This week we’re doing a little spring cleaning, and today we’re going to tackle the POS customer database.
Whether you want to ensure proper credit is given in loyalty programs or just provide better customer service, keeping your customer database current is vital.
The easiest way to stay on top of the database is to ask customers to verify their information when they’re at the register? Are you still on Oak Street? Is (987) 654-3210 still the best number for you? This is the fastest way to find out if somebody has moved, abandoned a land line, or switched email addresses.
Another way is to gather information throughout the year. If you offer door prize drawings at events, compare the information from the door prize entry with the information you have in your database.
Or I like the way Book People in Sioux City, IA, has incorporated data collection in with their Spring Eggstravaganza event. Customers are invited to “Come in and crack an egg from our basket and receive from 10-25% off your entire purchase (regular priced in store merchandise only).” But while they’re there, if they complete a new contact form, they are entered into a drawing for a prize.
These methods work when customers come into the store. But what happens when they don’t?
If you live in a city or town where this is feasible, read the obituaries. A little morbid, perhaps, but there it is. (I think sympathy cards from the bookstore are a good idea, too.)
You’re going to hate me for this one, but you really should export your list into a spreadsheet and print it so ALL of the staff can look it over. Before you print , though, you can do some quick sorts to identify problem areas directly from the screen. Sort by zip code and any incorrect cities will jump out. Sort by address or last name, and duplicates become obvious.
Once you’ve fixed the obvious errors, sort the list by customer last name and print it so the staff can look it over and fix less obvious errors. Maybe Kathie knows that Ann Davis should be Anne Davis and she prefers Annie. Or maybe you see that Elizabeth G and Richard P Jones were obviously entered from a check and they prefer to be addressed as Liz and Richard. These kinds of adjustments require a human touch. The entire list doesn’t have to be completed at once. Instead, strive to look at 10 pages a day, and fix errors in the database before you tackle the next 10 pages.
And finally, another reason to have everyone on staff help… when we are forced to spend time fixing a database, we might be a bit more careful when entering the information the first time.