One of the most lucrative benefits of large-scale data storage is the ability for salespeople and commercial businesses to keep better track of their interaction with customers.
This is important for a wide variety of reasons. One reason being the potential revenue implied by multiple sales to a customer that is already "sold" on a product or service.
In IT, the type of software that handles these kinds of interactions is called Customer Relationship Management or CRM software.
This category includes many different kinds of applications and database types that help companies build and manage accounts for customers.
This software typically includes all the information the business needs to better serve a particular customer.
CRM software is generalized, very much like high-end accounting software. The most popular versions have many different options for customization so customer records can be tailored for each specific kind of business.
What Businesses Need
Even business leaders and salespeople who believe they know how to keep track of their customers sometimes miss what CRM developers would consider obvious.
For example, dates and times combined with what a customer buys or inquires about can be absolutely crucial for a number of reasons.
In the aggregate, CRM software allows businesses to draw conclusions about how their customers are paying for the product.
If sales spike on the first and 15th of the month, then it is clear customers are using their bi-monthly paychecks to buy. Wouldn't that be a better time to advertise?
Customer data should be stored in a one-to-many series of relationships. One customer made X number of inquiries and Y number of purchases. The first inquiry was about Z number of products and so forth.
What Customers Need
A good customer relationship means a business will know in advance what their customers need and will be in a much better position to provide products and services tailored to each specific account.
Using CRM software to keep track of what customers buy and in what sequence can help a salesperson identify other products that might combine with an existing account to produce better value.
Auto repair is the most obvious example of this kind of benefit. If a customer makes several purchases to repair the front end of their car, the software might indicate they need new front tires as well.
This kind of conditional referral can improve many sales relationships from investments to real estate.
Analysis of customer buying patterns should be stored in many-to-many relationships. Many online e-commerce sites take advantage of this kind of information.
For example, if a customer purchased products A, C and J, then they might be interested in products B, F and R.
Customer relationship management is a growing and developing industry. It's always beneficial for businesses to consider how their relationships with customers are advancing and how the information they gather can help grow their companies.