What is a Contact Management System?

An average business organization tends to lose about fifty percent (50%) of its customers within a business cycle of five years. 

This mainly occurs due to poorly met customer needs, which keep changing from time to time. So it becomes increasingly important for an organization to effectively understand the requirements of its customers in an effort to keep them coming back for more. 

But it’s easier said than done. Keeping track of every customer in a large company can be quite confusing and sometimes impossible. This is where the need for an automated or semi-automated system comes into play.

This system should be capable of not just storing the details about the pre-existing customers but also performing necessary updates, as well as adding new information about recent customer activities. Such a system can be referred to as a Contact Management System.

Ideas behind the Contact Management System

The principle behind constructing a Contact Management System is to effectively retrieve and implement any information that an organization may have on a pre-existing customer. 

All the information related to a particular customer can be linked and archived only to be retrieved later when they are required most. What should be more noteworthy is the fact that all of this can be arranged over every single terminal and at an affordable cost.

Once a company has established a Contact Management System, it can cater to the needs of the customer better. The records of the customer can now be studied to understand his or her preferences and implement them for each individual lead. This gives way to contact personalization.

By managing contacts, the organization can also look for opportunities to upsell and cross-sell a product or service depending on the customer’s current situation. By doing so, the company achieves a two-part objective. 

On one hand, it establishes a relationship and wins the trust of the customer with consistent assistance. On the other hand, a happy customer can also generate the maximum profits as well as an assured guarantee that he or she will visit the company again sooner or later.

Contact Management Workflow

The first step towards establishing a Contact Management System is to initiate contact with individuals who could be interested in purchasing products or services from the organization. Contact can be initiated in the following ways:

  • Through customer enquiries about a product or service being promoted or advertised by the company.
  • Through cold calling, which is nothing but calling up a random person and enquiring whether he or she might be interested about a new scheme or product.
  • Through internal or external references i.e., known acquaintances, relatives or friends of a pre-existing customer.
  • Through events and exhibitions where people can optionally enroll their details if they are interested about the company and its offers.
  • Through online surveys and website visits made by the customer.

When a lead has been created by implementing the above requisites, it is then time to build on the lead. In order to get the most out of the potential customer, it is important to know as much as possible about their requisites or how much are they willing to spend on what they are trying to achieve.

Regular contact with the individuals ensures that the organization stays up-to-date with their activities. The company personnel can guide the individual to their websites or understand their needs over telephonic conversation. 

All necessary information is recorded and stored as part of the information database. The same can be done online by tracking the IP address of the visitor and recording their browsing history. The organization can now introduce them to several of their finest products or services, and see if they are interested. Even if they are not, the company can record that and move on to a different track. 

Gradually, by understanding their needs, the company zeroes in on the focal point of sales and finally convinces the customer to buy from them. It is often most preferable to make the financial dealing in a face-to-face manner resulting in direct interaction of both parties. The visitor has now become a customer.

At this juncture, it is advisable to register the customer into the company database. Now that the customer has procured the product or service, the organization can record the product details and embed them with the customer. 

By doing this, it becomes easier to tend the customer needs in the future or to ensure proper maintenance and servicing. The information can also be used to update the customer about advanced versions and modifications that could increase product efficiency and robustness. 

The company can then upsell to the same customer. By regularly collecting customer feedbacks, the organization can take note of customer context and behavior and provide them with exactly what they require.

The automation process

In order to ensure that the process of Contact Management becomes more efficient, profitable and cost-effective, it would be wise to automate the entire process to constitute a single automation system capable of performing all that is described above but with less overhead. 

The automation system can set intervals at which to contact the potential customer and to store all his details automatically, as well as feed him necessary information and promotional offer details and attain his feedback. 

Even after the prospective visitor becomes a company customer, the system performs necessary operations to ensure his satisfaction with the company services.

Advantages of a Contact Management System

Opting for a Contact Management System (preferably automated) can provide the following benefits to an organization:

  • Storing of customer information in a well-incorporated data repository from where it can be accessed by any computer terminal in the organization.
  • Maintaining customer records with greater efficiency and less overhead as well as utilizing them to achieve maximum customer satisfaction.
  • Tracking sales records and promoting new offers to enthusiastic customers, indirectly inducing upselling.
  • Implementation of drip marketing using e-mails, social sites and other mediums.
  • Recording customer complaints and improving areas of discrepancy.

In conclusion, to whatever has been said, it should be kept in mind that the customer forms the life-blood of the organization. 

The functioning of the organization should be modeled by keeping the needs of the customer at the center of everything else.

It is because of this reason that strong encouragement is given to organizations to maintain an automated Contact Management System in order to reduce company overhead and serve the customer’s trust better.

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