Customer relationship management is a broad field that includes everything from answering support tickets and managing loyalty schemes to following up on qualified leads, handling complaints, managing billing issues and cross-selling or up-selling to customers.
For a small business, these jobs can be pretty easy, but as your business grows it becomes increasingly important to use customer relationship management tools because without those tools you will lose track of who you need to contact, what has already been said to them, and the preferences of each customer.
Customer relationship management tools are useful because they make it possible for all of your employees to access up-to-the-minute information about the people that they are working with. Your face-to-face sales team can access information gathered by telephone and email sales people. Support staff can view details of past conversations with sales staff, and management can track conversions, complaint resolutions, up-selling and contract information – all using cloud-based solutions that are robust, reliable and easy to use. These tools offer clear benefits in terms of reducing errors and streamlining the customer service, inbound and outbound sales workflows – therefore making every member of those teams more efficient and productive.
Investing in CRM may seem like an unnecessary expense at first glance, but it is something that you can and should take seriously. If your management team are unconvinced about the potential value of CRM then you should take some time to explain to them how good customer service and lead tracking can not just improve your conversion rate and increase customer retention but also arm you with the information that you need in order to improve your sales and customer service pathways in the long term. CRM is not just about providing you with information about each individual customer – it is also a tool that empowers you with information that you can use for analytics.
Most management teams appreciate the value of information these days, and will be happy to get access to more powerful reporting and analytics tools. This means that you have an extra selling point for introducing the idea of customer relationship management software. Use this added benefit to your advantage and you will find that it is easier to make the case for things like Salesforce or Sage’s CRM tools that can improve the workflow of your sales and customer service teams.