As business has transitioned increasingly online, one thing that needs to be further utilized is customer data. However, it is difficult to harness the power of customer data if all of it is stocked in a physical file folder or the brain of your brilliant sales manager. Instead of purely relying on humans, who cannot possibly recollect everything about all of your customers simultaneously, you should adopt a technological solution to help make your business processes more efficient and coalesce around.
One such solution is a CRM. But what is a CRM? Quite simply, a CRM is a customer relationship management software that helps businesses better store and track customer data. This has a number of applications. There are a number of advantages of doing this. For one, it cuts down on the amount of support staff that you may need, as you can use the customer data to automate certain ‘touches’ with customers to make sure that they are interacted with as needed. You can track customer interactions in order to see how they react to certain parts of your sales process, as well as your customer onboarding and retention processes. If there are issues here, you can identify patterns in the customer data. This may help you create a better customer segmentation process for your sales and marketing efforts, or may even give you some ideas of how you change certain parts of your process entirely.
Aside for these great benefits, a CRM can also help your business to actually manage its customer data. If customer data is decentralized, it may not be able to be applied by all departments. For example, a sales manager may have sold something at a discount in order to attract a new customer, but then it is possible that the billing department is not aware of this discount and bills the customer for the full price. This disparity in price may turn off a customer, and they may request a refund or refuse further services, even if it was an honest mistake on your part.
A CRM really shines when it is used in tandem with organizational efforts. Although a human team needs to be able to make sure of a CRM in a contextual way, the unparalleled reporting and data storage features can help you streamline your processes and gain a better understanding of what the customer is going through in every stage of the customer journey. A CRM can also be used to bolster marketing efforts, and marketing departments can better work with sales teams to identify leads who are warmed up via marketing materials such as emails or blog content.
Furthermore, a CRM can help businesses leapfrog into the digital age, and every business that is increasingly acquiring its customer base online needs to invest in one. After all, a business that does not have a good handle on its data will eventually fall behind, particularly when it comes to creating targeting marketing campaign and sales efforts, as well as hiring quality customer experience associates.