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Don't get caught up and caught out with a messy contact system.

Don’t get caught up and caught out with a messy contact system.

 

1) Synch all contacts on all devices

How many email accounts to you use? One for work, and a private one? And what about your phone, how many contacts are saved in there?

In order to have one up-to-date address book, all these contacts need to be synched and updated across all accounts and all devices.

 

2) Consolidate all contacts in one contact management system

A contact management system can be as simple as a well formatted Excel spreadsheet or as complicated as a full blown CRM software.

Either way, all address books across the entire organisation need to be consolidated in one place.

Whatever system you choose for this, it must fulfil at least one criteria: It must be possible to export all contacts as a .csv file in case you ever want to transfer your contacts to a different system.

If you use different platforms to interact with potential customers, make sure you regularly download and backup your connections data.

 

3) Collect all contact details

It’s easy to skip the formalities with well known contacts. Apparently this is rather the norm than the exception.

But when it comes to asking for your contact because you’ve been put back to reception and you don’t know their surname, or when it comes to sending out the mailer and you don’t know their correct title, you quickly realise how important it is to keep track of the full name, title, position, department, etc.

 

4) Update all contacts constantly

Your address book has no value if the contact details are outdated.

Make a point to always update your addresses as soon as there is a change.

Even better: Use a software that prompts your contacts to keep their contact details current.

 

5) Categorise your contacts

If you ever want to do anything with your contacts, such as sending out a mailer or driving a sales campaign, you need to label your connections.

This is not for you to remember who they are, but for the system to be able to sort all your contacts into different groups.

So think carefully how best to categorise your connections:

Start with high level tags, for example: family / friends / alumni / colleagues / customers / suppliers / authorities.

Depending on the purpose of your contact management system, you can then subdivide, for example customers can be tagged as clients / prospects / leads.

 

6) Reference your contacts

Just as important to tag for outgoing actions it is to keep reference of how you came by your connections.

Customer protection protocol requires that you can at any given time explain to any given person how you obtained their contact details.

So when you import connections to your contact management system, ensure you label these contacts according to their source.

That can be the platform, e.g. LinkedIn or the relationship owner, e.g. Sales or the place you first met, e.g. networking event.

 

7) Give context to your contacts

This is where you can implement ways to remember how you know your connections.

You can start with simple note-taking to keep a log about this contact. This is especially useful if you need to follow up with this connection.

Record the last contact date, personal information and funny moments, so you can hit if off like good old friends when you meet again.

 

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Success hardly comes from social media, but it certainly gets reflected on social media.

 

Here a great example:

Stardom needs no tweets.

Stardom needs no tweets.

Zodwa Wabantu‘s twitter account has over 10K followers besides the fact that she hasn’t tweeted anything!

It appears this twitter account isn’t even in use.

 

Zodwa’s more active twitter account – more active by 69 tweets – has over 25K followers.

 

If you wish you had such social media success, take this for a tip:

Do well in real life and the followers will follow!

 

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Google Translate gets it wrong and turns a small ball into a meat ball: 'Baellchen' does not always refer to 'frikkadelle'!

Google Translate gets it wrong and turns a small ball into a meat ball: ‘Baellchen’ does not always refer to ‘frikkadelle’!

 

The word I was looking for is ‘balletjie’, because when our puppies sleep, they curl up into a cutie balletjie.

‘Balletjie’ is the diminutive of ‘ball’ in Afrikaans.

I don’t speak Afrikaans, and ‘balletjie’ sounds very different from how it’s spelled – more like ‘ballikie’. But it’s such an awesome word that I try different hacks to get to the correct spelling.

One way of course could be to learn the Afrikaans grammar. Another could be to quickly look up the translation.

English doesn’t really have proper diminutives. You can say ‘little ball’ for a translation, but that doesn’t yield the results I’m looking for.

So I tried the German diminutive of ball: ‘Bällchen’.

And to my utter surprise Google translates this with ‘frikkadelle’!

‘Frikkadelle’ is of course a meat ball. For Google to turn a small ball into a meatball, not on! 😮

 

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In a drive to get more subscriptions, many brands lure in new subscribers with the prospect of winning something.

I always felt that was pretty unfair to existing subscribers – after all their loyalty should get rewarded just as much.

The least already signed up customers should be allowed to do, is enter that competition too.

Here a great example of going one step further and proactively recognising and rewarding existing subscribers:

I'm already signed up, but can still enter this competition. - To minimise churn, reward your existing subscribers too.

I’m already signed up, but can still enter the competition. – To minimise churn, reward your existing subscribers too.

There are good reasons for marketing automation software to manage your customer engagement.

It works even better when you add a human touch to it: Like you would recognise returning customers, they should feel welcomed by your brand, too.

 

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The problem with computers is that somehow us humans ended up having to learn how to command a machine.

If a PC is really supposed to help us, it’d be programmed to speak human to us.

 

Luckily thanks to customer centricity and it’s broader acceptance in all aspects of business, human to machine interfaces are improving.

Here a great example how to avoid technical jargon with the typical error 404 code and reassure your users with a customised message that it wasn’t their fault:

Something didn't work. Instead of technical jargon, the user is being reassured: "It’s not you. It’s us. Give it another try, please."

Something didn’t work. Instead of technical jargon, the user is being reassured: “It’s not you. It’s us. Give it another try, please.”

 

Wait what? But that’s already past! Why didn’t I hear about it?

After the event and still "Awaiting an update on Safer Internet Day 2018 activities."

After the event and still “Awaiting an update on Safer Internet Day 2018 activities.”

Well, maybe because the Safer Internet Day (SID) initiative is still “Awaiting an update on Safer Internet Day 2018 activities” from the South Africa Safer Internet Day Committee – Film and Publication Board.

And there’s no reference whatsoever to the Safer Internet Day 2018 on the Film and Publication Board website: http://www.fpb.org.za/press-statements

 

The only reference I could find googling was this PR info, published on 6 Feb late afternoon: Google partners with FPB to inform kids on Safer Internet Day.

There are a few more mentions, but only from tech publications.

 

This might give an idea why there’s such a digital divide in South Africa: The content it would take to create awareness – if it exists, it’s still not being spread to reach its audience.

Perhaps a bit of VAC could help?

 

The good news is, there’s always another one: The next Internet Safety Day will take place on Tuesday, 5 February 2019.

 

In the meantime, you can still pledge your support of Internet Safety in SA: http://internetsafety.org.za

 

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It’s a simple thing to remember:

The day after the event everything advertising the event is outdated.

 

Yet, we somehow always only ever seem to plan up to the event.

 

But the day(s) after the event are just as crucial:

 

As the reviews are pouring in, photos being uploaded, colleagues telling their stories at work, most people who missed the event and hear about it afterwards would probably like to make sure they catch the next opportunity of such an event.

 

However, very often I find event pages leading up to an event stay frozen on their “Register now!” hype:

The day after the event visitors to the event page are still invited to register for the event.

The day after the event visitors to the event page are still invited to register for the event.

The registration of course no longer works as you have to frustratingly find out when clicking the button.

"The event has completed and registration is now closed." Ok, so what next? Registration is not possible, Log-in is not applicable for first time visitors.

“The event has completed and registration is now closed.” Ok, so what next? Registration is not possible, Log-in is not applicable for first time visitors.

 

A missed chance of connecting with the people who would make a repeat of the event possible.

 

A tip to make the best out of your event is to think one step further:

 

After the event is Before the event.

 

If you treat the day after the event like the first day of the lead-up to a new event, you run little risk of leaving your event promotion material outdated.

 

Even if you don’t intend to repeat the event, this mindset makes you consider what comes next and can help you cater for those who have missed it or attendees who are checking back for more information.

 

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