Your customer relationships require management. Especially given that the summer is approaching and you may be considering taking some time away to regroup and refresh. Why not use the momentum to further develop new clientele relationships? Your existing customers and those who will join you deserve a great relationship with you, don’t they?
You can manage it.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is not just about a software program to keep your data organized, it is more about ensuring that you constantly nurture your existing client base as you add to it. CRM is more about a customer-focused philosophy and strategic operations plan. The CRM business strategy can assist the entire company operate for maximum customer loyalty, profitability and creating a lead generation machine through referral development.
Customer relations management may have started out as a software tool, but that is merely the initial step toward an entirely new way of looking at your customer assets. By collecting customer data from internal and external sources, this data can be utilized to learn about customers, their behaviors, likes and dislikes, and much more. CRM data can inform leadership and the team what works, what doesn’t and what should be eliminated or improved, to better serve the customer. It is a philosophy of putting customers at the pinnacle of everything; the reason a business exists. Each team member must fully adopt this winning philosophy, or it will forever fail to deliver all of which it is capable.
Customer-faced employees must possess the skills to quickly assess and act on opportunities to provide great customer satisfaction and must be fully empowered to do whatever is necessary for a successful outcome. Also, customer-centric staff must be capable of taking advantage of opportunities to drive revenues through up-sell whenever possible; thereby driving sales and improved customer relations.
A CRM database must be easily accessed, containing all data from within and external sources, so that a knowledge base on each customer the company possesses receives consistent care, maintenance and marketing. And it must integrate into your inbound marketing plan.
Customer Relationship Management
CRM uses three components every company possesses; people, processes and technology (to varying degrees). Through an effective use of all three, companies can drive profitability through up-sell and cross marketing, streamline processes and much, much more.
Here’s what your customer relationship management strategy should provide:
- A customer database chock full of useful information from all points of view and interaction
- An ability to quickly learn and adapt to each customer’s unique position
- Customer retention by a company-wide focus on customer relationship and satisfaction
- Accessibility to segmented customer data for targeted ongoing nurture marketing
- An increase in profitability as a result of a deeper customer relationship, loyalty and advocacy
- A decrease in contract disputes, slow payment and customer dissatisfaction
- A referral source from utilizing the full relationship; people recommend companies they like and respect
- A decrease in customer turnover, lower overall customer management costs
The Potential Benefits of an automated system out-perform the spreadsheet model small firms (and some larger) have used to keep track of important customer data. Here’s what you can experience:
- Customer interactions become personalized, improving loyalty and advocacy
- Operations become customer-centric, streamlined and planning made easier
- The ability to segment customers and the marketplace via data flows
- Predictive Analytics
- Identifying customer behaviors, insights and buying habits
Inbound Marketing Integration
These are just some of the benefits using an automated CRM system. If you don’t think you can afford an enterprise platform, there are affordable solutions from companies such as Salesforce.com©, infusionsoft©, and with HubSpot© marketing software, more than twenty solutions can be integrated with little to no downtime, thereby affecting both internal and external customers.
From a technology view, the reports a CRM software platform can offer are nearly endless, but with all that data, it may be difficult to understand which reports are most useful. Each company possesses uniqueness and therefore reports will vary widely. There are three reports on which every company on which should focus;
- DOA Report
- Quality Problems Report
- Most Profitable Report
These reports can be useful whether a product or service company, or a combination of the two. Regardless, these reports can prove to be invaluable in determining what products or services drive or hold back the business. If negatives impact customers as well as positives, the ability to quickly assess finite detail can make all the difference in customer retention and customer referrals.
I am sure you will agree that the more we can know about our customers, the better we can serve them. Through the use of some form of customer relationship management system, automated or manual, it behooves every business person to utilize this leading edge concept. Strategic planning can be improved through the use of data, and there is no better way to plan operations than through effective, in-depth information that CRM can offer.
The time is now!
You may very well be tired, having worked diligently on taxes and other deadline reports, filings and the like. You may have even scheduled a short vacation or planned take a well-earned, long holiday weekend. The truth is, there is no better time than right now to focus your energies, momentum and improve your customer relations through a CRM strategy.
If you need help understanding how an integrated CRM platform can truly benefit your customers and your business, and fit within your marketing plan, feel free to call us at Zen Marketing; you will be astounded how great your relations with your customers can grow.