Get your customers to update your CRM for you

January 15, 2013 - 9:25am -- John Locke

As we delve more and more into ways to make our customers' organizations run better, we keep an eye out for things we can do to make their jobs easier. One big problem lots of our customers have is out of date contact information for their customers, members, or audience.

What better way to keep this information up to date, than to get updates straight from the source?

As a Seattle Sounders season ticket holder, I'm on the Major League Soccer (MLS) mailing lists, and last week I received a request for an update that I thought was particularly well done. First, the email:

Let me point out a couple things:

First of all, they give me strokes. They make me feel important, even though I really know this is about making their marketing campaigns more effective.

But then, they push my buttons. Of course they know I have a favorite team! No soccer fan anywhere in the world would let "I don't have a favorite team" stand on any profile anywhere -- by setting a default for information they may or may not have, that they know their customers will care about, they practically guarantee their audience is going to respond. You just can't let things like that stand!

So let's go to the update form:

It's a clean, simple form explaining what it's for, what you can do here, and how you can opt out.

Again, it looks like the only information they actually have for me is my email address. So they put in a reasonable default that can indicate to them whether or not I've edited my contact details.

Let's take care of that favorite team thing right away:

There. Done.

A couple other things I like about this form: Nothing more than your email address is required, I did not have to create an account to get here.

That does bring up a potential security issue -- if I forward the mail to somebody else, they can easily update my personal information. It also seems like there is no protection from "URL Hacking," where somebody goes and tries a bunch of account ids hoping to stumble on a pattern that will allow them to harvest other people's information. So if I were designing this system, I would require either an account log in, or a one-time link to edit your information that gets sent to the email address on file, and doesn't work later.

But as a user, this is a very nice experience, and a great example of how to get your customers to keep your data up to date for you.

Go Sounders in 2013!

(Forgive the lack of Sounders Swag, this photo's from the archives, taken on the Sounders MLS opener, back in 2009!)


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