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How should you integrate new contacts successfully? It is great to be getting all these new contacts, but how do you integrate them beyond contact information? How do you engage with them to keep them engaged with you? What is the best way to get value out of them, and have them also feel valued? Key questions, which when done right convert your Contacts to VIPs and Fans.

After putting time and effort into making new contacts, you want to ensure that they don’t get lost, and you get the most value from them. It is important to take care of all your contacts whether they are customers, donors, parishioners, or volunteers. Each contact is an individual and wants to feel valued, cared for, understood and appreciated. We need to make sure they are not forgotten, receive the right communication, and do not fall through the cracks.

So, what are some of the things we can put in place to ensure your people are well taken care of?

Have a good CRM

In order to easily communicate with your contacts, allowing them to engage with you, and you be able to easily track and report on them it is best practice to have their details recorded in a good cloud-based CRM. Having a cloud-based CRM means there is one copy of the data and those who need to access it all have access to the same data, and are able to access it from any device in the office, at home or on the road. Also you can give more or less access to different individuals depending on their role. See a previous blog on What is the best CRM or Choosing a Good CRM.

Get your contacts into your CRM

This can be done both manually and automatically, depending on what systems you currently have. Most good CRM systems have integrations with Google contacts, MailChimp or importing tools available for existing data. Having some automation here means less manual data entry and less errors.

Having the ability to integrate forms with your website takes care further data entry. The contacts can complete an online form, either by subscribing to your newsletters, registering for an event, or making a donation etc. Your CRM should automatically add these form details. In addition you can still enter contacts manually as a result of a phone conversation or contact cards/sheets being completed and passed in to you to enter manually.

Keep them engaged

Now you have their basic contact details, what can you do to get them engaged with your organisation?

Depending on your organisation’s raison d’être, you now want these contacts to engage with you as much as you want to engage with them. If you are providing a service you will need to record what service is being provided and how it is being delivered. There may be your own custom fields or groups that need to be added. You may want to invite people to classes or other events, get them to volunteer. Or you are seeking new funding or donations for a new project.

You need to communicate and invite them to contribute/engage with you. You will then need to record how they respond so you can report on the success of the project, communicate with the respondents and report how their donations where spent and the impact it had. Your CRM should be able to generate these reports and send out these communication directly, or via an integration like MailChimp for example. Also, integrating with other systems like Xero means you can see the big picture. Being able to see who is making donations, what they are donating to, and this indicates they may want to give again to a similar project.

Automate your workflows

Getting as much done automatically as possible is a real time saver and can eliminate errors. Having a workflow set up so that when a new contact is added to the CRM the next step automatically follows. For example, you could automatically generate a welcome email or send a thank you for their donation and add them to a group.

You may have a set of steps for on-boarding new members or volunteers that need to take place. Setting up a workflow to follow individuals through your program means you can track where people are at in the program and not slip through the net.

Take care of your people

Let’s face it, we all want to feel valued. Thus, the more details you are able to record the better you are able to care for them. For example; Record when a person first volunteered, or record the date of birth, set up to be automatically notified when these anniversaries come up so you can congratulate them on 5 years of volunteering, maybe put on a special morning tea for all volunteers, or send a birthday card. It is often these little things that tell a person you care for them, they feel valued and appreciated and will then be more willing to continue.

This is just a small example of some of the things you can do. If you are wanting to improve your new contact integration, have more automation in your system then email infoodle or call (+64 7 579 3085) and discuss your requirements with one of the helpful staff.