Every Business Needs Customers – Don’t Lose Them!

Chances are if you are reading this you either are, or want to become a producer, integrator, machinery provider, services provider, or contractor in the food and feed industry.

It may seem obvious, but in order to run a successful business, you need to find new customers and keep the ones you have happy.  Perhaps you currently make ExPress® soybean meal and oil and need to increase your customer base, or you an integrator and you need more customers to buy your finished products to increase your utilization percentage of your current plant.  As Regional Sales Director for Insta-Pro, I am tasked with responding to customer inquiries for new projects, as well as helping current customers.  So how can one successfully go about keeping track and responding to them on a regular and consistent basis without bothering them too much?

As technology has continued to evolve, customer tracking measures have as well. It started with a piece of paper, developing to the Rolodex, then an Excel spreadsheet or Outlook Email, and now more and more businesses are switching to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to keep track of their prospective and current customers. CRM systems provide effective solutions to improve communication throughout an organization and manage accounts. CRM’s have become more cost-effective and many options are available today so that businesses can select what system best supports their goals.

A key element in managing your customers is to be consistent with how you sort and manage them. This will help you remember to contact them and ultimately help them with their needs. You never want to forget about a prospective customer that is interested in your product or services.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Keep notes of conversations and emails you have back and forth so you can remember the details.
  2. Never throw away business cards
  3. Keep contacts and their phone numbers up-to-date
  4. Contact your current customers on a regular basis to see how their business is going
  5. Contact your prospective customers to understand if they are making progress with their project

In addition, the website The Productivity Expert has a list of more ways to organize your contacts.

Overall, CRM systems are efficient in maintaining accounts and communicating with all areas of your business, tying in all of the functions listed above. As a business owner, the last thing you want to do is lose contact with a current customer, because if you are not satisfying their needs, they will find someone else who will. Interested in learning more? Send us a message.

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