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Managing Customer Data

Lisa Nichols 12-17

Regardless of your type of business, you will have customers, business associates and various other contacts and you will need access to their information. This information can include anything from a simple phone number to complete mailing addresses, fax numbers and maybe certain dates. If you took the time to write it down, chances are it is important.

But the question is where do you keep this information? On your cell phone, PDA, computer, written on a notepad, or maybe even in a camera if there are pictures? There are many ways to keep information today and considering today’s technology, many people choose an electronic device to store their valid information.

Wherever you choose to keep it, there is one hugely important rule to consider when obtaining, storing and maintaining this information: Make sure you Back it up! There are countless numbers of business owners who have lost a majority of their information at one time or another. They wake up, turn on their computer or other electronic device and see that it is crashing or has crashed. Imagine the stress felt when they realize that all their information could be lost.

There are many ways to avoid the possibility of loss of your data. One way is to simply have a backup procedure on a regular basis, and chances are you will lose nothing – or if you do, the impact will be minimal. Alternative backup is available in many forms – using CDs to copy, using an online storage facility, or using an email service and sending all these items to yourself.

Emailing important documents is one way if you are not saving content sensitive information. In managing customer data, keep in mind organizational skills and know what content is sensitive. Having an organized system will alleviate a lot of time looking for information. If there are several people who use the same information, a plan needs to be in place in case someone goes looking for what you have; if they can’t find it, at least they would know where to look.

If using a database program, go through this database every couple of weeks and update, delete or add to the information that you already have. In doing this, you can take outdated information away and update information where necessary, which allows more accessibility for others.

Lastly, keep your information secure. You can use the services of an outsourced company to maintain your records or keep them yourself but either way, keep your information safe from being taken. Don’t leave information just lying around. Don’t leave sensitive information in your email or just in a simple saved file within your computer. Information can be stolen and hacked into.

By using proper security within your database management as well as good organizational skills, you will not only save time, prevent losses and maintain security. You will also be much happier when you are on the go and you need information in a hurry.



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