According to the statistics, 74% of businesses use online customer relationship management software to foster and improve customer relationships.
What has caused CRM to become such an integral part of most businesses? Well, it is highly essential because companies of today wish for access to real-time customer data to improve their services. By using past data to detect which customers will be profitable and which won’t be, customer relationship systems help in targeting the right clients.
CRM is used to such an extent that the CRM software industry is expected to reach over $80 billion in revenue in the next six years. Nowadays, having a robust CRM system in place is considered to be a necessity. As a company to realize the most benefit out of the system, you must know the right tips, strategies, and tools.
To manage customer relationships, here are the critical CRM tips you need to keep in mind.
1. Treat Your Customers Like You Would Want to Be Treated
Increasing CRM sales might be your goal. However, merely relying on the system to offer you the best customer experience management is not enough. Instead, to derive the most benefit out of the system, you must take interpret its data and use it properly.
For starters, you must treat the customers you identify via the online customer relationship management system properly. Think of it this way. There is a certain level of respect that you wish from people. This is the exact respect, consideration, and cares you must offer to your clients as well. Just because your customer experience management system identified that a given client is profitable, doesn’t mean he/she will always be. This will depend on your treatment of them. Use the data offered by your system and with its support target your customers with care and respect and you will surely see the results.
2. Your Sales Team Matters
Among the many customer relationship management tips, people sometimes forget the significance of human resources when managing customers. Online customer relationship management is more than syncing emails and using the best CRM software. Instead, you must also accompany it all with the best sales team you can find. You need to find people who are good at their job. You must find a team that is empathetic, positive, polite, and patient. They must be good at communicating with your customers, listening to their concern, and satisfy their queries.
It might be relatively easier to find quality CRM software than a skilled sales team to go with it. Therefore, you must invest your time, energy, and resources in recruiting the cream of the crowd. After you have done so, you must make a point of keeping them happy and motivated so that employee turnover rates remain low.
The more motivated and satisfied your sales team is, the more satisfied your final customers will be. Train your team. Encourage them to take the initiative. Make sure to consider their feedback so that your team feels ownership of your business. The better your team is treated and the more empowered it is, the more likely they are to treat your customers well.
3. Use Your Online Customer Management System to Improve Customization
Customer experience management is not just about how to effectively manage current customers. Instead, the system can offer you insights about how to improve your product offering.
Nowadays, the masses prefer personalized goods. Over 48% of customers spend more money on items that have been customized to their desire. You can get insights regarding what features customers wish for and what their preferences are through your CRM system. You can then use this data to personalize further and customize your offering or marketing efforts.
An example of the latter can be sending customized emails to those customers who have previously bought related items using your store. CRM tips can only be fruitful to you if you know how to use them properly. It doesn’t matter how you utilize CRM, one of your goals should be to observe touchpoints across various channels, analyze your customer’s browsing history within your store and then alter your campaign to best target your audience.
Remember, customers nowadays don’t buy products. They buy experiences. Therefore, you must ensure that you offer a positive and holistic experience that is designed to cater to your audience’s unique needs.
4. Know When to Call
Sometimes online customer relationship management is not enough. Emails are not always the best way to interact with customers. When things go south, you need to employ other methods of CRM to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. When you are dealing with unsatisfied and concerned clients, understand that it is better to resolve the issue on call. Discussions are bound to lead to better solutions.
While you are at it, create a concrete roadmap regarding how you will go about implementing the solutions to resolve the problems. Build trust by relaying the dates to your customers. Make sure you can stick by the timeline and offer a solution by the time you promised.
5. Integrate It All
Online customer relationship management is one aspect of CRM. Interaction with clients also occurs over the phone, face-to-face, and via emails. How do you make sure that you are best able to analyze the various data delivered through the channels? You do so by integrating all of your software together.
For instance, your calendar programs, online interactions with customers, browsing history, email, and other marketing efforts should all be synced with one another. Why should you bother to do so? Well, an integrated CRM system means that regardless of which of your employees a given customer is talking to, they will have the best experience. After all, your employees will be able to access all information regarding the customer digitally. This will help your team deliver a personalized, empathetic, and seamless service to your customers.
Such an integrated system and brand analytics can also allow you to effectively create predictive marketing models that would let you target customers that are profitable in all aspects. Therefore, even if you employ other customer relationship management tips and not integrate your system, you will be at a loss.
6. Strive to Improve Continuously
There is no such thing as perfect customer experience management. You can always improve. The day that you think you can’t get any better and stop striving to enhance your experience is the day you will start losing. This is because, in today’s world, things are continually changing. Your system and CRM plan might be perfect for the current landscape. But, in a few years, without any improvements, it might become outdated.
To prevent this from happening, you must always keep tabs on the changing environment and adapt accordingly. These changes should be evident in your CRM strategies, tools, and operations. If you feel that there is a lot that can be done to your current system to improve it, start with alterations that are likely to cause the most impact.
For instance, you might choose to prioritize improving your strategy of how to sell to current customers rather than focusing first on ways to attract new ones. While online customer relationship management can do both, you can work on its changes according to what you think is more beneficial for your company. And this something you need to decide.
7. Always Be Transparent
Crises Control is a crucial part of online customer relationship management. When something goes wrong, the last thing you need is for your clients to find out from other sources. Moreover, if they end up leaving disgruntled reviews about your business, online reputation management will become a nightmare as well.
Hence, to effectively manage relationships with your clients, you must strive to be transparent with them. Whenever things don’t go according to plan, let them know to keep them in the loop regarding it. For example, let’s say you promised to solve an issue by a given date. However, the date is approaching, and you know that you won’t be able to solve the problem by then. Rather than having an unsatisfied employee call you regarding it, you should take the initiative and let them know first. This might not help in improving your image, but it surely doesn’t create a negative impact.
8. Be Careful with Your Promises
Stemming from the above CRM tips is one significant takeaway- try not to promise what you can’t deliver. Online customer relationship management can only reap effects if you can build trust with customers. The tip we mentioned above works when your ability to not live up to your promise is a one-time thing. However, if you do it whenever faced with a problem, then regardless of how early you inform your customers about it, you will still have to suffer their wrath.
Rather than promising what you know you can’t do, it is much better to under-promise. This way when you beat your timeline of things, you will surpass customers’ expectations who are bound to be satisfied with your service. Make a point of always adding a realistic cushion to your timeline. For instance, if you know that your vendor takes ten days to deliver goods, give your customers a timeframe of 15 days to be on the safe side.
The happier customers are with the swiftness of your service and the honesty of your company, the better reviews they will give to your business. In combination with other customer relationship management tips, this action ensures profits for your company.
9. Keep Your Online Customer Relationship Management System Up-to-Date
Another thing that makes all other CRM tips useless is outdated data. Effective customer relationship management needs to be built on recent customer data. If not, then whatever strategy you come up with will not be aligned with your customer needs.
Not only do you need updated data to base your strategy on, but your frontline sales team needs it for reliability purposes. This is the customer data they refer to when talking to customers, whether online or face-to-face. Let’s say the information is out-of-date. Here, not only will the experience delivered to customers will be subpar but your sales team will struggle to connect with your client. Instead, you will spend more time updating information.
Therefore, make sure that the information you are basing your entire CRM strategy is up to date and accurate. Update it regularly. Delete any duplicate records that might exist. Keep all the email addresses of your clients clean and separate from one another. The more reliable your data is, the better the relationship your customers will have with your brand.
10. Understand that It Is Just One Part of It All
Yes, CRM is essential. However, it is crucial to remember that CRM is only one part of your overall strategy. You can’t overemphasize its importance in your corporate strategy. Instead, there are various other things that you should juggle simultaneously as well.
Train your sales team. Get the best ones on board. Use updated information and gain valuable insights from it. But, when you are doing all of this, make sure you don’t ignore other functions of your business. For example, along with a quality CRM strategy, you must also work on the quality of your product. After all, no one would care how great your customer management is if the product isn’t worthy of their time.
Use these ten tips regarding customer relationship management and see whether you can witness a difference in your sales and customer satisfaction rates. When you combine the best practices with the right tools, you will see results. Hence, make sure you use a quality online CRM tool, like salesmate. Once you have the right elements, nothing can stop your CRM strategy from succeeding.
Audrey Throne is a mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Audrey is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne
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