How a CRM could future proof your business’s sales and customer service
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system could enable your business to develop closer personalised connections with existing and potential customers, which could deliver more market share, higher profits and customer loyalty.
At Superfast Business Cornwall we speak to countless small businesses that all understand that in today’s commercial environment, they need to do more to support their customers and commercial partners within their supply chain. Whether your business is B2C or B2B, a CRM could become a vital component of your business to compete in today’s challenging market places.
One of the main reasons to install a CRM is to improve customer service. Today, this is a major differentiator when consumers and businesses choose which enterprises to buy from.
A CRM will help ensure you respond promptly to customer service enquiries, and develop marketing campaigns that speak directly to customers that are ready to buy from your business.
Every business can now collect detailed information about individual customers or commercial partners. But the question is how can your business make this information work hard to improve customer service and expand sales? This is where a CRM comes into its own.
Think about how your business now operates. If your sales team isn’t connected to your customer service people or your buyers don’t have sight of how your margins are performing – your business isn’t operating at its full potential.
A CRM could integrate each area of your business to deliver high levels of collaboration. Your teams can then work together better, as they have all the information they need at their fingertips.
Getting close to customers
The 2016 Microsoft State of Global Customer Service Report revealed that 60 per cent of global customers have stopped doing business with a brand after a single poor customer services experience.
A well-integrated CRM could ensure your business isn’t part of that statistic.
Personalisation is now the watchword for all business, as companies strive to speak directly to their customers, who if supported, become loyal advocates of the business. For example, Kissmetric found when analysing their email personalisation that by simply putting their customer’s name in the email subject line they increased their open rates by 42 per cent. You could easily do this with a CRM.
Mobile will be the next battleground for customers. According to the latest research from IMRG and Capgemini, over the last year, 51 per cent of UK online retail sales took place on mobile devices. A CRM could help your business support these customers with location-based services. For instance, your business could send a marketing message to a customer’s phone with a special offer or discount at your store. You know that customer is near your store, as their smartphone will give their location.
Or why not create a coupon-based campaign with the coupon designed specifically for mobile phones. When your customer is browsing the Internet on their phone – perhaps on a train journey – their past purchase history your CRM can give you enables the creation of a special coupon just for them. They can save this to their phone to spend online or in your store during their next visit.
Social media has also become a huge sales channel that many businesses don’t fully exploit. With a CRM you could track and measure your customers’ activity across these networks. This a powerful marketing tool.
Understanding how your customers use social media – to read reviews for instance, or find discounts and other offers – enables your business to develop marketing campaigns, using your CRM, that include social media ads or other promotions.
Connecting customers’ social media activity to your sales team is a powerful way a CRM could ensure your business is always using the right sales channels to connect with the right customers at the right time. The sales team can create highly targeted and engaging content customers will be interested in seeing and acting upon.
A CRM can help you bring each of the touchpoints you have with your customers under one roof, allowing huge improvements in your service delivery. Bain & Company estimate that if your business could retain 10 per cent of its customers, this would translate into a 30 per cent increase in your business’s value.
Your business needs to ensure it has the right systems in place to make the personalised connections that are likely to be the basis of all future sales.
Consumers are now in charge, and have a vast power and influence that your business can tap into. Couple this with high levels of collaboration between teams and individuals across your business and the ability to use the data in your enterprise to reveal new opportunities and all this and more could be delivered with the right CRM.
Mike Robertson is Team Leader for the Business Advisers at Superfast Business Cornwall. If your business wants to utilise digital technology to improve its sales, expand into new markets or make its customer service world-class he or a member of his team could help you.
Call 0345 600 3936 or visit www.sfbcornwall.co.uk to find out more.