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Know Thy Customer By Marty Juarez, COO & VP of Franchising for More Space Place, Inc. and no limit in the number of customer entries. This software should not cost you more than a few hundred dollars. There is no trick to having this invaluable tool. The difficult part is that YOU must build it. Be it daily, weekly, monthly or annually, it takes time and effort to enter the data into your CRM. The wise business owner will make customer tracking questions and inputting these answers a regular part of everyday operations. In asking questions and tracking information about your customers from the beginning, the simplest being how your customers heard about you, you will later know if your advertising is working and what methods worked the best. Depending upon your business and product, you can track other variables such as advertising cost per customer, . seasonal variables and the amount of time it PHOTOS took to see results from a marketing activity. T franchise system that is supposed to have many of the it later. Imagine how valuable it will be to have a database of emailAnother separate item that should be noted isWith a CRM, the information can be organized so you can searchwhat your customers are requesting, praising and most importantly,complaining about.here are dozens, likely hundreds, of things to considerwhen you are preparing to launch a business. Everyonehas questions. They exist whether you are joining a answers to your questions (and perhaps more importantly, the addresses that you can periodically send notices about upcoming answers for the questions that you did not know to ask), venturing events, promotions and specials to. out alone with your own concept, or are somewhere in between with some variation of distribution, Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) or Here are some other ideas for getting meaningful measurements: subcontract agreement. •Use unique contact information for ads and Point of Purchase One key question that MUST be answered before a location is (POP) promotions. Set up multiple 800 numbers or website landing selected, the store is designed and certainly before any advertising pages to see which generates the highest volume. is placed - - is simply, “Who is my customer?” •If you have a website, use the free tool Google Analytics to track You have a product or service that you would like to take to market. website traffic and tie the traffic to recent promotions and things Through whatever means you finally arrive at, you must determine to like email blasts that you send to your distribution list. If you send whom you will market your product. The fact is that the long-term out an email that has a link to an offer on your website, Google success of your business relies on reaching your customers and secondarily, Analytics can show you the response traffic and time spent on your building enough of a relationship with them that they will return for more pages during that time period. or refer you to other customers. Hopefully they will do both! •Along with a standard web site consider building Quick Response You are marketing your business in multiple ways: advertising, (QR) pages and codes, then use the QR codes on everything from running promotions, creating and attending events – but how do vehicles to print pieces. you know what is really working? The reality is that a lot of business •In an advertisement or product show, use a unique offer to help owners do not know. If you are not tracking the results of your efforts you to keep track of the number of orders, leads generated or sales then at the very least, you are not spending your money wisely. In a to determine the return for that expenditure. more extreme scenario, you are starving your business. There is an economical and powerful answer that is relatively When you have tracking mechanisms in place, it is critical that inexpensive to implement from the start to help you answer the questions are regularly asked and that one person inputs the results million dollar question, “Who is my customer?” The answer to your on a regular basis. Then when you consider repeating a marketing question about your customers is to use a Customer Relationship activity, or are budgeting for the next year, you will be able to use Manager (CRM) software/database. There are numerous brands real numbers and past performance to determine where your money available but I recommend one that has fields that can be personalized has been well-spent! 58Opportunity World • March-April 2012 www.OpportunityWorld.com


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