An organization is only as good as the relationship it maintains with its customers. The better a firm can manage and maintain relationships with clients, the more successful it will become. As a result, companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or more on personnel, hardware, and software that specifically deal with client-related issues on a day-to-day basis. So, how does a company ensure that it gets positive returns from a CRM investment? It all comes down to implementation. This guide aims at outlining the benefits of implementing CRM and practical tips/ideas you could use for a successful implementation.
CRM is not only broadly recognized but it is also widely-implemented, and this trend is unlikely to change. In fact, studies show customer relationship management growth is not slowing down. A forecast from Gartner predicts that the CRM market will be worth $37billion in 2017. In general, CRM is a strategy that involves learning more about customer’s behaviors and needs to help develop better and stronger relationships. As a result, it relies on human resources as well as technology to gain insight. In essence, CRM will help your company capitalize on improved client relations. But, how can you achieve better CRM?
- Finding out about the client’s opinions, purchasing habits, tastes and preferences
- Profiling customers
- Changing business operations to improve marketing and customer service
Regardless of your organization’s accumulated knowledge and experience, the market is always evolving, and client needs change with time. For instance, does your company know how to target millennials effectively? Well, did you know that dealing with Millennials can prove to be quite a hustle? CRM solutions make it easier to adapt and stay updated regarding customer needs and ensure that your firm exploits this information. Though the implementation of CRM solutions might be costly and time-consuming, it has many potential benefits. With an efficient customer relationship management implementation in place, a firm can increase revenues by:
- Providing better customer service hence happy customers and ultimately leads to brand loyalty
- Offering services and products that are relevant to customers
- Enabling sales personnel to close deals faster
- Making call centers efficient
- Simplifying the marketing and sales processes
- Increased profitability by identifying and targeting the most profitable clients and using the most cost effective means to deal with unprofitable clients
- Reducing cost of sales
- Cross-selling products and services by providing enhancements or alternatives
- Attaining more online visibility through enhancement of Search Engine Optimization techniques.
Tips on how to implement CRM
In today’s fast-paced business environment, it’s more important than ever for organizations to create and maintain better and long-lasting relationships with their clients. Proper CRM implementation will facilitate effective customer interactions which allow customer retention and construction of a new client base. Below are ideas for successful CRM deployment:
Make use of Pareto principle when targeting customers
So, what is the Pareto principle that everyone seems to be talking about? Originally, this principle was used in Italy and made implications that 80% of Italy’s wealth was possessed by only 20% of the total population. In other words, the main idea behind this principle is that wealth and many other things in life are unevenly distributed. How is this idea useful regarding customer relationship management? The Pareto principle helps you understand that 20% of the sales personnel can generate 80% of the total sales and 20% of your clients represent 80% of your sales. Therefore, identify these customers, find out where they come from, and perform psychographic and demographic study on the 20% customers. In simple terms, the Pareto principle helps you focus on your best clients.
Personalizing the company’s outreach follow-ups
Customers are a sensitive bunch. If you don’t show them that you understand them at a personal level, they are likely to move on. Clients appreciate firms that put extra effort into the customer experience. They expect nothing short of exceptional. Establish a culture where your stuff demonstrates mindfulness and gratitude towards customers. Qualities such as humility, kindness, and respect will not only help keep your current customers happy but improve your company’s reputation. Great follow-ups include personalized emails, providing ongoing customer support, social media outreach and personalized offers, discounts, and rewards. Personalized outreach provides a head start when you need one.
Establishing organizational principles
Corporate principles resilience takes a new urgency if your business does not have an online store. Your company must still be able to respond quickly and decisively to customer needs. The firm must dispense with all the negativity that annoys clients and prevents sales from growing. To bring about an entirely different CRM implementation approach, set up organizational principles and defaults. This might involve changing opening and closing hours and changing behaviors and mindset.
Asking for feedback
You’ve tried and exerted all efforts to better your products and improve customer service. But, are your clients happy? Are your strategies working? How do you keep up with the customers? Your CRM campaign is as good as useless when you don’t ask for feedback. Without genuine customer comments and reviews, all your data will be based on assumptions. Efficient and timely feedback gives you a clear picture of your current and potential customers’ needs. Get to know what your clients have to say about your products and services then figure out how to best cater for their needs. Make use of social media platforms, blog posts and forums to review client’s feedback.
Don’t skimp, let experts do the job
Your staff can be quite useful when implementing a CRM. But, unless they are properly trained to handle CRM, consider hiring professionals. More often than not, CRM involves setting up customer relationship management software. Schedule in time for an expert to train your stuff and keep them in the loop. Yes, it’s imperative to ensure that your team is not bogged down in detail. Implementing your own CRM is considerably economical but is it really worth it? Experts in CRM are familiar with its development and implementation. Therefore, they will save you a lot of time while ensuring a successful implementation.
Customer relationship management is a business game changer. But, how often have you seen high-minded aspirations to implement CRM actually succeed? And how often are there noticeable long-term improvements? If the answer to these questions is rarely, then consider reading about ideas for a successful CRM implementation.
Caitlin Mason is a Business Consultant and has been working for several companies, helping them with the efficiency of the marketing process by leveraging data provided to her. Caitlin is also a co-founder of Business Hours, an online publication that offers accurate and up-to-date information about the operating hours for some of the largest companies out there.