Customize Your CRM Tracking the Right Way with Big Data

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Advice, Process | 0 comments

Is your CRM management software giving you too much to work with? Are you overwhelmed with the data you’ve been given, even if the data itself isn’t complex? Not sure where to start with the data that you have? CRM tracking, like many technologies, is a double-edged sword.  It can cut both uncertainty and the application of best principles in two (at the same time, if you’re not careful). To make the best use of it, you do not have to change much in your operation, but you do have to take an introspective view at the reason(s) you collect your data and reassess your priorities in how you collect it. Once you’ve formed a working conclusion, you can customize your CRM tracking to zero in on the members you want to serve, visit after visit. How can you arrive at that conclusion? Ask yourself these questions: What am I looking for? That is, what data is likely to benefit your operation? Even if it may boost your membership indirectly, it’s still good enough to collect and evaluate this data. This post may guide your thoughts as to the kind of data you need for your membership’s growth and enhancement. You may have to form objectives before you look at certain types of CRM data, especially if your system is storing volumes of data already. Where is the beneficial data likely to reside? Depending on the flexibility and depth of your CRM system, this will be easier to answer. The ideal system allows you to search for more than just contact information, and is integrated with other aspects of a larger collective database system, like relational databases linked to ERP software suites. In addition, data that can be measured against other data, like the amount a certain member has spent in the lifetime of the membership on certain items or services, should be readily visible and accessible. The more combinations that you can access readily, the more powerful the system, and hence the more you can get from your data. Which data should I ignore? Any data you which you do not believe you can draw an immediate or foreseen benefit. Much of the data you collect (a) may become tangled up in the ever-expanding complexity of the collection itself, (b) has little or no relevance to your current objectives, or (c) both of the above. It can always be kept in storage for the time when your mission changes and you want to look for new relationships among your data, though it is sometimes risky to look back on what may be obsolete and attempt to draw conclusions from long-passed circumstances. In a nutshell, focus on the data you need,...

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Managing Data with an Integrated Business Solution

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Advice, High Technology, Retail | 0 comments

If your business’s processes cover everything from maintaining data consistency to creating and keeping sales reports, you know how challenging data management can be. An integrated business solution can streamline operations across departments, but this kind of system may sound too complicated to deal with on a daily basis, especially in a fast-paced retail environment. New data integration technology can manage some processes automatically, making these systems simpler and more user-friendly — not to mention profitable in the long run. If you’re running one system to track sales and another to manage contacts and another still to track inventory, tracking changes and updates and ensuring consistency can be nothing short of a nightmare. If your club is struggling with managing data, find out how an integrated business solution can help you harmonize your operations. Sales Reporting A powerful solution is one that provides up-to-the-minute reports on various aspects of your sales performance. The more reports that you can obtain from across your operation, the picture of your overall performance will be more reliable and complete. An integrated data solution should be able to show you, for instance, a backlog sheet with items that are waiting to be processed, an inventory availability table showing stock levels of merchandise for clearing the backlog, and a table of items that are reserved for customer pickup. For accounting purposes, your solution should be able to compile a table that shows the total sales against sales tax collected. When your back office system is integrated with a point-of-sale device that records and updates your sales sheets and inventory tables every time a transaction is made, you have a powerful and elegant tool that can help you to optimize your business’s performance. Sales Tracking With a properly integrated solution, you can track and use your sales data much more effectively. A totally integrated solution should include a CRM module for recording and managing customer preferences, which then enables you to provide an optimal experience for your customer.  When your system is integrated across all aspects of your business — from your food and beverage operation to your pro shop to your spa and sports operations — your staff will be able to anticipate and meet your members’ needs, creating an ideal experience for the guest. This is a great example of the ubiquitous application of Big Data, something that is here to stay, and which your integrated business solution must be able to collect and track. Mobile POS In our era of instant access to just about everything through mobile devices, there is increased pressure on businesses to ride the high technology wave. Customer service is taking on a new aspect, as consumers themselves have...

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Advanced CRM: Tracking Customer Preferences

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in High Technology, Service | 0 comments

In our previous Big Data post, we explained why Big Data is good for your club. Knowing your members is the difference between providing “what’s good enough” and giving the best service possible. Today, we’ll talk about exactly how you can gather big data with customer relationship management (CRM) tools and put that information to use through customer service skills. Data Collection Your membership application process is the first place you’ll collect data on your members, and it can include general questions about age, gender, marital status, education, occupation, and income level. Because each demographic group will need certain services from your club, it’s helpful to know this information so that you can tailor your club offerings. To begin building more specific information on your membership as a whole, you can send out an online or email survey. While your initial membership forms allow you to create a demographic profile of your members, these surveys can begin to give you insight into the harmony between your services and amenities and your members’ needs. Ask for an evaluation of your customer service, for instance, or send out a survey asking what they might like to see on the calendar in the next quarter. As you construct these surveys, you’ll need to consider your business objectives: these types of surveys are likely to be anonymous, so we are still in the realm of general data gathering. Using Your CRM System Once you’ve collected some initial data from each member, you can create files for them in your CRM client. The ideal CRM client will have a notes field that can also synchronize with a mobile version of the client, which will be able to pull up this information whenever he or she comes to the club. The mobile client can enable staff to make note of preferences — anything from shirt or cleat size to food allergies to a favorite drink from the bar. This forms a history that gives your staff a detailed picture of the member’s unique needs and desires, and this in turn enables them to offer superior service that anticipates rather than simply reacts. Once you have this level of data on your members, you can begin to tailor offerings to their history. For instance, you can offer them a special sales promotion in the pro shop, or some variation of a “buy 3, get 1 free” deal on the beverage cart. This CRM data is also invaluable for up-selling — you know exactly what types of purchases your members make, what they are likely to need in the near future, and what they might most enjoy. Whether it’s upgrading them to a more expensive bottle of Merlot...

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