The changing face of the global economy has forced numerous businesses to change their strategies to keep their heads above water, and one of the predominantly successful business strategies involves customer relationship management.
As you can imagine from the name, customer relationship management handles everything that deals with the customer: knowledge, satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. While most companies start with the selling item—the product or service—and acquire customers from there, customer relationship management starts with the customer and customizes the workflow and marketing to the needs of each individual customer. Starting with the customer often means collecting large amounts of data on each client and analyzing that data to better accommodate your customer’s needs and expectations.
Customer relationship management is much more than a strategy; it is a state of mind, an ideology— if implemented properly, it could help your brand achieve all of its personal and financial goals. How does a CRM strategy benefit your business?
Improved Customer Service
The system starts with maintaining a database of customer profiles that includes basic information along with purchasing habits—what the customer buys, how frequently, whether items were regular price or on sale, for example.
The database gives each employee abundant information to assist and cater to each customer’s specific needs. Customer service representatives can quickly and easily adapt their approaches. With the proper organization and experience, you may even be able to anticipate and predict a customer’s needs and provide support before the customer even asks for it.
When you implement an effective, customized CRM program in your business strategy, the chain-reaction efficiency saves you money in several ways: a shorter sales cycle, more streamlined lead acquiring process, higher sales closure rate, and expedited campaign execution. All of this leads to money (and time) saved.
From a customer service perspective, CRM software saves significant time and money. As an example, a customer service call at a call center takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour (roughly) of time, along with resources, meaning money spent. When a customer can find all the personalized help they need with your CRM software, they get their problem solved quickly and easily, and you can put those employees into more profitable positions.
More Customers through Tailored Marketing
Analysis of demographics allows you to break down the customers you have into three main levels:
- Brand customers: Customers who have purchased from you only once but can potentially become regular clients. Discounts and special promotions can help bring them into that loyal customer fold.
- Lapsed customers: The customers who have purchased from you several times before but haven’t recently. This is where knowing your customers and keeping a database come in handy. You can get lapsed customers buying again by making similar offers that got them initially buying your goods or services.
- Loyal customers: These guys don’t need any convincing or coaxing. They’ve bought from you in the past and continue to do so now. They purchase at regular price. For your loyal customers, it’s all about the overall customer experience and providing them with certain special services, like direct lines to customer service personnel or making them affiliates to your business. Let them know about new products and services through exclusive email newsletters. You can also implement loyalty programs to further retain loyal customers.
Simplified Marketing and Sales
Through customer relationship management systems, you can create more effective communication channels. Websites and applications for handheld devices streamline business deals for sales representatives and the company as a whole.
CRM gives customers several options to choose exactly how they would like to be approached or contacted. You can identify individuals that have the greatest potential for future sales instead of administering mass market approaches. You save money by not using up resources on individuals who you know won’t become regular customers.
Better In-House Communication and Coordination
Under the CRM system, marketing, sales, and customer service share the same platform. Your team isn’t separated by functionality or access to data. Everyone is on even footing, allowing departments to function cohesively and communicate without any barriers. They have everything they need to work as a single, productive unit.