Customer Data Management (CDM) is rapidly becoming an indispensable business and marketing tool whose uses continue to increase on an almost daily basis. It is a convenient way to keep track of your contacts and sales history, and now CDM can do much more.
Electronic databases are essential for keeping track of customer information, but in the twenty-first century workplace, much more is needed. Data needs to be analyzed and interpreted and must be readily available from anywhere that team members happen to be — anytime they need it. Customer information systems are no longer just for large companies — small businesses also need the ability to easily access and analyze sales histories and customer information. Customer information systems can identify and analyze sales trends, enable targeted marketing campaigns, create mailing lists for e-newsletters and surveys, analyze feedback from customers, establish high-value customers and help companies establish meaningful dialogues with customers at every stage of the sales cycle. Cloud computing is a natural progression for businesses of all sizes looking for CDM solutions.
Social media has become a major business and marketing tool, and companies should be able to integrate their customer information system with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn: more avenues for marketing and additional insights into their customers. Social networking sites are where your customers (current and future) gather together, and businesses need to connect and engage with them. Social networks are best used for generating dialogue and collaboration, not for direct sales approaches.
If word of mouth is the best form of advertising, then social media is the ideal vehicle for this. Customers will tweet about good (and bad!) experiences they have had, and they will use social networking sites to ask for recommendations. From a business point of view it's all about making connections. It can also help by educating potential customers about your product or service, saving time when you actually start the sales cycle. Businesses can use social media sites to solicit feedback and to offer help and solutions. Additionally, viewing a customer's social profile can help the development and management of a direct marketing campaign. Forward-thinking companies are updating their customer information to include their social media accounts and are responding to customer concerns and queries on Twitter and Facebook. Interacting with your customers via social networking can be a great way to build and strengthen relationships.
InSite is an award-winning global leader in cloud-based management information systems that allow you to connect, engage, and relate to your customers and employees. The company has offices in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. InSite specializes in the development and delivery of customer information systems and human resource information systems to hundreds of clients worldwide, including Nestlé, Disney, University of Houston, Talisman Energy, Via Rail Canada, LG Mobile Phones, and ABC News.