- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
Customer relationship management is among the most important aspects of managing a business you will find. Nothing turns customers away quicker than feeling isolated or that they have no way of communicating with the company they’re spending money on.
For this post, we will go through exactly what customer relationship management is, who uses it, and why it matters to your business. So, let’s start with the basics.
DEFINING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Customer relationship management (or CRM for short) is quite simply how you interact and maintain your relationships with your customers as a business.
There are CRM systems out there that can help automate and streamline this process but others will choose to do it the old fashioned way through direct communication as well. This includes not only paying customers, but also suppliers, potential customers, and any other individuals who are doing business with you in some regard.
WHO IS CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT FOR?
A good CRM system helps your company at basically every level. From management, to sales, to customer service, and the customers themselves, CRM helps everything run smoother.
For larger businesses, CRM can be a difficult task but having a dedicated team for it certainly helps. Businesses that have to interact with many customers at a time may have to pick and choose who to talk to and having a proper CRM layout for communication eases a ton of confusion for both parties.
For smaller businesses, CRM is absolutely crucial and can be one of the major aspects in your company’s growth. In this day and age, you hardly have an excuse to not interact with your customers but the better you can communicate, the better of a reputation your business will get.
HOW CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT CAN AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS
We’ve outlined the basics of why CRM is important but what makes it so crucial to every business? It’s no question it can help improve your customer relations but where will it affect your profits and goals? Let’s go through a few points and figure out how.
Clear Overview of Customers
CRM allows you to achieve a data-driven approach to gaining a solid overview of your customers. You can figure out exactly what steps of the selling process customers enjoy or are dissatisfied with, what products are selling the best, and what customers want from your company in the future.
You can get this data in all sorts of ways, possibly through your company website or social media pages. Likes, comments, and page views go a long way in figuring out just how much CRM means to your business. The lower these interactions are, the more important CRM is to growing your company.
CRM can drastically improve your customer service in a lot of simple ways that can seem like a nuisance to you but are incredibly valuable to your customers.
What I mean by this is, I am sure you have had a customer ask a rather silly question over the phone or through email that could have been easily found out with a little research. A proper CRM system allows for an easy way to answer these simple questions that are obvious to you but very important to your customers.
Plus, if you are a business that delivers products and has a way for customers to track shipping or order progress, you are already ahead in CRM. These simple improvements take away questions like “how far away is my order?” or “did it get sent to the wrong address?” and leave room for other customers to address more pressing problems.
It is a given that better communication begets better customer service and proper CRM can greatly improve your communication thus strengthening the bond between your customers and your company.
Keeping An Eye on Competition
Customers are going to compare you to your competition whether you like it or not. If they are satisfied, they’ll be sure to tell you how much nicer you were than another company and if it’s the other way, they’ll be sure to tell you where they’re going.
However, this shouldn’t be the end of it, as proper CRM will allow you to see exactly how your competitors are doing things and trying to attract other customers in your niche.
Again, CRM is not always about the customers themselves but what details they are giving you through this open communication. Try to pick out the keywords they give you and see who you are being compared to on the market.
Easily the most powerful CRM tool out there today is social media. Some companies communicate with their customers exclusively through this avenue as most people have a profile of some kind and are perfectly content with talking to companies through these.
CRM is not always about talking to customers directly and how you present yourself on your social media pages can be a great strategy to improve your customer relationships. Posting statuses, pictures, or promotions is an easy way to engage with your customers without having them reach out directly.
Of course, it’s a good idea to have other avenues of communication, but you will need social media to effectively implement CRM. Its user base is just too large and people have almost grown more accustomed to communicating through these methods than by phone or email.
Customer relationship management is something all business owners should be aware of and implement in some way to grow. It can help even the largest companies and is a tool that is necessary for brand loyalty.
CRM can improve your business by achieving a clear overview of your customers, improving customer service, and learning details of your competition through your customers.
Keep in mind that social media is one of the most powerful tools you can use to achieve a solid CRM program and keep communications constantly open with customers. Growing your business requires a lot of back-and-forth and having a proper CRM initiative in place can make this process that much easier.
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