Looking to spark more sales for your local business this month? Get to know your customers better!

Iunnamed-2n recent research, Gallup found that “consumers will give more money to the businesses they feel emotionally connected to,” resulting in a “23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer.” One essential route to engaging clients, according to the research, is establishing a consistently great experience every time a business interacts with them. How then can small businesses ensure that excellent customer service happens every time? The simplest way is to implement a proper customer relationship management (CRM) software, like Signpost, that not only can track all interactions a small business has with its customers, but also can automatically aggregate new customer information from text, email or phone calls. From there, a local business owner can use that information to create targeted email campaigns and loyalty offers.

A good CRM should be able to answer the following questions about customers:

1. What is the best way to reach each customer?

Actively gathering and updating information on how to contact your customers by email, phone, and text message will make it much easier for you to market to them. In fact, studies find that 80% of sales leads require at least five follow ups after the initial contact or meeting. Numbers like this prove it’s crucial to know how to effectively follow up with potential customers.

There are several ways to ask for a customer’s contact information without being pushy. Some retailers offer a discount to customers who join their email or mobile messaging list upon making a purchase. Other businesses regularly include special offers in their email lists to encourage customers to sign up. Many professional service businesses will post free white papers on their websites that require an email for downloading purposes.

Manually gathering customer data can be a pain. Make sure you investigate solutions, like Signpost, that will automatically aggregate it.

2. Have you done business together before?

It’s much easier for customers to make a purchase from you if they don’t have to repeat information (such as the address where they would like something delivered) each time they contact you.

Technology can help you streamline the process. For instance, Signpost’s advanced caller ID function identifies callers and automatically adds them to your customer contact list. That way, when they call again, you will be able to quickly access their information without having to ask them to repeat it.

3. How much do they spend with you?

Every customer deserves great service, but to grow your business, you should know who your best customers are and show them special appreciation. Cultivating these relationships is what will really help you to move the needle on your revenue. Which of your customers are most or least active? Does your CRM note this for your future marketing efforts?

Consider these facts: Your best customers are worth 30 times more than your average customers, according to business intelligence platform RJMetrics. Perhaps even more insightful from this report is that the top 1% spend as much as the bottom 50% put together.

It is easy to lose track of what people are actually spending in the daily hustle of running your business, but your CRM system should automatically gather and collect this information to save you time, money and manpower.

4. How did they find you?

It is essential for small businesses without big marketing budgets to understand what types of outreach are most effective. Did your best customers call you after a referral from a friend, uncover your business through a Google search, or show up because of an in-store event? The more you can do to identify trends from sales leads, the more you’ll know about what’s working for you.

If you don’t have this information at your fingertips, start using your CRM system to gather it. It will help you plan future marketing efforts that pull in similar types of customers.

5. Have they been happy with the service you’ve offered?

Customer reviews can heavily influence new prospects’ willingness to do business with you, so make sure you keep a close eye on them. A survey by ZenDesk found that 88 percent of respondents were influenced in making buying decisions by online reviews. In fact, 92 percent of consumers believe recommendations from friends, family and even online testimonials more than they do any form of advertising.

Satisfied customers might not automatically give you reviews, so you may have to ask for them. A CRM that can automate this, like Signpost, is an excellent source to send customers prompts to review your business.