In our parent’s days, the only way to effectively track customers was to use simple ledgers and card systems. This is what every company used. Typically, a card for each customer was updated after each completed job or sale and then again with each payment. This worked, but took a lot of time. The cards became the sales summaries and financial ledgers. For quick access, the cards were kept in alphabetical order, probably with stiff dividers separating letters of the alphabet. At the time, this was cutting edge and effective. But all these card systems had one critical flaw: the cards could only be arranged in one order. Ranking customers by sales volume or sorting by service types was basically impossible, even though that would have been highly useful. The cards had to kept in ABC order, at all times, in order to access a given customer for updating. With software on computers today, we have the ability to access customer records dramatically faster than flipping through gazillions of cards and we can sort and resort our data in any way! This is the single most important reason to use software for you business. It boils down to an ability to search, resort, and export data in anyway you want.
As compared to the old card systems, the best software today provides three key abilities: 1) room for unlimited numbers of customers 2) the ability to quickly ‘choose’ a customer you want to access, and 3) a page or area for pre-compliled stats on each of your customers for searching and sorting.
Lets consider each of these in turn. The old card systems were limited to a few hundred cards per box, with perhaps fifty or a hundred ledger entries per card. With software and computers these numbers are both unlimited. Next, instead of flipping through cards in ABC order, software lets us randomly access any customer in the system almost instantly. But it is the third ability that we are interested here. Good software will pre-compile data on each of your customers for you… automatically, and behind the scenes. These ‘customer stats’ are typically re-compiled with each invoice you post. The value of these pre-compiled stats is you can then search this data for any business need. And This quickly becomes a very great value to your business.
The success of pest control businesses today can often be pegged to how well they utilize this customer pre-compiled data. Let me say that again. The success of pest control businesses today can often be pegged to how well they utilize customer pre-compiled data.
Lets consider just five of these values, called ‘metrics’, that might be of value to you:
-A ranked list of every service a customer has used by volume, and count
-Date of First Service and Date of Last Service
-Annual Average Volumes by Dollars and Count
-Total Lifetime Volume by Dollars and Count.
-Number of years they have been a customer.
Effective software provides each of these values for all of your customers in a way that is rapidly searchable and usable. Many people do not realize the incredible value that is available in software today. Your job is to start thinking about the ways you could use each these metrics. Using these numbers well can provide you a tremendous advantage over your competitors. Here are a few lists that could prove valuable to you:
Example 1) All customers averaging over $1,000/yr
Example 2) All Customers averaging over $500/yr that haven’t used your Termite Baiting System.
Example 3) Customers who have used your Spider control, or Rodent Control service at least twice, and so might be interested in a scheduled service to maintain consistent control.
Example 4) Your top 10 customers in a single town.
Example 5) Your customers that have used 3 or more of your services, but have not committed to your monthly or quarterly PreSched.
Example 6) Customers that use one service, but not another.
Example 7) Customers that average XX dollars per year, but that haven’t done business with you in the last 12 months.
Each of the groups above are easily extracted from Customer Stats. And you’ll quickly think up a dozen more lists that have value to your company. How you use these lists is up to you. Perhaps you’ll reach out to them by a post card, or email. Perhaps you’ll extend a special offer to a critical targeted group. But, the key is that you use them. Using metrics is a core detail that separates strongly growing and successful companies from static companies. To compete in today’s world, you can not rely on yesterdays tools, rather, you must use the best that is available today. Software that provides pre-compiled customer metrics is absolutely key. Use it.