CRM allows you to give your customers a personalized touch. One of the ways you can do this is by compiling the “chatty” information you have on your customers and leads. It helps you know about their kids, their hobbies, etc.

00:22 Andy Shore: Hey, everybody, welcome back. Today, we’re going to continue our conversation talking about the different types of information that you keep in your CRM. And this is one that I think is a lot more interesting and maybe not the first thing you think about when you think about data in your CRM, but for a salesperson and someone really looking to foster that relationship with their customers and leads, I think this type is really one of the more underrated but important aspects of it, and that’s, I guess, what we would call like, chatty information, right?

00:56 Paul Rijnders: Yeah. So, the last podcast, we talked about the structured information, and that’s all the little columns where you know that there’s already a space for this incoming information. You know because you’re selling cars, that you need to know the favorite brand and you want to know what kind of car model they have or they prefer to drive, or whatever it is. We talked about the donut shop, right?

01:17 AS: Yup.

01:18 PR: And you know that there’s a column for favorite donut and also a column for donuts that they do not want to see ever [chuckle] in their box. But what about this chatty information? Let’s talk about the donut store, okay? Maybe you got someone that’s coming in, and you know that Maude… I just want to say the name “Maude.”

01:38 AS: It’s a good name.

01:39 PR: I had an aunt named Maude. She was… Well, I guess I still do. [chuckle]

01:42 AS: There’s a restaurant in Beverly Hills called Maude.

01:44 PR: Really?

01:45 AS: Mm-hmm.

01:45 PR: That is an M-A-U-D-E? Or M-O-D?

01:47 AS: Yeah. M-A-U-D-E.

01:48 PR: Oh, awesome. You know what, I would love to see a Maude bot with the Vespa scooter. Anyway. That’s tangent. Okay, so buzz.

01:58 AS: It is. We’re good at those.

02:00 PR: We’re very good at those. Okay. So I guess what I’m trying to say is this: There’s a lot of information that’s going to be important for you to remember later on, it isn’t necessarily that structured information. So where do you put that? Well, the most logical thing is to make a note about that. So it helps if your CRM’s got a place called “Notes”.

02:17 PR: And by the way, let me do a little throwback and say when our CRM first came out, the first iteration, we didn’t have a place for notes. So, the sales team was making custom fields called Note 1, Note 2, Note 3, Note 4. And those were great because they could be put in spots, but it was inefficient, and it was just like a giant waste of space. What if you had a customer or a contact, and he had 20 notes? Did you really have to make Note 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 as custom fields? ‘Cause that’s what we were doing. We’re making Note 1, Note 2, Note 3, Note 4, and then we said, “Okay, well, you know what, it’s time to get the Notes function in there.”

02:58 PR: So, what’s nice about having a Notes field is you can just type a bunch of stuff free-form, copy and paste or whatever, and that’s not all the structured information, it’s just maybe you can use it for a little bit more important stuff like, “Hey, I talked to this person on this time and this is what they said,” or you can just use it just to put that information like, “Hey, this is who their kids are and what they’re studying, and this is what their job was, and this is the state they’re originally from, and these are the bands that they like.” So the next time you talk to that customer, just brush up all those notes and say, “Oh, yeah. Okay, yeah, I know about you.”

03:35 AS: Yeah, definitely. Just to bring it back to the donut reference you started on before our Maude tangent, I was thinking when you’re saying that, it’s such simple things that could go such a long way with that customer. So you think it’s someone who’s like they’re there one day once a week, they get one donut, but that you know that’s their cheat day ’cause they tell you that, and you put a note in there that says it’s their cheat day. And you can even say what their favorite is. And you make sure those are fresh at the time they come in in those mornings, and that one treat that they’re affording themselves in their week is going to be even more special because you made it so for them and then when someone needs a caterer for a kid’s party, or to bring donuts to the office or all those things, you better believe you’re getting their business because they feel that loyalty towards you because you made that one person feel seen, and it’s going to create all those opportunities from putting one small note in the CRM.

04:34 PR: One small note, right? And I think a lot of you are thinking two things, which is number one, “Hey, I do all this stuff mentally, anyway. I know ’cause my memory’s great.” Well, it might be, but what about the person that takes over that contact when you’re not there? Do they have your memory cloned, right?

04:54 AS: Mm-hmm.

04:54 PR: And what about when you’re under the gun and you just don’t remember everything? I bet you remember a lot less than you think you do, I think we all do. I think we all overestimate our abilities. And even if your memory is totally awesome, it’s still not going to be something that’s noted down there.

05:11 PR: And the second thing I think that you might be thinking is, “Who the heck has got CRM that’s running a donut shop?” Right? And that might be an extreme example, but let’s just say this. Let’s say that you were organized and you did have a… Maybe you’re using the CRM to just put your favorite customers. And granted, people that have higher dollar transactions are better candidates for CRM. That doesn’t mean the donut shop can’t do that. If I did have a donut shop, I would still do CRM, and I’d have a list of not all my customers. There’s a Mitch Hedberg joke about that you don’t need a receipt when you buy a donut ’cause [05:46] ____.

05:47 AS: Mm-hmm. And their transaction. [chuckle]

05:48 PR: Yeah, we don’t need to bring ink and paper into this transaction. [laughter] But what if I had favorite customers, and I could say, “Alright. Well, I’d do a list of the people that are my regulars and I would have the days that they actually came in.” Maybe I know that Gina comes in only on Wednesdays and there’s a few people who only come in on this day. Well, maybe I could review my notes and say, “Okay, I’m going to look at the people that just come in on Wednesday.” Boom! I got a view of all my regulars that come in on Wednesday. “Let me see the notes on these people. Okay, cool. I can have this, this and this and this kind of donut ready. And don’t ask about this, and do ask about this.” So again, donut might be an extreme example.

06:25 AS: I don’t even think it is though, because we’re in the shadows of Hollywood here in our offices, and think about all the different film productions and everything, there are donuts on those sets. If you’re even tracking what filming schedules is, you’re talking to the people who are coming to pick them up. You know when to maybe send a promo email and make sure they’re coming back, and discounts when you pre-order. So anything like that, that’s good business.

06:52 PR: It is.

06:52 AS: Make it for everyone else that’s maybe not in LA, that you still know when someone’s monthly office meeting might be, or the weekly meeting or anything like that, that they’re going to want to bring in some food and snacks and treats for those meetings. If you’re tracking that and you’re sending promotions based on that information, it’s not at all absurd to me that a donut shop would use a CRM.

07:17 PR: So here’s another example. And thank you for making me feel better about the milk example. [laughter] So I’ve been getting my haircut at a place that maybe isn’t the greatest, but they’re close to my house, but you know what, at least they’re using some type of CRM to track their customers. So when I go in, they always know that it’s going to be a number two on the sides and number four on top. And then later on, someone took better notes and they said, “Okay, well, he kind of likes a scissor cut and kind of blend that in.” And no matter who I get, I’m going to get a haircut that’s kind of close, depending on who is there, because you never know who you’re going to get at this place. It’s kind of like a roulette wheel. But at least they know, as I sit down, what my preferences are, and I don’t have to go through it all. Because I remember the old days, you’re trying to tell someone, hey this is what you like or bringing a picture or whatever, and just hoping that they get that kind of close.

08:08 PR: So, they might have that as a structured piece of information, right? But if they have some chatty stuff in there too, where anyone continue the conversation, and they prompt that naturally. If you do it unnaturally, it’s going to be weird. You don’t want to say, “Oh, it says here in my CRM that your son just graduated. How is that boy?” You’d be like, “Well, that’s freaking creepy,” right?

08:30 AS: Yeah.

08:30 PR: But if the person just naturally says, “Oh, yeah, you know what, I remember you telling me about your son is studying psychology. How’s that going?” If that comes up naturally, I’m just going to feel like that place knows me, I’m going to feel that person’s got the greatest memory or I’m going to feel like, “Wow, I must be their special customer. I bet they don’t remember everyone’s information like that.”

08:51 AS: Alright, everybody, thanks for tuning in and listening to us have tangents and talk about donuts. We might be hungry. It might be lunchtime. We’ll catch you next time. Thanks for listening.