Fitting together the pieces of Customer Relationship Management 
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, however what does that really mean to you and your business? CRM is not just a piece of software, it should be a business process which encourages and maintains a strong relationship between your customers and your business. 
Effective use of CRM can help your business improve customer loyalty. 
Used correctly, a CRM system helps manage all of your interactions with not just your clients, but also with prospects, networking contacts and suppliers - in fact any person or organisation with whom your business deals. Depending on the features of your CRM software, you can improve the services which are provided to your customers - meeting their specific needs - and also have greater control over costs and profitability. 
The two key aims of any business today should be: 
• Customer satisfaction 
• Improving the business profit and growth 
Customer loyalty is very important - repeat business from an existing customer is more profitable than going out and finding new clients regularly. In addition, a happy customer will tell others and refer more business your way. An unhappy customer will tell even more people! 
These figures may be a little out of date, however the principle is still the same: 
• A happy customer will tell 5 people, an unhappy customer will tell 9 
• 70% of customers change suppliers because of perceived indifference (from their supplier) 
Use your CRM system to record information about your client's likes and dislikes, gaining their trust and building rapport by giving a personal service every time. Make your clients feel valued and want to come back and do more business with you in the future. 
Here are some key points about the CRM process to ensure your system and processes help you and your business: 
• CRM keeps records of all contacts related to your business. So with the help of CRM, you can find all the best customers and prospects, communicate with them regularly and tell them about your new services, helping to ensure they don't go to another supplier 
• CRM also provides the information about customers who have left the organisation and provides a history of your interactions with them. This can be valuable when dealing with a new contact at the same organisation, or if you are able to keep in touch with them in their new role elsewhere 
• CRM software includes all the communication history with a contact enabling anyone within your organisation to have the information at their fingertips helping them to provide a better service more quickly. This increases customer satisfaction and loyalty 
A CRM solution that includes Sales, Marketing and Service functions means that you can share one common system across all the areas of your business where staff have interactions with customers and prospective customers. By ensuring that all staff have the relevant information as and when they need it, they can provide a better service which leads to happier and more loyal customers. 
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