Understanding Your Customers

Stage Three – Accessing Information

With information collected and stored centrally, the next stage is to make this information available to the staff in the most useful format. Options include:

  • Investing in caller recognition, so staff can have customer details at their desktops before they even answer the phone;
  • Making information available through a corporate intranet or company network so staff can find proposals, correspondence and other related information;
  • Enabling staff to search e-mail customer correspondence;
  • If appropriate, allowing staff to search financial applications to query payment and order status issues;
  • Giving staff easy access to external service providers like online couriers or trading partners; and
  • If you have a large customer base that you deal with predominantly by phone, it may be worth investing in Computer Telephone Integration (CTI) to link your staff directly to customer information stored on a computer.

With all systems operating from the same data, it’s vital that this information is accurate. To ensure accuracy, clean and update records regularly to remove duplicate entries and let customer update their details online.

The personal and financial information of your customers needs to be held securely to prevent fraud, hacking, accidental deletion, or any infringement of data protection and computer misuse legislation. Before you roll out your database across the business, make sure you build in adequate safety measures and review your intended use against data protection legislation. For more about data protection and information security, read the Technology and the law brochure.

What Everyman did…

Next, Everyman built a web services programme that interrogates new bookings to retrieve specific information such as the person’s e-mail address, whether the tickets were bought as a result of a specific promotion etc. This information is moved over to the marketing database, which was made available to all staff and which continues to grow as more relevant information is added.

Published by the Department of Trade and Industry. www.dti.gov.uk
© Crown Copyright. URN 04/1724; 10/04

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