CRM and Customers
We are in tough times. Most of us have limited funds for large marketing efforts but there are opportunities for all of us to make the most of what we already have, and position ourselves properly for future market events, whatever they may be.
It is a great idea to consider whether you can build on your existing relationships. There are significant costs in finding new clients in the form of Marketing and Sales costs. Add to this the possibility that if you have a group of customers who buy from you repeatedly, they already know that they can work with you and they may well pass on the good news to further prospects! This has the double benefit of reduced marketing cost per customer and improved revenue.
What is the approach?
If you are to retain customers, very simply, you have to know what they want from your company. Even if you have an idea about what your customers’ needs are, you are going to need some method of capturing as much detail as you can from all parts of the business in order to make sure that you can deliver. Spotting sales opportunities with your clients is impossible without knowing what is going on and using this information to determine your sales approach is vital. However, the benefit is gained one success at a time and one piece of information at a time rather than as an overnight revolution. There is no magic bullet…
How do we do this?
Employees in your organisation may well be in regular contact with the Customer. Sales, Marketing, Finance, Operations and Customer Service groups will all have a perspective to offer and they are all in a position to fill in details as to what your customers’ needs are. If these people are not able to contribute to a single, integrated view of the customer, you are missing valuable insights and diluting the skills of your staff. Sales people who don’t know what has been sold? Service people who don’t know the account status? Finance people who don’t know about Customer Service issues? None of these things are helpful.
Modern systems now mean that you can make it possible for anyone in your organisation to log a customer service issue and resolve it. You can even make it possible for customers to log cases directly into your systems, make suggestions and find their own answers from your knowledgebase. You can give access to your CRM system to all of your employees from any location, for example, the office, the airport, their home, their phone, so that thoughts and interactions are captured in real time.
Finally In summary, make sure that your CRM initiative becomes something that your whole organisation engages in. It’s a tough habit to adopt, but one that will reap benefits. It’s all about knowing your customers and what they want…. You do know who you customers are, don’t you?