CRM is the acronym for Customer Relationship Management that covers strategies for managing your company’s potential and existing customers. Moreover, it’s a system that helps to control all the channels with customers and automate sales. Instead of Excel tables, messengers, and lots of documents, there is only one service that includes features for collecting and managing customer data, as well as monitoring, analyzing, and forecasting the company’s progress. So let’s figure out the main concepts, controversial issues, and accessible platforms for CRM with online customers.
What is The Result of CRM with Online Customers?
Online customer relationship management helps not just simplify the routine, speed up making the right decisions, and eliminate mistakes, but earn more without effort. It means that you can develop your business more successfully. Please, have a look at some benefits of using such a system:
a single database of customers;
transparency and control of the sales department work. This system immediately shows responsible people and transactions’ status;
accounting and analysis of order statistics. You can quickly determine who is responsible for the failed order. Thus, it is easier to analyze the reasons and make conclusions.
you can predict revenue with the help of statistics and analysis and plan the development of the enterprise.
Thus, an excellent service helps you win customers, keep them longer and immediately improve productivity and collaboration within your team. It becomes an indispensable assistant of innovative companies by collecting and saving data in one place and organizing follow-up with customers.
CRM with Online Customers: Strategy or Software?
CRM is typically used with such words as software and strategy as it’s a strategy that needs technological support. Of course, you can plan to maintain your customer data without errors or developing lead follow-up actions. However, without the right software supporting it, you’ll just waste your time.
To understand how an online customer relationship management system works, you should consider how to get a customer. You can start with generating interest in your product or service and following the ways described below.
Using Various Channels
The most demanded channels are organic search, online advertising, email newsletters, social media activities, and online events. The system can identify the source channel and analyze its effectiveness. Moreover, it calculates not only the number of leads by channel but also their conversion into sales. Thus, a thorough analysis shows which channels need strengthening or removing.
Necessary Information Kept
CRM works on multiple principles combined in a single platform. Therefore, built-in telephone numbers, messengers, email, and the entire interaction history with customers(even the recorded conversations) can ensure maximum efficiency and continuous client-based relationships.
Choosing Appropriate Interaction Strategy
A trusting and long-term relationship of the seller-buyer tandem will quickly transfer the order to the delivery department. In the case of open, easy, and free communication with several stages, the client goes to the sales funnel 95%. Thus, the ability to interest the client is the first step towards the fact that he will not only pay attention to the offered product or service but also make a purchase.
Professional communication always aims to:
prompt connection establishment – email, callback and online chat button, phone numbers, social networks, online consultants;
the comfort of a potential buyer – the client should feel as comfortable as possible, freely and at ease while communicating with a manager;
encouraging the completion of the transaction – unobtrusive pushing of a doubting customer to make a purchase;
the desire to return and recommend services to friends – the customer’s enthusiasm leads to more new orders.
Basic Rules for Building Communication
A clear plan for negotiation, even with a preliminary rehearsal.
Friendly and polite tone.
Referring to the client by name.
Listen. Delve into details. Respond promptly.
Do not delay with the main “problem”.
Offer several options to choose from.
Push for quick determination with a purchase/order.
Don’t be too intrusive.
Say goodbye so that a client will want to return and continue cooperation.
Returning In Case of Refusal
When a client takes a long pause or refuses to purchase, online customer relationship management is what brings the client to the purchase funnel.
First, define the core problem of refusal and its type(client isn’t sure whether he needs it; is ready to buy but has one “but” or wants to do it later) by using scripts. Then prepare arguments beforehand to dispel their main doubts(if there are questions on delivery, or product quality, for instance). Second, you can create a time-limited personalized offer and close a deal. If it doesn’t work, you can consult with other managers and find a solution considering all the details — clients like when they get answers to all their questions and appreciate competent support.
Document Flow Automation
CRM with online customers is an excellent tool for maintaining document flow, generating invoices, and sending them to clients, which speeds up and simplifies daily work.
Besides, if employees act according to regulated operations, errors like “information gaps” decrease, therefore, the company’s work is productive, and the results become more predictable. It is much easier to identify weaknesses and direct the efforts of the team in the right direction.
Analysis of the Company’s Performance
At all stages of work, the online customer relationship management system offers detailed analytics 24/7. Due to informative dashboards, managers can analyze the current sales and productivity. They can also plan and control marketing expenses and much more.
Let’s Summarize What CRM Gives You
1. Accelerating the work of managers – CRM generates 80% of tasks to free employees from routine operations. It saves their time; they do not forget about any important matter and can devote more time to the actual sales and increase the volume of transactions.
2. Sales growth and an increase in the average check, which gives an increase in profits. CRM with online customers stores a complete history of communication and helps sales departments analyze customer behavior, form suitable offers, and gain loyalty.
3. Increased profits that make it possible to invest more resources in business growth.
4. Business development with the opportunity for leaders to get a promotion. The “heart” of any CRM system is a database of both individuals and legal entities. These are customers and affiliates, partners, suppliers, and competitors that can support your business.
How to Understand Whether You Need a CRM?
CRM for you if you contact clients via all possible channels regularly and aim to earn money. For that, you need to gather essential data in one place to attract new leads and build long-term relationships with them. For example, a CRM system with IP telephony is ideal for online stores or wholesale companies.
CRM will not work if you have a retail store and don’t need long-term customer relationships. Or if you work on long-term contracts based on word of mouth. Not a single program will help here. The profit depends only on the experience of the manager and the desire of a visitor to buy.
What problems does CRM solve? CRM grabs orders from the site, appoints responsible managers and sets them tasks. If the task is overdue, the manager will instantly know about it. You won’t lose a single client again.
Is it challenging to analyze sales? CRM with online customers generates visual reports on all business processes. They include the number of new leads, transactions, calls and meetings. Also, CRM reports on each employee and helps to identify lazy ones in the sales department.
Does staff turnover affect sales? Customer history has its track in CRM: a new manager can immediately continue working. He needs to do the program tasks, move to new stages, and communicate with clients correctly.
Does the manager leave and take the customer base? The access rights in CRM are set up so that managers can see only their own clients. No one except you will have access to the entire client base and will not steal it.
Set of Functions that Must Be Present in the CRM
The customer accounting module, which stores the entire history of customer interactions.
A module for managing sales with a visual sales funnel. It should have a transaction status at each stage.
Business processes’ automatization with data changing, important dates’ reminding opportunities. For example, it can be the expiration date of the contract or the birthday.
Analytics and reports in real time in the form of visual graphs and charts, as well as tables with detailed data.
Integration with mail, website and IP-telephony. All incoming requests from different channels should have an immediate record in CRM.
API programming interface; opportunity to set up corporate software, mobile, and other applications.
Some Free Software Platforms
To appreciate the benefits of CRM with online customers, testing one of the free platforms is quite a good solution to solving all the obstacles and challenges managers encounter every day. We’ve found some good sources for you to start, so let’s consider their strengths.
Bitrix24 is genuinely free software without customer database limitations.
It provides excellent conditions for the communication of your team: group chats, calendars, workgroups, live feed, phone, and video calls, etc.
Bitrix24 supports such communication channels as social networks, telephony, messengers, email, and live chat.
Also, it deals with tasks and projects management, mainly control deadlines and plan workload.
It includes all the essential options of any CRM with online customers(like analytics, email marketing, bookings, invoices, orders, and payments, etc.).
HubSpot ensures that its software is 100% free for those who aren’t ready to choose their premium version. However, even a free platform impresses with its functionality. With a clean and intuitive dashboard, you can track sales statistics and get detailed reports so that you’ll have a clear understanding of your company’s progress. Thus, you’ll quickly find out what marketing strategies work and what is better to pay attention to. Among the main benefits are:
Management of deals and tasks;
Notifications of users’ engagement;
Email templates, scheduling, and tracking;
Opportunity to share documents;
Scheduling of meetings;
Live chats and sales quotes.
EngageBay is a cool marketing tool for supporting your team’s work flow and scaling your business. As it’s free for 15 users, it’s the best option for small business projects. It’s all about managing contacts, appointments, deals, and tasks.
By using this source of online customer relationship management, you’ll have only a 21-day free trial. Then, you’ll need to decide whether its terms and conditions fit your business. However, Freshsales guarantees good relations with customers and quality tracking tools for predicting revenues.
Less Annoying CRM isn’t totally free, but there is a free plan and the most beneficial pricing policy affordable to every business owner. It ensures that you’ll manage contacts and tasks, send emails, track leads, and stay on top of follow-ups with its help.
Besides, it’s called less annoying as this platform includes only necessary features, without some confusing features, making it an awesome tool for small businesses.
All in all, we’ve tried to consider all the features of CRM with online customers, provide answers to common questions and find out some free software platforms for you to figure out how such systems work.
Please, share your experience with us. How do you manage the workflow and track the success of your strategies?