As a business owner, you need to make crucial decisions. One of the most important is choosing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Regardless of an enterprise’s size or industry, managing customer relationships is integral to success.
While a CRM system offers numerous benefits to businesses both big and small, the most important is that it allows you to improve the overall experience of your customers.
When it comes to retaining customers, customer experience is the most vital differentiator. According to Walker Info, the customer experience is set to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.
For those new to the CRM realm, we offer the seven top benefits such a system provides. So if you’re reluctant to let on that some of these technologies and terminologies are unfamiliar, we won’t tell. You’ll have a good working knowledge of it by the end of this post so you can shop with confidence to get the right system for your company’s specific needs.
What is CRM?
First things first. Customer relationship management is an approach to manage a company’s interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers’ history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.
A CRM system allows you to engage with more customers positively, and helps you remain relevant in today’s competitive environment. Besides improving the customer experience, a CRM platform can be used for other important tasks.
And now – the top seven benefits of CRM software
A CRM system offers several benefits to businesses which include monitoring and improving relationships with customers – both current and prospective.
1- It helps you understand your customers – A CRM system gathers data on each customer into individual profiles. This creates a database of customer-agent interactions that allows you access to each customer’s historical data, which helps you to react to their needs proactively. With this information, your sales team can see each customer’s service history, complaint history and other demographic data, and react accordingly.
Your service representatives have everything in front of them – from when your customers last bought from you to any issues they’ve had in the past and their contract expiration details. When you have all this information in place, your representatives can solve the problems of your customers quickly.
If you follow this approach, you can keep your customers satisfied, which helps long-term retention. You can apply your CRM’s customer profile across all areas of customer relations, and all your departments can benefit from it – including sales, marketing, service and community forums. The more you understand your customers, the better you can serve them – which results in improved customer experience.
2- It helps your service representatives make better decisions – With a good CRM in place, you don’t just collect user profiles – it gives your service representatives the extra edge to make the right decision at the right time.
A typical CRM helps you track your customer’s journey from the lead stage to the customer stage, or from an existing customer to a higher subscription tier.
3- It helps you generate leads – With CRM software in place, you can create data profiles of potential customers those who show interest in your product or service. Your sales team can then follow up with them and begin the customer conversion process. All CRM platforms offer some lead management options that can help track, develop, and maintain relationships with your prospective customers.
4- It helps improve customer retention – It is well-known that acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing customers. A CRM system can boost customer retention through a variety of means. Live chat, short message service (SMS) and email allow fast, easy communication with customers to address issues or answer questions.
A CRM solution can also offer email campaigns, blog post scheduling and social media scheduling. With the feedback that is generated by your CRM, you can change your strategy so that it suits your customers.
5- It allows your team members to collaborate throughout departments – Internal collaboration is the key to developing a strong relationship with your customers. A good CRM system improves this through such features as file hosting and collaborative documents. All team members have access to their CRM account, where they can comment on and interact with each other. They can also access reports and videos, which can be exported and downloaded in a variety of formats.
Also, since all the customer interactions are stored in the CRM, new team members can seamlessly communicate with customers. Of course, it’s ideal for communication and collaboration among team members in the field or remote locations.
6- It speeds up internal communication – A CRM system not only improves collaboration, it speeds up internal communication. Your executives get to the right person who can handle a particular issue, which streamlines your internal operations to a large extent.
It also improves executive-executive and executive-manager relationships.
7- It can guide the future of your business – The core function of a CRM solution is to organize your data – which could be in the form of a customer profile database, lead management or through internal collaboration tools. All this provides you the insight to improve your business operations, resulting in growth.
With process tracking reports, you get to know who is performing well, and who isn’t.
You can accordingly promote those putting in their best effort, and warn those who are underperforming. It allows you to focus on the areas that are generating more revenue for your business – all of which works toward the ability to make informed decisions that guide the future of your organization.
A CRM system makes it possible to deliver the best practices and insights for your company. All you need to do is utilize the knowledge you’ll acquire.
If you’re considering a CRM system for your business, we invite you to learn what eZnet CRM has to offer. Our solution allows easy, seamless management of every aspect of the customer experience. Make sure you don’t fall behind in this increasingly competitive business environment.