Recently I’ve been having the same problem with business cards as my parents have with their digital photos: You know they are there but how do you use them? Attending countless networking events, meetings and conferences the pile of business cards I have received from potential leads, collaborators, clients and referrals are steadily growing. For a while I established a system where I would add the contacts into my digital client list and would then store the cards alphabetically in boxes but I soon discovered a huge flaw with this as contacts become stale through lack of constant follow-up and interaction. So, I’ve decided to investigate customer service programs to help manage contacts. Below the top 3 programs recommended to get your networking working for you again and making staying on stop of contacts that much easier.
Nimble. Nimble is an award winning Relationship Management company that helps you conglomerate all your contacts in one space. It collects data from social media, email accounts and client lists. You then have opportunity to tag people with certain keywords, set ‘stay in touch’ alarms, and write notes on any pending deals you might have with that person. Nimble creates homepages for each contact where you can see who in your team is already in contact with them, when your last interaction took place and what next steps you should take.
Contactually. Contactually is very similar to Nimble but offers the twist of being able to group people into different segments i.e. lead, referral, client etc rather then just tagging them. Contactually also boasts that it’s system is proven to gain 30-40% more referrals for their customers.
Parature. Parature is currently being acquired by Microsoft and is a highly effective system for small businesses (50+ employees) who are looking to integrate more customer service within their business model. Just like Nimble and Contactually, Parature will oversee your social media to see what some of your contacts have been up to making it easier to get in touch with them. But what really makes Parature stand out is the customer support model vial email, phone or live chat that it offers to small businesses.
Whatevery system you decide to use, just remember to always stay in touch with your contacts. It may take a little bit more work and money but it always pays off in the end.