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Greene King Customer Care Team
Abbot House
Westgate Brewery
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 1QT
Email: CustomerCareTeam@greeneking.co.uk
Phone: 0845 850 4545

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Customer databases

Communicating with existing customers is far easier and cheaper than finding new ones. It's useful to build a database so that you keep up-to-date information that can be used to contact them. However, be prepared – it takes time to make sure that all the records are accurate and once you have obtained the information, you need to ensure it's updated regularly. But the rewards are big. Your advertising costs will be less as you are talking directly to your customers and the cost of modern communications like email will be virtually zero.

What is a database?

This sounds like a simple question but the answer may be more complex than you think. A database is simply an ordered format for information which can be accessed and sorted in various ways. It can be used to drive direct mail programmes or just as a means of keeping records if you need to contact a single customer.

There are specialist software packages available on the market, some basic and others more sophisticated, but you can also keep data on a simple spreadsheet programme. Think about the information you need to capture – it could include: 

• First name
• Last name
• Address
• Phone number
• Email
• Age or birthday
• Sex
• Preferred drinks, entertainment, meal offers, etc.
• Preferred mode of contact – phone number, email address, etc.

Remember to keep a database up to date if it's to be a valuable business tool. Clean lists regularly by removing or amending data or else you'll waste money through misdirection of communication. 

Collecting data

There are a number of ways to collect customer information. These include:

• Ask customers to complete a simple registration form

• Put up posters asking customers who want to be on your database to text or email you

• To introduce a loyalty or collector card scheme

• To hold a prize draw – either through pre-printed draw tickets or a business card draw

• Capture information on leaflet-based discount vouchers, bounce back vouchers and other forms of promotional activity.

Once you have the necessary information you can create mailing lists and target specific promotions or forthcoming events to the appropriate sets of customers. This might include: 

• Newsletters
• Brand promotions
• Theme nights
• Live sport events
• Discount dining offers
• Forthcoming events and attractions

Understand the law

Data protection and electronic communication laws regulate how you hold and use customer information. In order to comply with the Data Protection Act, every person on your database must have given their consent to be contacted: this is known as the 'opt-in consent' and is normally indicated by a tick box against each agreed form of communication. Further details on complying with data protection are included on the following websites: