Customer relationship management is the backbone of any company’s sales force. However, too often a business treats CRM as just a sales tool and not an all-encompassing way to interact with customers on an ongoing basis. A well-used CRM allows for marketing, sales, support and feedback.
By being organized around the customer properly a company can ensure customer loyalty and drive profitability. How can a business do this effectively? Here are some best practices
1) Develop Relationships: Customers, more then ever before, have so many different touch points with a particular business and often times it’s indirectly through social media. The goal of any organization is to make customers feel that no matter where they reach your company, whether in person, over the phone, on your website or through social media, they have an easy, personable and seamless experience that feels tailored to them. Many CRM software can now push to your social media platforms allowing you to better monitor when and how you’re interacting with clients.
2) Pay Attention To The Details: Building on above, there is a very simple and effective way to develop a relationship and let your customers feel that they are more then just a number. Current CRM softwares, such as Zoho and Sage CRM, are built to be the hub for details pertaining to each of your customers. Here is where you log information about preferences; when do they like to be called or emailed? Important facts; what are their pain points and what have you offered them as a solution in the past? Personal Information; what is their birthday or where have they vacationed recently? Some details may not seem important, but knowing to ask how a recent trip to Fiji was or sending an email to wish them a happy birthday and perhaps offer them a discount that day, goes a long way to improve the client experience and create customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive market. Alternatively, it also allows anyone who might be dealing with a customer at any time, the ability to access any important or relevant information to help them help the client better.
3) Set Goals & Milestones: An effective CRM strategy includes goals and milestones. Not only do they create a competitive advantage to drive sales, but also allows employees to share in success. By being able to use the software to see the big picture, employees can assess what needs to be done and strategize together to find ways to meet targets.
4) Proper Training & Strategy: Everyone using a CRM software should not only be trained to use the system, they need to be trained to use it the same way as everyone else. There is a certain degree of strategy that is needed to figure out how the system will be most effective. By having a strategy in place then any new additions of users in years to come will be able to jump right in and work alongside the team in cohesive collaboration. Having a regular user meeting about the system can also allow for employee input to constantly improve the way you use the system.
5) Automation: Any well-designed CRM software is going to have automation built into it. This automation are what differentiates a properly configured CRM compared to what could be considered a glorified rolladex. Make sure you take the time when setting up your system to include any and all automatics that your chosen software has to offer and keep tweaking this automation over time. Instant reminders, push notifications and pre-programmed notes and emails can go a long way in making your employees more efficient (plus increase adoption) and help them reach more customers faster.
See a common theme happening here? That’s right…Collaboration is Key! Overall a CRM will help your entire organization work more like a team, reach common goals and increase profitability. By making the best use of your chosen CRM you can do all of these things to better serve you and your customers.