DataFor a few months now I’ve been working with a client to connect SalesForce to their website. Overall it has been a good and interesting process. Originally they just wanted to keep their user/company data sync’d but exploring what I have access to as far as SalesForce data I found a goldmine to improve the relationship between the company and their customers. My client has been pretty diligent about keeping records when ever they interact with a customer. They record when ever they talk to the customer on the phone, what the conversation was about, every email, every product/service order, what certifications they have, and a ton of company information. All of which I have access to and the ability to pull it into the website.

Because my client is so meticulous about collecting data I have the opportunity to customize the user’s experience on the website based on the company/customer interaction history. For example, my client has conferences every six months. Since my client records which customers have gone to the conferences I can write code to push customers who usually go to the conferences to sign up early. Or give those who have never gone or haven’t gone to the last few a discount to sign up. When the conference is over with attendees usually get exclusive downloads, I can write code to automatically give attendees access to those downloads based on the information in SalesForce. The possibilities are endless but none of this would be possible if my client didn’t keep these sort of records. So should you. It doesn’t need to be in SalesForce either. Most point of sales systems, if setup properly have similar functions so you can take this concept offline.

The more you record about each of your customers, the better stats you can get, and most importantly the better you can serve them. Take for example Great Clips before they give you a haircut they look up your account and can see a history of how they cut your hair. No matter which Great Clips I go to, they can in theory cut my hair the same based on my past history, granting I want the same haircut. This concept can apply to pretty much any product or service based business. Pet Supplies Plus sends me an email letting me know certain items I have bought in the past are on sale. The email is just for me. These are all different ways to reengage your customers and to serve them better. Only possible because these companies keep a record of my purchase history.

This week, take some time to think up or develop a system to track customer data. What data would be useful to your business? What data about your customers could you use to engage them or server them better? Maybe your POS has some build in features that could make this easier or an application like SalesForce.