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Businesses large and small need a robust communication system in place to track customer data, marketing data, reporting, analysis, and communication with customers. This data is the lifeline of any business.
Customer data and analytics is crucial to most businesses and their importance is often overlooked. The data it provides is constantly changing and gives instant feedback on customer behaviours and what needs attention. Read on and explore how you can streamline your customer communications automatically from one platform to increase your revenue.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software used by businesses to manage, store, and track customer data. This data is useful in many ways. For example, analyzing trends in your market, learning more about customer behaviour, identifying new sales opportunities, creating segmented and targeted marketing campaigns and keeping track of sales.
Now that you know what a CRM is, let’s take a deeper look into the components of a CRM and how they integrate into your business.
The components of CRM
CRM software helps to track a customer’s journey. From the time they start as a lead till they purchase a product or service and become a customer. This journey is an important one for both the customer and the business. How the customer is treated from the beginning of their journey determines if they will stay a customer, cancel the order, or never return. There is no chance of a second impression.
So, the business needs to keep track of the customer’s journey for future use of analysis and reporting on trends and promotions. And to retain the buyer as a customer.
Customer service – The customer journey does not end when they have made a purchase. Communicating with the customer long after they receive the product or service is very important. CRM systems will have features that allow you to communicate with your clients effectively.
At Phoenix Media, we use our CRM to handle our development support ticketing system, which ensures each request can be assigned to the relevant team and accounted for accurately.
Marketing – By tracking customer interactions and behaviours, a CRM system can help segment customers into targeted groups, and personalize marketing campaigns accordingly. Additionally, a CRM system can facilitate customer engagement and communication through email marketing, social media, and other digital marketing channels.
Sales – Most CRMs will allow you to define a customer journey from initial contact, proposal stage and becoming a customer.
By outlining this journey companies can identify which stages are most successful and what stages they need to improve.
What a CRM can do for your business?
- Improve customer service – A CRM is mainly designed to manage the customer cycle relationship for a business and to grow its customer base. Making it easy for all employees involved in the business to have access to the same information about the customers. This helps staff to provide consistent customer service.
- Segment customers – Contact lists can get unmanageable and messy for businesses. Segmenting the contact list and setting up certain criteria for various customers beforehand, helps to eliminate customers who may for example, not show interest in your latest promotion or product.
- Improve customer retention – Once a lead becomes a customer you want to retain that customer. You’ve worked hard to get them and don’t want to lose them. So, by analysing the customer’s preferences you can nurture them to purchase from you again.
- Increase your sales – Different sales funnels can be added to your campaigns and aimed at specific customers who may be interested. You can set up your CRM to do this.
- Manage communication with your leads – This can be a tedious task and fortunately your CRM can do it all for you. Employees can receive alerts and reminders to react accordingly.
- Comprehensive analytics – Knowing how to use analytics in your business is a very valuable skill and essential to growing your business. Many businesses fail online because of the inability or interest to understand analytics and act accordingly.
- CRM has a centralized database – It’s accessible to all your employees or to whom you choose to have access. The database stores all your customer information and previously purchased products. And you can extract the info to use for future marketing campaigns.
- Sales reports on demand – Reports and campaigns are automated and staff can access these reports instantly to evaluate, update and track performances.
- Sales forecasting – This allows you to see past performance and plan future campaigns. Compare past trends and determine future trends.
- Internal communications – Keep track of staff and their activity with customers. Making sure they convey consistency in the voice of your brand to customers.
- Efficient productivity of staff – With the automation of your customer management, Staff can be focused on more efficient tasks that matter to humans. Like writing content and attending to email queries
What companies can benefit from CRM?
CRMs are used in businesses large and small. From corporations to the solopreneur. Getting new customers for any sized business is a never-ending process. The key focus of CRM is managing the whole communication journey of your customers and scaling your business.
Depending on your business and need, there is a CRM to match your requirements.
How much do CRMs cost?
As with most software, the cost of your CRM system will be determined by the features you need and usually the number of users or a number of records. Most platforms such as Hubspot will usually have a free version available, or a free trial at least so companies can test the features and see how they like it.
Most of the CRM systems will charge on a monthly basis, based on the features required, but will also offer a discount for annual payments.
There is no doubt a CRM is a worthwhile software and skill to learn. It can save you time, money and hours of work with the simplified daily management of your business. From automating the support of your customer journey and having analytical data and reporting at your fingertips.
You will better understand your business with this centralised task management, increase your sales and have better customer retention. Contact us for more information on how you can improve your customer management and efficiency.