Effective Client Relationship Management is one of the main things that will drive business success. There are several great CRM software packages from which to choose. There is also the option of foregoing a CRM in favor of your own system. In either case, I recommend starting with consistency, thorough documentation, and routine check ins to manage client information. Implementing the tips below should increase success in this endeavor.
1) Be Consistent
It’s critical to have a consistent method for storing client data. I recommend setting up the following files for each client:
*Client Contact Information. This part of the system contains pertinent information for getting in touch with the client, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, if any, and notes from the initial intake call, including the scope of the project, dates set, if any, and location.
*Legal Information. This part of the system includes executed contracts, licenses, insurance documents, NDA’s, and any government documents.
*General Information. This part of the system includes client projects, project status & changes, pictures of spaces, if any, and any post-appointment client follow up notes, including action items and other documents pertaining to the client project, like a file index.
So, your file tree might look like:
- Client Name
- Client Contact Information
- Legal Information
- General Information
Then each type of document gets filed in the appropriate place.
Another option is to sort by topic instead of by client:
- Topic or Project
- Contact Info for Client #1
- Contact Info for Client #2
- Contracts – containing a copy of the signed agreement for each client
- Government Documents – containing any legal documents you might need, such as w-2’s
- Insurance – a place for client insurance documents
- NDA’s – to file client NDA’s.
- General Client Information – client follow up notes, call notes, indices, projects & project status, & resources.
The system you choose depends on your comfort level and how and how often you need to access this information. It’s generally more effective to have the client contracts all in one place, for example, if you routinely have to refer to more than one contract at a time.
2) Log Everything
Effective client information management allows you to access the information you need when you need it. It also allows you to track what’s been completed, what’s still pending, and what’s been delayed and why. Without effective information management, client data isn’t easy to update or access, which can negatively impact your business’ bottom line. It’s important to log everything applicable to the client.
To ensure you have time to update client information, establish a recurring appointment with yourself. I recommend either one two-hour weekly appointment or two one-hour weekly appointments. Then honor this appointment as much as you’d honor an appointment with someone else.
3) Routine Check In’s
The thing about setting up organizing systems is that as business needs change, the systems in place need to be flexible enough to accommodate these changes. Perform routine check ins to see what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be updated, tweaked, or eliminated.
If you need help creating a Contact Relationship Management system, contact Lisa Mark, C.P.O. to find out if she is a good fit for your organizing or productivity needs.