What is the most important aspect of your business? Would you agree that customers are the single biggest, most vital, part of your company? If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. Customers purchase your products or services, provide your income, and drive your research. Everything else you do, every other important aspect of your business, is there to service your customers.
You may have already guessed why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) plays such a vital role in helping your business succeed. If not, here are the reasons you need one.
Your customers expect you to know who they are, it’s a pretty basic requirement. You may have a great memory for faces and names, but honestly, can you remember twenty customers? Fifty? A hundred? At some point even your amazing memory begins to fail and you are caught snapping your fingers or with a glazed look trying to recall just who it was you spoke with a month ago about a purchase.
That’s just you, what about the rest of your employees? Will you go around telling each of them who you talked to and describing them, so they can support the customer during your vacation? A CRM is designed to fill the memory gap. It can remember thousands of people for you, allow you to look them up any time you like. It’s available to everyone in the company. You will never have to scratch your head to dredge up a customer’s name again.
Playing Post Office
You communicate with customers in a variety of ways, but a very common one is email. You can search your email and arrange it easily to follow any conversation you’ve had with all the attachments available at a quick double-click. But once again, what about the rest of your coworkers? They have all of their communications, and you have all of yours. What if they are with the same customer? Are you sure you’ve shared them? Were they on the CC or BCC list?
What about that new guy, the hot shot salesman who started last week? You couldn’t have CC’ed him before he was ever hired. A customer service CRM consolidates all the communications, email, texts, web chats, phone calls, and personal meetings, into one location, associates it with the customer and makes it available to everyone. It’s your central email bank and more.
What’s the Latest?
Some of your customers are due for a call next week. Others are on hold until next month. Some just got their delivery, others only buy every six months. Now figure out which ones are which and who to contact for your next five calls. Sound tough? Not if you’ve recorded the latest status of each customer in your CRM each time you make contact. Then it’s just a matter of asking the CRM who is next on the list. You’ll never call the same customer twice or leave one in limbo so long they find another company. Just keep your CRM rotating through your list.
Let Me Tell Your Future
Where should you put your efforts? You should probably put more effort into customers who make big frequent purchases, right? Who are they? Use your CRM data to plot past history and then project those trends out into the future. Determine which customers provide 80% of your business while only requiring 20% of your effort. Figure out if you need more staff to handle your customer base. See whether you are keeping up with your contacts and closing sales. Analyze if your customers are happy with you. If the future is bright, celebrate. If not, fix it now, before any dire predictions come to pass.
A Place for Everything
Looking at these points you might sense a trend. CRM helps you stay organized. With all customer data in a single place, you can always find what you are looking for. When you track behaviors you can see how your efforts lined up with your results. You can plan how to emphasize your strengths and address your weaknesses. You can even take precautions to preserve all your customer data in case of emergencies. Imagine trying to create backups for every employee’s computer, phone, email account, calendar and notebook. With all your information centralized you can have a comfortably paranoid backup system keep a copy of everything and sleep a little sounder at night.
Most business people agree good customer service makes the difference between a successful company and a failing one. CRM is designed to make not only your customer service but every other aspect of dealing with customers be more centralized, more efficient, and more accurate, driving your success by emphasizing who is most important. Your customer.
Did you find the information in this article helpful? Leave us a comment in the section below.