When you build your company it becomes like a baby for you. And then you try all the possible and impossible for its success. Do you want to build an empire? CRM will help you. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the tools companies use to become winning in the market. But most importantly they do it to become the best for their customers. And you know why is that? Because customers are the most valuable assets a company has. CRM is about more than just software. It is about establishing a strong and trusting relationship with your customers. And mistakenly many companies set up their CRM without actually implementing a strategy.
The world is increasingly becoming digital. This means that your clients expect your attention 24/7. And for being able to give that much attention to your customers and to be that devoted to fulfilling their needs it is essential for your business to be equipped. That means you need to create a winning CRM strategy for your company.
You might about wonder exactly how important is customer relationship. Research showed that three out of four customers say they spent more money with a company because of a positive customer experience. And now you know how important it is. The primary goal of your CRM is improving customer service to create brand loyalty.
To better understand what your customers value and what they base their decisions on here are some statistic. Research by Innappl Technologies concluded that 65% of sales reps who have adopted mobile CRM have achieved their sales quotas. While only 22% of reps using non-mobile CRM have reached the same targets.
Research also shows that 48% of CRM users now access their software from a smartphone, with 45% accessing from a tablet. See how the world is moving forward? You should be doing the same. And even though this figure is still lower than that from a laptop or desktop, the amazingly rising use from mobiles and tablets means that 81% of users are now accessing their CRM software from multiple devices.
According to a study by StrongView the largest share of the digital marketers’ revenue today goes towards email marketing strategies as 60% of surveyed respondents plan to increase their email marketing budget. This makes a lot of sense given email’s consistently highly-rated Return On Investment (ROI) – a $40 return on every $1 spent.
As you know, the customer experience takes the top spot in marketing priorities. Delivering personalized marketing messages through email marketing is a great way to be in your customer’s favorites. And beating the competition and building a brand that consumers trust is what comes next.
You love your company and you love your clients, right? My advice to you is the following. Build a successful CRM strategy and you will also build customer trust and loyalty. Remember that winning over new prospects is important for growing your business. But retaining your current customers is essential.
“A CRM system is an important tool for building customer loyalty and encouraging retention, it will also keep your business competitive, but one common trap that can be fallen into by organizations is to see it as a standalone tactic, rather than developing it as a strategic function.” – Andrew Brittain, MD of digital agency Advantec
And my last words before we move on to steps of building winning CRM strategy: CRM is about people rather than technology. Your CRM software is simply the supporting act.
These steps are designated to develop and more importantly strengthen your customer relationships for the long term.
#1. Can you see perfectly?
“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.”
– Ralph Lauren
The first step you need to take to come close to having a winning CRM strategy is developing a vision. Set a destination. If you know where you want to end up you will figure out how to get there. Your CRM should help your company achieve its goals. Think about what your company’s goals are. Do you want to open a new branch at the end of next year? Maybe you want to take your business internationally? Or maybe you want to increase your Return On Investment (ROI) by 20%? Identify those goals of yours and determine how you plan on reaching your objectives. If the goal is too big, break it down into smaller, achievable objectives and map out how and when you plan to complete those steps.
#2. Empowered team for an empowered CRM
The second step of creating a winning CRM strategy is putting together your CRM team. Your team should include a mix of employees from each department in your organization that uses the CRM system. Who is the driving force behind your business? Your people. It is essential that they are equipped with the correct training required to fulfill their roles. They all need to be at the top of their game all the time, especially the front-line staff. But in order for them to be at the top of their game, you need to empower them. I mean, your people are the face of your organization. They must be trained to represent the values of your company.
“The leadership team needs to clearly define what they mean by their CRM strategy in terms that every employee can understand. This needs to be repeatedly communicated across the organization along with the procedures and policies that should be adopted by each employee to operationalize the strategy. At this point, organizations can look to appropriate software solutions.” -Andrew Brittain
One way of empowering people is involving them in every step of the strategic process. They may never tell you but they want to know where the company is heading and they want to be a part of it. Involving your employees will help them not only internalize the objectives but will give them personal ownership over the direction that the company takes. So keep your employees motivated and happy. Do whatever it takes: for God’s sake, have ice cream at the office all the time if that excites them.
#3. Smooth road of processes
Next step that you should take for your winning CRM strategy is making processes are efficient. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients and go through your company’s customer sales cycle. Don’t forget to hold a fine toothcomb in your hand on that road. Do you know why you are going to need that toothcomb? You are going to streamline everything on the way.
To make your job easier you should prepare templates in advance, automate follow-ups and get rid of duplicate data. And remember that no one needs too much of anything. Just like you would clean your wardrobe when getting ready for the summer, clean and take out anything that does not need to be there. If there is a step that can be skipped if there is a step that is not important and is just taking everyone’s time, skip it. And keep in mind the aim of making processes efficient: it is to make life easier for your customers.
#4. Support your customers with a blanket day and night
What comes next? Making customer support more accessible. This is an important part of your winning CRM strategy because your customers are online 24/7. That means that your business needs to be too. Providing customer support on multiple channels is a great idea. Be accessible on Twitter, Facebook, phone, email, online chat and anywhere else where your customers are. Your customers are going to love your company way more when you answer their curious, desperate and rushing question in an hour or so. Imagine that you have a huge puffy blanket and hug your customers with that blanket: give them support day and night.
#5. Understand your customers
After reading step #4 you might wonder about how exactly you can support your customers. It is not only by answering their questions quickly. Your next step in building CRM strategy understands your customers. As it is in real life, you need to know who a certain person is before you can connect with them. The same works here. Ask yourself and your staff these questions: Who are your customers? Where do they come from? What do they do? What do they like about your product/service? And what do they dislike?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you plan efficiently and will help you provide valuable insights. Those are crucial to successful customer relationship management. Think about it: if you don’t know your customers then you might not be able to market your product/service correctly. You want to market your talk target audience. Do you know them at all? So get out there and get to know your customers.
#6. Empowered your employees? Now empower your customers
Do you know what CRM are known for? Research shows that they improve customer retention by 27%. Yes, it is easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one.
In order to fully build winning CRM strategy, you need to focus on customer retention. What happens when you praise your employees for good work? They understand that they are valued and work even better. The same way it is important to reward your loyal customers. A great way to do the latter is by customer loyalty programs. With it, you thank them for choosing you, for sticking around for that long. Your “thank you” will give them an incentive to keep sticking around. And you might think that you want to treat all your customers equally. But the business world is not a democracy. For a company to be successful, it must be willing to prioritize customers based upon how profitable they are. And usually returning customers are much more valuable: they are spending on average nearly double what new customers spend.
#7. Take the measure and measure
Lastly, your winning CRM strategy would not be whole without the last step: measuring your success. It is important to keep up with your customers and constantly update and improve your strategy. As nothing stays constant you need to realize that your CRM, as perfect as it might be at the time, is going to need improvement and updates as time goes on. Be willing to reevaluate your approach if you see that something is not working as well as it could. If you are able to identify weaknesses in your system, then you are able to make them go away.
Now that you know the importance of a strong and effective CRM strategy, you can go ahead and build one. Remember that it may be different for every company. Something that works well with your customer base might work terribly for another company. For that, you need to know your customers perfectly. And you will make the rest work.