4. Measure your customers in a way meaningful to your business.
After you have determined what your business should be and how it will be successful in the market, your next step is to determine how your customers contribute to that success.
Determine the metric - the dollars spent, , number of times they purchase, or a combination of the two. Ascertain which is more important – the total dollars from each customer or the amount of profit per transaction?
If you are a startup company, the answer may not be associated with dollars. You may simply want to measure the number of companies that use your product and what the individuals who purchase, use, or recommend it think about your company.
5. Value data as part of the assets of your company.
When one company acquires another, it assumes the assets of the purchased company – the intellectual property, the facilities, the employees.
But one of the assets often overlooked in these transactions is the customer data. In order to maintain customer satisfaction and continued customer purchases, the acquiring company must know who the customers are. If you start your company thinking that the information on your customers has true value as an asset, then you will treat it differently, manage it more appropriately.
Take care of it just as you do your office equipment or physical plants.
When building your business, thinking about what your customer base will look like when you sell it or pass it on to your children brings a world of clarity to the information you collect on each and every customer. Businesses do not exist without customers.
Customers are represented in your business by the data that they generate in their transactions with you. So, paying attention to your customer data is key to keeping your business growing.
About the author
Theresa Kushner is a journalist-turned-marketer and Vice President of Enterprise Information Management at VMware. She is responsible for master data management, business intelligence and advanced analytics. She and Maria Villar co-write a column for LatinBusinessToday.com. They are co-authors of Managing Your Business Data: From Chaos to Confidence, published by Racom Books in 2008.