11/28/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/28/2021 10:33
When you first start out in business, you can probably manage to keep all of your customers or clients top-of-mind … because you don't have that many. At this stage, sticky notes are your best friend.
As you become more established, your customer base grows. It becomes harder to keep every customer and prospect straight. Contacting them at regular intervals to follow up on something they plan to buy or have already bought gets trickier.
Once you're there, you need to find a tool that will help you stay organized and on-task. Thankfully, there's something called CRM or Customer Relationship Management.
A CRM is a customizable technology that allows you to keep track of all of your customer's interactions with your business, from the first time they visit your website to the last time they made a purchase. It includes details like their contact information, their buying preferences, and notes from every conversation you've had with them.
You can tailor the information you enter and retain in your CRM however you'd like. Collect as little or as much information as will help you serve your customers better and convert prospects more efficiently.
Customer Relationship Management is just that… managing relationships with your customers. You'll see a variety of benefits in your business once you incorporate a CRM. These include:
As you grow and take on more prospects and customers, a CRM can be your lifeline. But only if you use it right.
Let's say that you wanted to hang a picture in your living room. You take a nail, line it up in the wall, and then grab a hammer and whack at the nail with the handle while you hold the head of the hammer.
You won't be hanging any pictures that way and chances are, you'll have to repair the drywall to boot. Even worse, what if you have a hammer but leave it in the toolbox and just hit the nail with your hand?
You've got the right tool, so why isn't it working? Because you aren't using it properly (or at all). Without a strategy, no tool in the world will be right for the job you need to do. The same goes for a CRM.
So, what is a CRM strategy?
A CRM strategy is a plan that your entire company adopts to help increase productivity, efficiency, and profits. It's an organization-wide belief that customers are the lifeblood of your business and building relationships with them and then nurturing those relationships, is the fastest path to success.
Ideally, you'll develop this strategy prior to purchasing your CRM software. This will allow you to choose the tools, capabilities, and price point that's best for your business. Without a strategy, your employees may become overwhelmed by all the possible functions and fail to use it at all.
A CRM Strategy has everything to do with your company and your needs. The strategy (just like the tool itself) is not a one-size-fits-all solution. That's why it's so important to take your time developing a CRM strategy. Before you get started, you'll need to determine three things:
Now that you've done the work and have a better understanding of your company, your customers, and your needs, you're ready to develop your strategy. You can use an existing CRM Strategy Template or just make sure you incorporate the following into your plan:
These guidelines will help you develop a CRM strategy that works for your business.
Remember, there is no cookie-cutter CRM strategy that will work for every business. However, there is a world of CRM strategy examples out there you can learn from and be inspired by.
Do a bit of digging and you may find a company in a similar industry, but perhaps a different market, you can emulate. Or, you may find an entirely different business out there whose strategy can be tailored to fit your needs.
Let's take a look at a handful of examples:
Customers are assisted through automated communications during their buying cycle which limits the contact between employees and customers to streamline the experience. In most situations, no employee-traveler interaction is necessary.
It uses its CRM to:
This automation frees up employees to focus on building brand awareness and strengthening the Airbnb community.
While many companies have created loyal followers, no one does it quite like Sephora:
And it couldn't do any of it without its CRM.
With so many ways to contact the company, Wells Fargo utilizes its CRM to respond quickly to comments and complaints and then logs the conversations in the customer's record. For example, when a customer comments on one of the company's social media accounts, a customer service agent is notified and can formulate a response in real-time.
Their CRM connects platforms to streamline communication and provide excellent customer service.
Hopefully, your business will reach the point where sticky notes no longer cut it for keeping track of your customers - if it hasn't already. When that happens, a CRM is an essential tool for establishing and maintaining relationships with your customers.
It will help grow your business and make life easier for your employees and your customers - but only if you use it right. Determine your CRM Strategy early on and let it guide the solution you choose and the way that you interact with it. When you have the right tool for the job (and you use it properly) you'll be amazed at how quickly you can grow.
Originally published Nov 28, 2021 11:14:42 AM, updated November 28 2021
Topics:Using a CRM