Contacts and relationships are the lifeblood of any business. They also come in all shapes and sizes–from supporters, partners, and media to customers and evangelists. With more businesses operating online and on social media, your ability to reach out to and connect with these people has increased exponentially. Imagine yourself on any given day, talking to 50 customers, replying to the 100 emails in your inbox, and interacting with thousands of Twitter followers.
This reality has changed the way you manage and build your relationships. There are too many contacts who are on too many different channels.
Luckily, a simple contact management system will help to streamline all the relationships in your business. A contact manager is a program that enables you to store, track, and manage all your interactions with contacts.
In sixeasy steps, I’ll show you how to create your own contact management system that will identify the most important contacts and qualified prospects for your business. Let’s get started.
Setting Up Your Contact Management System
You will need three tools:
- Google Docs for your contact manager.
- IFTTT, a tool that will automatically create lists of contacts with whom you interact.
- HootSuite, a social media management dashboard.
Next, follow these steps:
1. Define Key Attributes for Your Contacts
When do you consider a contact a lead? How do you differentiate between a customer and an evangelist? Identify the key characteristics that you look for and group them. This will help you frame the contexts of your interactions. To start, use the following categories:
- Leads and prospects
These categories will be the “tag” that you assign to contacts in step 2.
2. Set Up Your Contact Management Database
Create a Google Docs spreadsheet with the column headings shown in the image below to record important contact information.
3. Start Tracking Contacts Who Interact With You
Set up IFTTT to record each contact who interacts with you on Twitter into a list. For example, when someone new follows you on Twitter, they will be placed into your “followers” list. In addition to the categories earlier, create lists on IFTTT to segment your contacts:
4. Use a Social Media Dashboard to Manage Interactions Online
Next, set up HootSuite’s social media dashboard to quickly browse and interact with your contacts. Follow these steps:
- Sign up for HootSuite.
- Connect your Twitter account.
- Create a stream. A stream is a column in the HootSuite app which we will use to display your various Twitter lists.
- Create six lists for your different contact categories.The lists will already be available from when you created them in IFTTT. Just select the appropriate lists and click “Create Stream.”
- Create three search queries to track and engage new leads on Twitter.
Twitter search allows you to set up searches specific keywords relevant to your business and industry. From inside HootSuite, you can set up each search to be its own stream. To decide which keywords you should be searching for, pay close attention to the type of words customers use when talking about your industry. Explore how they describe their problems and the solutions they are looking for.
You can also use search to find leads who are conducting research and inquiring about your competition—through searches for their brand name.
For example, you could find a lead who is asking if anyone has any experience with a certain competitor, or is unhappy with their current solution. Set up searches for the following:
- People who tweet keywords relevant to your business/industry.
- People who tweet about your competition.
- Industry leaders you would like to build relationships with.
5. Create a Dashboard to Visualize Your Relationships
A dashboard helps you to quickly analyze and understand the type of relationships you have in your business. Each week, you will be able to track your efforts and see how they have affected those relationships. By using a simple formula, Google Docs will automatically calculate the number of contacts in the different “categories” in your contact management system and update those numbers for you.
6. Interact and Grow Your Relationships
Relationships can go stale and lose touch if you don’t continually interact with your contacts. The only difference is that you are now tracking what you do and can see how you affect those relationships. After a lead has turned into a customer or a customer has turned into an evangelist, you can log that into your contact manager and see a tangible return on your efforts.
Tweet your prospects, answer their questions, offer them advice, and when the time comes, they will remember you. Maybe they will tweet you back, or they’ll sign up for and evangelize your product/service. Either way, you’ll know when you reach those 100 contacts.
A DIY Guide to Creating a Contact Management System? ›
Contact management software vs. customer relationship management (CRM) Although contact management software and CRM software overlap in some areas, there is a difference: A contact management system offers basic features, whereas CRM software provides advanced tools to integrate sales, marketing and reporting tasks.How do I create a contact database? ›
- Get every new customer to complete a form (on your website or at your premises) that will automatically capture their details and populate your database of contacts.
- Send a postcard or letter to your clients giving them an incentive to sign up on your website.
Contact management software vs. customer relationship management (CRM) Although contact management software and CRM software overlap in some areas, there is a difference: A contact management system offers basic features, whereas CRM software provides advanced tools to integrate sales, marketing and reporting tasks.How do you organize a contact database? ›
- Centralize your information. Hopefully, you're already using one application to store email addresses, phone numbers, and home addresses. ...
- Categorize your clients. Consider labeling your clients in a number of ways to be able to properly filter them. ...
- Set reminders.
The act of keeping, organizing, and managing information about your customers, prospects, and sales leads is known as contact management. In its most basic form, you may manage your contact data with an address book or an Excel or Google spreadsheet that includes entries for everyone with whom you do business.How do I create a contact database in Excel? ›
- Step 1: Set up a data spreadsheet framework. Open an Excel spreadsheet, place your cursor in the A1 cell, and type in your database title. ...
- Step 2: Add or import data. ...
- Step 3: Convert your data into a table. ...
- Step 4: Format the table. ...
- Step 5: Save your database spreadsheet.
- Step 1: Choose your software. The first step is to find a capable software solution you can organize your CRM database around. ...
- Step 2: Gather and input the information you have. ...
- Step 3: Adjust your processes. ...
- Step 4: Review and adjust.
- Ensure effective communication between marketing and sales teams. ...
- Prioritize transparency. ...
- Leverage built-in integrations. ...
- Use application integration tools. ...
- Automate everything you can. ...
- Use your business communication app. ...
- Sort messages in your inbox.
Communication Tracking. With Excel, there is no way to track your communication with leads and customers. Even if you want to add the dates and times of when you contacted a lead, the data has to be entered manually. With CRM software though, all your communication can be tracked.Do I need a CMS or CRM? ›
If you sell products online and spend a lot of time updating your site, you'll probably want a reliable CMS to streamline things. Conversely, if you spend more time interacting with clients and following leads, a CRM will serve you well.
How do you manage contacts effectively? ›
- Clean your data. The digital universe is huge and continues to double in size every two years. ...
- Use a centralized database. Contact data plays a vital role in every department of every business. ...
- Segment your contacts. ...
- Prioritize security. ...
- Sync your data.
- Add a sign-up form everywhere prospects go. ...
- Boost sign-up activity. ...
- Address visitors' privacy concerns. ...
- Add incentives to sign up. ...
- Create a great landing page. ...
- Include testimonials in your landing page. ...
- Use social media to turn your fans into subscribers.
- Go to the People & Sharing section of your Google Account.
- Under "Contacts," select Contact info from your devices.
- Turn Save contact info from your devices on or off.
- Telephone. ...
- Messaging and Mobile Apps. ...
- Web Conference/Video Calls. ...
- Customer Data Analytics.
- Location and Infrastructure. A suitable location would be close to the city, with affordable building or renting costs and access to essential call center technologies. ...
- Agents. ...
- Technology. ...
- Monitoring and Reporting. ...
- Customer Journey.
The primary purpose of contact management software is to record contact information in a central location to be easily accessed and updated. This information may include names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and social media profiles.How do I use Excel as a CRM? ›
- Download our free CRM Excel template. ...
- In the Opportunities sheet, delete sample data and add your own. ...
- Define your own sales process and opportunity stages. ...
- Modify opportunity status and opportunity stages in the Settings sheet.
On the File tab, click New, and then click Blank Database. Type a file name in the File Name box. To change the location of the file from the default, click Browse for a location to put your database (next to the File Name box), browse to the new location, and then click OK. Click Create.How do I convert Excel to contacts? ›
- Click 'File," then "Save As."
- Type a name for the contact list in the "File Name" text box. ...
- Click "File" again and click "Save As" to reopen the "Save As" window.
- Click the "Save As Type" drop-down box and select "CSV (Comma Delimited) (*. ...
- Open Windows Explorer and find the file.
Building a CRM system from scratch can transform the way you manage customer relationships from start to finish. The main benefit is that you can customize your CRM however you'd like. You get every feature you need without the bloat of features you're never going to use.
Can we create our own CRM? ›
You can build your own CRM to become a base for your other business software. This way, all your company departments will have their own focused and convenient tool with a centralized database.Can you build your own CRM software? ›
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system that helps businesses organize and manage their customer relationships. It is basically a big database for customer information. Since every business is a little different, it can be helpful to create your own CRM to meet your exact needs.Can I use Google contacts as my CRM? ›
Google Contacts manages and centralizes your client data.
The quicker you get on top of your data as a small business, the better. The most obvious Gmail go-to for managing prospect, client, and partner data is to use Google Contacts as a CRM.
A CRM system drives sales and an ERP system streamlines business operations to reduce overall costs. One cannot be substituted for the other because that's not what they're designed to do. Together, the two systems can maximise business growth. Luckily, many solution providers offer both types of systems.Does Google have a contact management system? ›
Organize, manage, and share your Google contacts
You can choose the labels yourself and add new ones whenever needed. You can also manage all your contacts' details in the same place, and easily add notes and other information in the contact details. Adding custom fields is also possible.
CRM is widely used in the hospitality sector, mainly in hotels. With the help of effective CRM solutions hotels are able to maintain databases of their guests and potential guests in an organized and accessible way.What is the most important data in CRM? ›
1. Identity Data. Identity data includes descriptive details that can be used to identify your customers, leads, and contacts. Ideally, this data should support your targeted outreach efforts.Should you create your own CMS? ›
If you just need a simple website with basic features, a ready-made content management system like WordPress could be a great option for you. If you want your website to stand out and offer a user-friendly interface with advanced features - a custom CMS is a right choice for you.Should I write my own CMS? ›
Before you decide to build your own CMS, make sure your development resources can meet all of these requirements. If your developers are good in one area but not the others, you're likely to end up with a CMS that doesn't come close to meeting your needs. In that case, you'd be better off using a pre-built CMS.Do small companies need a CRM? ›
A CRM at its most basic level lets you see the statuses of your customers. Small businesses need CRM for every time you make a call, contact the customer or your prospects and leads by email or SMS you can easily update all your customer related information along with their current status in your CRM.
What should I store my contacts in? ›
Store lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace the case at least every three months. Clean the case after each use, and keep it open and dry between cleanings. Use only fresh solution to clean and store contact lenses. Never reuse old solution.How do I create a contact list in CSV? ›
- Go to Google Contacts.
- Select one of the following: A single contact: Check the box next to the contact name. ...
- In the top left, click More actions. Export.
- To back up your contacts, select Google CSV.
- To save your file, click Export.
The short answer is no, you should never try to make your own contact lens solution. Here's why: All the ingredients in commercial contact lens solutions are sterile and made in a sterile environment.How do I create a contact list in Microsoft? ›
- On the People page, on the toolbar, select the arrow next to New contact and then select New contact list.
- Enter a name for the list, and then add names or email addresses.
- Select Create.
Contact management systems pull customer information from various sources and can automatically segment this data based on common characteristics. These systems are cloud-based, so sales and support agents can access customer information from anywhere with Wi-Fi at any time.What type of software is contact managers? ›
"Contact management software" is a catch-all term for data management software that encompasses any kind of software that allows you to track prospect, customer, and vendor contact information and communication.What is contact management database? ›
What is a contact management database? A contact management database is a single source of truth for all of your contacts. Sometimes called contact management software, this handy tool typically includes records of all customer interactions and up-to-date contact information.What are the 3 C's of contact centers? ›
The Three Cs of Customer Service course explores Caring, Co-operating and Communication, and how they can help deliver excellent customer service. It provides practical advice regarding these values and how to use them during customer interactions.What are the five pillars of contact centre? ›
This virtual workshop will help transform your thinking around designing contact centers that engage customers through the Five Pillars of Effective Customer Engagement: Customer Support, Analytics, Customer Relationship Management, Knowledge Base, and Self-Service.What makes a good contact center? ›
Empathy is a very important quality of a successful call center agent. A warm and friendly approach will go a long way to developing a good rapport with a caller. An agent must be able to convey a genuine understanding of a customer's concern and ensure them that they are being heard.
What is the most important equipment in a contact center? ›
- Interactive Voice Response (IVRs)
- CRM Systems.
- Call conferencing.
- Call Barging.
- Metrics and Analytics.
- Real-Time Reporting.
- Call Recording & Call Monitoring.
- Predictive Dialers.
Call center equipment typically required by inbound call centers includes a computer, reliable internet, a headset and powerful cloud call center software.What are the key functions of a contact center? ›
Their primary purpose is to offer customers efficient and effective technical support, customer service and sales assistance. Contact centers typically include one or more call centers but may also include other types of customer contact channels, including emails, webchats and social media interactions.What is contact management system summary? ›
Contact management is the process of recording contacts' details and tracking their interactions with a business. Such systems have gradually evolved into an aspect of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which allow businesses to improve sales and service levels leveraging a wider range of data.Are there any disadvantages of using CRM? ›
A lack of commitment or resistance to cultural change from people within the company can cause major difficulties with CRM implementation. Customer relationships may break down and result in loss of revenue, unless everyone in the business is committed to viewing their operations from the customers' perspective.What is a contact database? ›
A database containing names, addresses and other information on sales contacts, used for contact tracking and management purposes.How do I create an office contact list? ›
- On the People page, on the toolbar, select the arrow next to New contact, and then select New contact list.
- Enter a name for the list, and then add names or email addresses.
- Select Create.
- Click Contacts.
- Click Lists.
- Click Create List.
- Give your new list a unique name.
- Click Create.
- Click Add Contacts to:
- Define Key Attributes for Your Contacts. ...
- Set Up Your Contact Management Database. ...
- Start Tracking Contacts Who Interact With You. ...
- Use a Social Media Dashboard to Manage Interactions Online. ...
- Create a Dashboard to Visualize Your Relationships. ...
- Interact and Grow Your Relationships.
- Open the Contacts app.
- Tap on the Groups tab.
- Tab on ADD, toward the upper right corner.
- Name your Contact Group and tap Save.
- Tap the ADD option near the top right corner of your screen.
- Tap to select the desired contacts, then tap Done.
How do I create a contact list in Outlook from Excel? ›
- In your workbook, click the worksheet with the contact information you want to import.
- Click File > Save As.
- Choose where to save your file.
- In the Save as type box, choose CSV (Comma delimited) (*. ...
- Click OK. ...
- Click Yes to have Excel save the current worksheet as a CSV file. ...
- Close the CSV file.
On the File menu, point to New, and then click Contact. Type a name for the new contact. Enter the information that you want to include for the contact.How many emails can I have in Constant Contact? ›
When it comes to your contacts, there is no limit to how many email addresses can be added in your account. Although there is no limit, it's always important to keep in mind we do charge based on the amount of active contacts in your account. So as your contact levels increase, so will your monthly charge.How do I create a contact list in Windows 10? ›
In the Start Search box type in contacts , and then press Enter. On the toolbar, click New Contact Group, type a name in the Group Name box, and then fill in the boxes on the Contact Group tab and the Contact Group Details tab.