Customer Relationship Management or CRM manages information about your current and potential clients and all the interactions with your employees. It includes anything and everything the customer does with your business, like purchases, queries, complaints, appreciations, etc. The goal of a customer-centric company must be to know their customers better and have all their information ready for future interactions. CRM software manages multiple touch-points during a customer journey and, by mapping the specific events, helps us to understand critical moments that influenced consumer behavior.
“We need unified customer data to get their 360-degree. This is possible only when data silos across the departments are unlocked. Currently, it is more important how we can make various platforms with your customer data talk to each other. Integrating modern CRMs or Customer Data Platform (CDP) with CRM can help companies achieve this.
[First,] Marketers can use this data for customer journey analytics (CJA) to track, understand, and analyze customer behaviour. This makes it easier for them to identify and act on complex customer experience issues across the customer journey. The situation is not much different in enterprise B2B, where ABM prevails. Enterprise B2B is focusing on the quality intent data to target the right accounts. They would like to understand every interaction their customers from an account is having.
Second, we have also seen many Customer Experience programs failing due to the software-first approach instead of the customer, business, people, and process-first approach. When you follow the software-first approach, you try to reinforce a process or a feature fitting the needs of the software but not the customer (…).”
Many CRM systems ranging from basic to sophisticated and free to expensive. Based on business needs it is crucial to find a tool that is best suited for it
Improving team efficiency
In earlier times, we used Excel to maintain data, and it was so cumbersome to handle data. It was also challenging for different team members to interpret and work on the data. It was a waste of human resources; now, we can use store and manage data in one system and procure information when we need so that we have clarity, and it saves duplication of work. CRM offers two of the most important things for a sales team – ease in accessing data and visibility.
“CRM helps us manage all clients and prospective customer interactions. This tool is essential to track metrics and make sure our sales team is achieving our goals. First, in order to measure successful implementation of the CRM, you should start by setting up the SMART goals: meaning that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Then, monitor the following metrics: close rate, conversion rate, number of calls per day, new revenue on existing and new customers, number of purchases on existing and new customers, the number of new leads getting into the system, the number of potential customers pending to be attended to by a member of the sales team, the sales value per each team member, and the amount of the overall sales for the entire team. This system will help to speed up the process between your company and your customers, improve profitability, and will ultimately help to reach your business goal.”
Improving customer journey
Visualizing the Customer Journey is a way to understand what are customer pain points and motivations. If we reduce the issues they face while interacting with us, we can make this journey smooth and improve the satisfaction rate.
“Most CRM systems can be customized substantially to fit the typical and preferred journeys of the customers they’re designed to serve. Once this customization has been accomplished to a sufficient degree, marketers are able to not only track where their audiences are in the communications and sales processes, but also target messages to prospects that will best match those prospects to solutions that will serve their needs. When CRM systems are built to fulfill customer needs and desires, they result in higher sales, stronger brands, and more satisfied customers.”
Some businesses, like financial institutes, healthcare, etc. are required to collect customers’ identity and financial documents as per regulatory guidelines, while others manage necessary information. The information should be on a need to know basis. It must be highly secured to avoid data hacking to protect clients. Salesforce is one important tool that is used by many such institutes worldwide.
Understand whether you need a highly sophisticated system like this for your business.
“One of the most significant contributions of CRM systems to virtually any industry is that of data centralization. In Higher-ed, for instance, the use of CRM allows us to combine data obtained through a prospect’s interaction with any of the other units (be it Admissions, Student Financials, Registrar, etc.) to obtain a holistic view of the prospect’s interaction with the institution along any step of the customer journey. That is data we can later on leverage to personalize the customer experience and deliver valuable, timely, and relevant information, making it likelier for the prospect to matriculate and enroll once admitted.”
We can personalize a customer’s experience to delight them and in this era, businesses that make a customer feel important, are valued over businesses that don’t. This way the brand will gain loyalty and the trust that it will perform consistently all the time.
In CRM software, we can choose to add social media information to the customer, which can help us tackle any situation like bad reviews and a scandal. We can include twitter, Instagram tabs, which will help us understand a customer better and to offer them services accordingly. It lets us know customer sentiments and strategize to perform better.
It is so true when we think about what customers are thinking and feeling about our brand; we get overwhelmed. Whether it is B2B or B2C company, it is essential to reduce friction as much as possible at all touchpoints throughout the customer journey. Whatever business goals a company may have, a CRM system will only make it easier to achieve.
Many have said about the importance of customer service, but only those who truly understand and practice will have successful customer-centric businesses that others will strive to become.
“If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.” ~ Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com