Whether you’re an emerging start up or a long established household name, customer relationships matter. In fact, creating and maintaining strong relationships is arguably the most important piece of the business puzzle.
Finding prospects and converting them into clients is no mean feat and even when they sign on the dotted line, that’s only the start of your collective journey.
This is where the benefits of CRM become clear.
As your company grows and grows, so does your customer database. Over time, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage both potential and existing customers alike.
Without having the ability to keep on top of each individual’s conversations, projects or requests, standards will inevitably fall and opportunities will be missed.
You can’t build success off pieces of scrap paper or disconnected spreadsheets. Important conversations become lost or hidden leading to patchy and inconsistent interactions. None of which is conducive to an outstanding customer experience.
To have quality customer relationships, you need a place to manage them.
Why CRM Matters
Breaking it down, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.
Why is excelling at customer relationships so important? Because relationships are the bridge between your business offering and your customer needs.
CRM software helps you manage each relationship with ease by centralising, optimising and streamlining all of your communications. It places the information you need to keep customers happy at your fingertips and can prompt you to engage with them at precisely the right moment.
You can’t continue to delight your customers if you don’t know them. Leaving the satisfaction of their desires to chance will simply result in you losing money.
A report by Software Advice found that…
74% of all CRM users found that CRM offered improved access to customer data.Software Advice
That improved access can make the difference between delighting and disappointing.
So what specifically are the benefits of CRM? What impact can introducing a software over keeping a written log or using excel actually have for your business?
Better Customer Knowledge & Reporting
First off, having an accessible, transparent location for your customer data can only improve your collective knowledge of them as individuals.
Whilst not restricted to contact information, CRM provides a live record of your relationship. Better knowledge of this ensures you can deliver the right engagement, at the right time, by knowing precisely what has gone before.
It may sound obvious, but having this data, accessible to all, in one convenient location is what makes a CRM such a powerful tool.
With all this information, creating communications that both resonate and are timely becomes simple.
Beyond the customer data itself, a CRM enables birds eye view reporting to become a breeze. Think of it as a cheat sheet, highlighting trends and spotting weaknesses to give your customer facing teams a competitive advantage.
In other words, one of the key benefits of CRM is it allows you to know precisely who your customers are and what they want.
Better Visibility & Segmentation
Your customers are unique and you should treat them as such. As a business, you don’t want to deal with a faceless mob, but rather a tailored, segmented audience. The collective ideal customer profile for your offering.
CRM facilitates this segmentation, enabling you to divide customers and prospects into silos. From here, you can more easily assign leads to experts within that particular field, analyse which aspect of your offering is most popular and work to promote those areas lagging behind.
Likewise, being able to see across each segment allows you to take decisive action, such as distributing highly targeted campaigns or offers to those prospects on the cusp of converting.
When you know who you’re addressing, you can tailor everything from your pitch to your process.
From a managerial perspective, being able to evaluate a team, store or regions’ pipeline at a glance is invaluable. Visibility across prospects provides the ability to accurately forecast whilst keeping an eye on those existing customers who are unhappy ensures nobody slips through the cracks as a result of a poor customer experience.
Better Customer Retention
Speaking of customer retention, a study performed by Capterra revealed that…
47% of CRM users found that customer retention and satisfaction were significantly impacted by the use of a CRM system.Capterra
Customer experience is a key competitive differentiator. Being able to spot the cracks before they grow into chasms ensures more customers leave your interactions happy.
Harvard Business Review reported that…
It can cost up to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep one.HBR
It pays to retain your customers.
Better Anticipation Of Needs
For any business, the advantage is gained through proactive action rather than reactionary chasing.
By using your CRM as a diagnostic tool, you can not only placate any customers for whom issues have arisen, but begin to spot the steps that led to the outcome.
This way, those issues can be prevented from recurring for your larger customer base and any potential roadblocks can be eliminated by better anticipating your customers needs.
For example, if you know that you receive a lot of communication from new customers on a certain issue, create a guide and automatically send it out 3 days after purchase to pre-empt the problem.
This way you keep your customer service team free to tackle more complex issues whilst ensuring customers are happy.
Speaking of timely communications…
According to Software Advice…
Contact management is the number one feature that is requested by 88% of CRM users.
This is followed by the ability to track customer interactions (80%) and schedule tasks and set up reminders (75%).Software Advice
Personalisation at scale is one of the benefits of CRM that can have the greatest impact on your teams’ efficiency.
Being able to schedule communications, for prospects and customers alike, ensures you maintain the highest standards of quality without compromising the actions of your expert staff.
We’ve spoken extensively before about the importance of automation. Introducing a CRM makes this all feasible.
Alarmingly, the Customer Service Benchmark Report found that…
90% of companies do not use autoresponders to acknowledge they have received a customer service email.SuperOffice
Think how much time your team could save, and how much happier your customers would be, if instead of taking time to reply they simply got the job done.
Communication is vital. Embracing the use of timely template emails via CRM will allow you to create communications that count.
Better Data Protection
Having adequate data protection is non-negotiable. Yet the practice can be time consuming if disparate systems are employed.
The modern world demands an ever increasing digital presence and as a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep that client information private.
Rather than having hand-written records, a CRM allows any sensitive data to be stored in one secure location, protected by internal login details.
In this regard, CRM can give both the business and the customer peace of mind that any information is safe and will only be used for the appropriate, designated action.
Above we’ve outlined the key benefits of CRM. Ultimately, your customer relationships are the lifeblood of your organisation, it should be your number one priority to treat them as such.
If you’re ready to investigate how you can improve your customer relationships, contact Anthill for a solution that is more than just a CRM.
Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.
May 18th, 2021-