In a company, whatever its activity, customer data is of paramount importance. Nowadays, these files are computerized. Indeed, they are included in commercial management software, or in quotation-invoicing software. Thanks to these files, the company will be able to increase their turnover, because it is an excellent marketing lever. Creatingan effective customer file is therefore necessary to carry out the organization’s business strategy.
What is a customer file?
The customer file is a list of information characteristic of a prospect or a customer. It contains their contact details, orders, and even messages exchanged on social networks. This is a valuable document for a company, because it allows you to know how to act in front of the customer/prospect.
What are the advantages of having a customer file?
The customer file can be of great help to business owners for the following reasons.
Customer data is gathered in one place. This makes it easier to find information about a particular customer. The same applies to contact updates.
Customers’ consumption habits are recorded in the file. You can then situate yourself in relation to the strategy you will use to convince him to buy a specific product.
Databases and information useful for mail merges can be exported without difficulty. Thus, it will be easier for the company to customize the emails to be sent to the customer.
Establish a good business strategy
Thanks to the knowledge of the customer’s needs, his budget and his usual purchases, the company will be able to provide him with relevant offers. The company can use basic software like Microsoft Excel and list complete customer information there. Some dedicated programs are also interesting, but they often require a certain amount of time to get started.
However, regular updating must be made so as not to be mistaken about the current needs of customers. In addition, by combining the management of customer files with simple customer relationship activities (invitations, gift certificates, etc.), you will fake customer loyalty .
What does a customer file contain?
The data to put in the customer file depends on the company’s sector of activity . However, it is essential that the files contain the following basic data:
- type (customer or prospect),
- surname and first name,
- sex (male / female),
- Date of birth
- date of contact,
- origin of the contact (source),
- turnover achieved,
- order history,
- contact history,
- loyalty card: number of products consumed,
- commercial actions to be carried out,
- Dates of telephone interviews
- desired project,
- Other remarks.
In any case, it is necessary to be very clear and precise in the registration of information.
How to collect information to put in the customer file?
The collection of information is done when a new customer makes a purchase. The customer can also give his contact details when preparing a quote or purchase order. In addition, it is possible that he provides them during sales meetings or that he gives them directly to the company.
Regarding data on prospects, the collection can be done by setting up games or contests for example. Or, the company can create an online form or invite it to design a loyalty card.
How do I create an Excel client file?
Creating a customer file requires certain policies to have tidy and complete information. The company must then know how to consider 5 essential points.
1. Gather existing data
First, you must gather all the data contained in the customer contact book, in the activity calendar or in a billing file. Then we have to put them in an Excel file format. The latter contains different tabs that allow you to gather all the information in a single file.
2. Set the customer’s purchase frequency
The company must determine the frequency of purchase of its customer/prospect to analyze quotes and their conversions into contracts. Chefs then need to know if the customer is buying something monthly, per year, or per day. If he buys 2 to 3 times a month, you have to choose the monthly analysis of the file. If it is rarely per month, the quarterly analysis is the most recommended.
3. Compile the data and populate the file.
In an Excel file, the company can gather its data by doing the following:
- List customers.
- Fill in and copy their characteristics : for an individual, the necessary contact details are the email address, postal address, profession, age … While for companies, the information to remember are emails, addresses, phone number, turnover and number of employees.
- Complete the purchase history of customers for the last 3 years. For each period, it is necessary to note the number of purchases and its total amount.
4. Analyze data
Using automated functions in Excel, the company can easily identify:
- The number of active customers : total or periodic.
- The identity of the customer: his seniority, his loyalty, the regularity of his purchases. Thanks to this data, the company will be able to determine the most important customers, according to their weight (evaluated according to their turnover).
- The frequency of purchase of the customer: his average basket, the age of his last purchase …
- The seasonality of the company’s activity : the months when there is the most work, its evolution over the year …
5. Target the actions to be taken
The Excel customer file can help the company easily identify customers who meet the criteria that are considered important. Once the file is in place, the company must take certain actions to contact :
- its former clients who have become inactive to try to bring them back,
- its customers who have less loaded baskets to try to make them discover new products and services,
- its loyal customers to invite them to sponsor other people by giving them a discovery offer.
Keeping the file up to date and analyzing it regularly requires great discipline. However, it must be kept in mind that it is a source of income and added value for a company, and should therefore not be neglected. In-depth analysis and updating should be done at least annually.