Best ways to organize your clients and their needs
Having client contact information and other pertinent information on hand is a valuable part of running a successful business. By keeping client files organized, you can immediately access information when clients call about their accounts. You can also save time by not having to sort through various papers and other data when you have an organized and dependable system. Following a few basic steps can help you establish a system that will help you maintain client information in an organized and productive manner. Consider these options to create a system that works for you and your business.
Use Online Resources
The Internet offers many free or inexpensive tools that can help you establish an organized system. Mac users can use Address Book to help store their client’s contact information in an easy-to-use format. Outlook is the Windows version of this program and can help store important client information. Other sites are available online that allow users to import contacts and to save client data.
Establish a Database
Software programs are available to help you store important client information beyond simple contact information. You can keep detailed notes about potential sales leads and notes regarding conversations that you have had with clients. This information can be shared with other individuals in the business so that everyone has access to the same pertinent information. Keeping information in a database also helps you develop rapport with clients because each employee will be aware of previous conversations or issues that arose so that the client does not have to repeatedly communicate the same information. You can also use the database that contains information such as email addresses, phone numbers and birthdays to help distribute information to current clients, such as updates, newsletters or birthday cards.
Keep It Digital
Although nearly every business deals with paper documents, keeping information on a digital level can help you keep your office space de-cluttered. However, you don’t need to have sticky notes with client information or print documents many times. Scan papers into your computer and shred the original paper documents. Write notes on text files. This strategy also helps you to find information more quickly. For example, instead of scouring around an office to find an important paper, you can do a simple word search for it on a computer to find the information in mere seconds. If you do not want papers to be altered, you can make them PDF files. Be sure that you routinely backup your files so that you do not lose important information if your computer acts up.
Set Up a Temporary Storage Solution
Although you will need a more permanent system for client files and documents, setting up a temporary system can help you decrease the potential for clutter. An inbox can help you keep track of new documents so that you can later place them where they go. You may want to invest in letter trays or a filing unit that you can use to sort documents, such as sales lists, contact information, new orders, memos and other important papers. A labeling device can help you keep everything streamlined.
Keeping both an electronic and paper file for each client can help you stay organized. Rather than having a large folder with documents for various clients or a computer folder that has multiple files for various clients, keep an alphabetized folder for each customer or client. Label these folders as such on your tangible files and your computer files.
Keep Everything Separate
You may have other items for each client. Use expandable folders or bins for each client. Keeping separate areas for each client can help prevent you from getting documents or other items confused with each other.
Set Daily and Weekly Goals
Set chronological goals to help stay organized. Add these goals to a white board, bulletin board or memo board. Having a visual aid can help remind you of important deadlines and projects so that you can stay focused on work that must be completed immediately.
Keeping your clients and their needs organized can help you provide the best services for your clients. By using electronic tools, databases and basic organization skills, you can achieve this goal one client at a time.
Alex Hudson is a technical advocate writing on a variety of topics including: property ID labels, product reviews, and business decisions.