Recording your customer contact history

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It is crucial to any business that when coming in contact with customers you record it in an appropriate, organised manner. This will help you predict future sales and prevent the loss of knowledge if an experienced staff member leaves.

In any business, it is important that you have a single, organised system that keeps a record of customer interactions. Not only does this enable you to better predict sales in the future, but it also safeguards your business if an employee with a lot of customer knowledge is lost.

In this video we see the owner of Maria’s Pasta, Paul Italiano, speak with MYOB co-founder, Craig Winkler, about the troubles Maria’s Pasta faced after losing their experienced head of sales. Craig and Paul:

  1. Identify Maria’s Pasta’s desired customer
  2. Recognise the importance of good customer records management (CRM) software
  3. Identify how CRM would benefit a business.

Business tools

Recording your customer contact history

Download the resource document and as you watch take some notes, and complete the activity with your business in mind. How would you implement CRM software in your business? Would it be easy for you to justify its use to your employees?

Customer relationship management (CRM) template

How is your customer information being filed? Whether it’s in a filing cabinet or online, the important thing is that your data is being stored simply and consistently, in a way that can be understood by anyone in the business. Customer relationship management (CRM) is the answer.

The main advantage of customer relationship management (CRM) is that it can be used by anybody in a business, not just the sales team. It allows everyone access to customer and sales information, where this data can be viewed and used as required.

The resource document on this page is a CRM template that can be used by your business, and should ideally be stored online using Google Docs or Dropbox (with regular backups, of course). This template covers three key areas to do with customer management with examples, and provides a separate sheet for each template:

  1. An overview including basic information, potential value and lead status
  2. A sales log tracking previous sales
  3. Personal and contact information for customers.

Prospect information file template

A large part of the sales process is making sure that you have recorded and stored information on all of your prospects, in a safe and efficient manner. For many businesses, this will be in the form of an online service such as Salesforce, although often a simple document – such as the one included here – will suffice.

There are many different ways of recording prospect information, but the most important rule for prospecting is that you have all of the information at your fingertips in order to give or receive sales and marketing information.

Microsoft Office, Salesforce and many other sales and business advice websites offer downloadable templates for the storage of prospect information.

However you decide to store this prospecting information, remember that the more data you have on hand, the better prepared you will be to make the call, provide the information required or make the sale.

A simple table, such as the one provided in the resource document, provides a practical guide to what you should include. If your company has a Customer Record Management system (CRM) make sure that you are familiar with it and that it is regularly updated.