So, what’s more important; selling a product/service or having a satisfied customer? Well, the answer is both as each goal is connected. It’s staggering how many businesses still fail to understand the importance of their customers’ relationships and are still focused only on the company’s bank balance. Yes, of course you can still be successful even if you don’t focus on customer satisfaction, especially true if you sell a commodity product, but the leaky bucket analogy will soon start to get expensive and costly. We all know that it is far more cost-effective and time efficient to keep loyal customers than it is to obtain new ones.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is not new to the business arena, but there are still companies that are yet to integrate a system into their operations within the UK. Whereas the USA, known for its customer service, sees 91% of companies with more than 11 employees using a CRM System according to Business.com.
Information is power. Gaining a competitive edge is challenging nowadays so every piece of intel that you can obtain from your customers is crucial in getting ahead of the game. Customers are the lifeblood of every business and a CRM system is designed to contain processes and tools to assist employees in satisfying and supporting customers more effectively and profitably.
How many times have you called up a company only to get a different person answer your call and you’ve had to repeat the information all over again? Frustrating right? Time is precious and can be expensive. How refreshing would it be to provide some basic details and for the person taking your call to know all about you, your communication and transaction history? It’s possible with a CRM system.
From a business continuity perspective, it can be daunting for a new employee to fill the shoes of their predecessor, having to learn all about their customers. However, with a CRM system all the information is readily available as soon as the initial introductions are made, they can pick up where they left off with minimal disruption. Employers no longer have to worry about information being kept in employees’ heads but, saved securely in a system instead.
There are three main business functions of a CRM system;
- Marketing – from the first contact as a lead or prospect to a loyal customer the relationship can be documented and nurtured. By fully understanding your customer you can start to segment them into groups enabling the business to produce relevant and appealing communications to educate customers and to increase sales. Marketing campaigns can be automated and the success measured and as the content is more targeted and subsequently customers are more likely to engage.
- Sales – by highlighting key information for the sales team in the CRM system they can focus their attention on converting the best opportunities and building a pipeline of quality leads. The information within the system will enable more effective relationships to be created which will empower the employees and satisfy the customers and will more likely result in a sale.
- Customer Service – when it comes to post-sales activities such as support, the team can suggest the most effective resolutions, actions and offers based on customer history. The customer is happy as they are offered a solution that meets their needs and the employee takes pride in achieving customer satisfaction.
As your business grows, your employee base increases and you gain more customers. It is therefore even more important to have all your information in one central system. If not, teams may start to duplicate efforts or provide conflicting information causing confusion to the customer and delivering inadequate customer service.
By having all your customer information in one place you can easily report and analyse on the business’s performance and identify any opportunities and threats before your customers go elsewhere. By automating processes, it prevents opportunities from being overlooked i.e., if a new enquiry comes in from the website it can initiate an automated sales process. There is no need for a member of staff to action and if someone is on annual leave or away from their desk the enquiry is still dealt with.
The functionality available within a CRM system is vast depending on your IT competence, needs and budget with many providers offering a free trial in the first instance. The key benefits of integrating one into your business are;
- Enables customers and their associated communication to be located quickly
- Able to categorise and prioritise leads to maximise sales
- Automates the sales process to ensure consistency and efficiency
- Manages tasks and appointments preventing lost opportunities from occurring
- Enhances team and cross-team collaboration
- Provides accurate detailed reports and forecasts
- Improves customer retention and satisfaction
- Supports business growth
Your sales, marketing and customer service teams will all benefit from a CRM system being in place and your customers will be happy as a result too. At Advantage Services we offer two CRM systems; Zoho and Act!. If you would like to discuss your requirements with one of the team, please call us on 0330 335 0011 or drop us a message.