One of the first things you’ll want to do with your new Batchbook account is to bring some of your existing contacts in. This is easy to do using our importer. Just save your contacts in a spreadsheet as a .csv file and then import it, matching the headers from your spreadsheet with the appropriate fields in Batchbook.
You can import pretty much any piece of customer information, so you are not stuck with trying to shoehorn your data into our default fields. To store your custom data, you will first need to create a custom field set in Batchbook with fields that match your unique spreadsheet headers. We’ve recorded a screencast to show you all the details on how to import:
What Should You Import?
Before you start importing all of your contacts and leads, take a few moments to think about the data you want to keep in Batchbook. We’ve designed the software to be action oriented. Don’t think of it as a place to store every person you have ever been in contact with, or as a place to store leads that you hope to get in contact with someday.
Instead, we suggest using Batchbook as a way to stay organized and better maintain your most active and most beneficial customer relationships. It is up to you to define the criteria for which contacts you import into Batchbook, but here are a few suggestions:
Your most valuable customers.
These are the people who pay you the most or the most often, as well as those who drive in referral traffic or have carved out a special place in your heart for whatever reason. Depending on your type of business and the size of your customer list, you may not want to keep every customer in your Batchbook account, but rather focus on these higher value, high touch customers.
Here at Batchbook, we add customers to our account when we interact with them in some meaningful way. This may be through a one on one onboarding session or an exchange on Twitter. In most cases, we add new people when we want to follow up with them in some personal way.
Your most active communicators.
These are the folks who either talk to you or about you a lot. For these folks, you probably want to track email conversations, take notes from phone calls, and save links to Twitter posts and blog articles they write about you. As a small business, you want to go out of your way to have good relationships with your customers, and these talkative types are some of the best people to maintain contact with.
At Batchbook, we keep a look out for social and blog posts about Batchbook. We also have a lot of conversations with customers, getting to know many of them on a first name basis. These people get added to our Batchbook account and we make notes about them, save our conversations as communications, and record the links to blog posts and tweets in a custom field.
Your hot prospects.
If you have a business that relies on an active sales process, then you need to keep your hot prospects in Batchbook. These would be people who have met certain sales qualifications and for whom you need to complete a series of tasks, which are usually communication heavy. In Batchbook, you would want to keep a communications history, whether of your emails back and forth or notes from live conversations. You’ll also likely want to use to dos and a custom field set to keep track of important tasks and sale specific information about the contact as you move them from prospect to happy customer.
What you don’t want is every lead you’ve ever come across in Batchbook. This will only muddy the waters, making it hard for your sales team to focus in on the most important people, those ready to buy. We suggest keeping lists of non-active leads outside of Batchbook, perhaps in a nice spreadsheet. Once any of these leads becomes active, ie. you start really communicating with them and there is a better than average chance they will become a customer, you can move them into Batchbook.
Keeping it Small
We’ve built and priced Batchbook in a way to encourage smaller customer databases. This was on purpose. A smaller database of more active contacts will help you be more organized and efficient. Gaining a focus in on your best relationships will help you grow sales and customer loyalty.
We encourage you to keep your contact base small and manageable. A good rule of thumb is to try to only have contacts in Batchbook who need a follow up, whether that is a sale based follow up or more general relationship based communication. Inevitably, some contacts will lose importance. You may want to remove these contacts periodically.
For you initial contact imports, stick to this mentality of smaller is better. Building a high quality customer database from the beginning will make the job of managing customers and getting sales easier.