its marketing strategy depends on easy accessibility to essential customer data.

The business benefits of customer data management (CDM) are manifold: understanding trends and customer buying habits, thus allowing you to anticipate needs; the ability to readily identify high-value customers and more efficient, targeted marketing, to name a few. However, implementing a successful system for managing customer data is complex. Information must be collected in a central database, analyzed to give meaningful results and stored in such a way that it is quickly and easily accessible to any team member who wishes to utilize it.

Many businesses, not surprisingly, make the decision to outsource their customer data management. Many service providers are able to provide businesses with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or cloud-based CDM solutions. The system can be implemented rapidly and saves the necessity for having on-site IT support thus making it highly cost-effective. Cloud-based solutions also eliminate the need to store vast amounts of data and concerns about security can be laid to rest. Your CDM provider should be able to customize the system to the needs of any particular business or industry.

InSite is an industry leader in customer feedback solutions and data management systems for businesses that are looking for an integrated approach to collecting and sharing information. The system can be fully customized and is completely scalable, ensuring that your CDM system can grow as your business grows. An efficient CDM system should enable businesses to streamline their operations; customer data can be made available to any team member as necessary, even if they are working remotely, and information can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Customized applications can improve sales, marketing, customer support and management. Having a well-informed staff where everyone can offer quality customer service tends to make a good impression. An efficient CDM system can help a business both retain existing customers and attract new ones.

Not all employees will readily embrace a customer-focused approach to sales. For the successful implementation of a CDM system, all key players need to be on board with the concept, which may represent a paradigm shift for some. Every team member should receive training and be able to access technical support readily if needed.

Privacy and security may also be concerns. Customers can be extremely nervous about allowing businesses access to their personal information, and rightly so. A successful CDM system will ensure privacy. Additionally, every business needs to be assured that their data is secure from both physical threats: fire, flood or theft, for example, and electronic threats. In choosing a CDM supplier, these questions must be asked and satisfactorily answered.

Customer data management is not a new fad; it is a vital way for businesses to develop meaningful, and profitable relationships with their customers. Managing large amounts of data and analyzing and utilizing it effectively to increase sales requires a reliable and trustworthy CDM system.

Janet Taylor - About Author:
Janet Taylor writes for InSite Systems, a leader in surveys systems and a pioneer of customer feedback software. For more information about our online survey tool visit http://www.insitesystems.com

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