Database of clients
Client database headings are key to making them useful.
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If you can use a simple spreadsheet, you can create a valuable and powerful business tool for managing your business's clients. A client database can be more than just a list of customers’ names, titles and contact information. Using a variety of codes and headings, you can quickly sort a client database to help you create different lists for different uses.
Gather Your Information
Gather all the information you want to go into the document. Don’t start working if your information is incomplete - if, for example, you have email addresses for some clients but don't for others. You might tell yourself you’ll get the other data later, but entering information into a database can be time-consuming and boring; having to add data piecemeal will drag the project out, and the result might be an incomplete database.
Create Your Headings
What you put into your database is as important as who is in it. Obvious choices for headings - under which you’ll enter specific data - include company name, contact, title, mailing address, phone number and email address. To make a more useful database, include headings that identify your customers with codes that denote business type, dollar volume, value to your business and other relationship values. For example, code customers as A, B and C based on their value for when you want to create a list of your best customers for a special promotion. Create a code that denotes which customers are slow pays. Code clients by what type of product they buy or the sales rep they worked with. Include a “Notes” column for miscellaneous notes about individual clients.
Enter Your Data
Entering your data might seem like an easy task, but one wrong letter or numeral can decrease a database’s usefulness. For example, a typo in your rating, product type or sales rep code column can result in a sort that leaves out a good client or includes a weak client in a sort you perform for an important project. Many people throw out business cards and stationery or delete emails they use for database entries. If you do this after you’ve entered your information incorrectly, you might not be able to find the correct information later. After one person enters the data into your database, have another person review each entry by comparing it against the document from which the information was entered.
Practice Running Sorts
After you’ve entered your information and created your client database, make a copy and use it to practice sorting your information. Highlight all of the information in the document, then find your program’s “Sort” button. Sort by the row or heading you want information for, then sort further using the type of parameter your program offers. For example, if you want to sort your clients by their value to you, click on the "Sort" button by the “Value” column, then select “Ascending” or “Descending” depending on whether your want your A or C clients displayed first. Try sorting by two variables, such as the value of clients in a particular state. In this scenario, you’d click on the "Sort" button, select “Value, ” then select, “State.”