Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a customer-centric approach to doing business that improves customer experience, while driving profits and giving your business a competitive advantage.
To achieve your customer-orientated goals, the use of a CRM system is vital. This technology helps manage interactions with potential and existing customers. It provides a range of digital tools to enhance your customer management activities and boost productivity.
Many organizations are still using spreadsheets to store customer data, which can often contain inaccurate or out-dated information. This can lead to teams spending an inordinate amount of time updating the database manually and risks key information being missed.
With CRM, all customer data is stored centrally and can be accessed by all departments. This creates a real-time, 360-degree view of your customers that is accessible 24 hours a day. It allows your marketing, sales and customer service teams to better service and satisfy your customer base.
A CRM strategy if scaled correctly throughout your business will have many benefits. Here are the top 4 ways CRM technology will help improve your business:
1. Delight your customers
Happy customers are a business’s greatest asset. Why spend all that effort to acquire a customer just to squander the relationship?
It is not only quicker but also cheaper to retain and expand existing customers than to find new ones. In our digital age, it’s easy to promote negative experiences. Consistently delighting your customers is a necessity. Nurturing customers into loyal brand advocates will help to attract new business to grow your pipeline.
CRM systems enable businesses to proactively manage the relationship with the customer providing a better understanding of how to individually service their needs. Segmentation and personalisation can be performed, grouping individuals on not only their preferences but behavior. Marketing and sales teams are armed with the knowledge to tailor their approach for each customer.
With CRM there are no data silos that hinder communication. All teams can utilize the enhanced customer insights to better service the customer. Trends in behavior and cross-department touchpoints can be analyzed to generate cross-sell and upsell opportunities. You will never be on the back foot again; your customers’ needs will be taken care of, before they even exist.
2. Increase internal efficiencies
CRM will help you boost productivity and help reduce inefficiencies.
With CRM you can integrate all your business systems data into one central location. Users now only have one place to find customer data. No longer are they digging through different documents or spreadsheets spending hours inputting and collating data.
Cross-department communication will be improved. Teams are able to collaborate more effectively by accessing data that is always up-to-date. They now work together to understand where efforts should be spent rather than missing part of the narrative. Communication and activity can be coordinated to drive long-term results.
Through the implementation of a CRM system, laborious tasks become automated. This frees up time to focus on what really matters, your customers. Follow up reminders or key actions are triggered on the basis of time or activity.
Sales and marketing teams will be able to determine opportunities that need nurtured at the click of a button. Activity can be automatically scheduled to kick-start dormant opportunities. Without these insights you are missing out on potential opportunities to bring in revenue. With CRM, no prospect or customer is left behind.
3. Supercharge reporting and forecasting abilities
Unreliable reports are not going to help your business succeed. Manually pulling data from different sources such as spreadsheets can allow this to happen. Different departments may be looking at different data sets, compromising the reliability of the reports.
With CRM there is only one source of real-time data. As your customers continue to engage their data and profiles are constantly updated. The more your team utilises the CRM system the greater insights you will have to make key decisions.
Executive dashboards can be built to highlight key KPIs as soon as you login. Team managers can review the progress of team goals, highlighting where there may be challenges but also when to celebrate success. Coaching becomes easier as you quickly understand where you need to intervene before it is too late.
Pipeline forecasting becomes easier as you now have access to rich customer history and upcoming actions. All opportunities are monitored bringing more confidence in your financial planning reducing the number of surprises. Informed decisions are your new normal allowing everyone to be strategically aligned.
4. Protect your organisation
A CRM allows you keep a healthy data set to maintain regulatory compliance. It’s vital to keep good data integrity to protect your organisation. Secure authentication and granular security permissions can be established to protect individual’s data rights and sensitive information.
Data validation rules and cleaning tools will help reduce data errors and duplication. Communication preferences can be tracked across the whole organization. If a client opts out of marketing, this will be signalled across the full system. The contact will then be removed from any marketing lists.
Peace of mind will be restored to you and your teams knowing that no large fines will be placed upon you by accidentally breaching data protection regulations.