Businesses can’t afford to put customer support management on the back burner. If they don’t have the right people and tools in place to offer support, they’ll burn out teams, aggravate customers, and ultimately lose sales.
An effective customer relationship management system can improve business results in customer satisfaction, channel interactions, and sales. In fact, according to recent studies, 86% of CRM customers following best practices reported a 24% increase in annual revenue. Another survey showed a 10% increase in sales representatives achieving quotas and a 10% boost in conversion rates at the entry level of the sales journey.
There’s only one problem with this picture: most businesses fail to get meaningful results from their systems. The benefits of valuable customer insights, simplified operations and increased visibility aren’t automatic. Many companies that integrate their business processes with a CRM can’t make the most of it because they are unable to streamline their efforts.
As the internet changes and new mobile technologies emerge, the very nature of how businesses and customers interact, changes. Businesses that want to remain competitive must be able to keep pace, meet customer expectations and deliver personalized experiences at every touch point. To achieve that, they must customize and streamline their customer relationship management.
In this article, we’ll talk about how you can streamline your CRM across multiple platforms, build profitable relationships with your customers, and gain control over your brand.
Can You Keep Pace with Your Customers?
The new advances in technology have created an all-powerful consumer. They have access to an ever-growing range of digital content that helps them educate themselves, get professional advice, and increase their chances of making the best decision. One customer’s experience can impact the decision-making process of many others — for better or worse.
Most customers are already deep in the buying process long before they contact your business. One study showed that most prospects are already 57% of the way through the process before reaching out to businesses, while some of them will have completed 70% of the process.
Selling to more educated customers can have many advantages, such as shortening the buying process. But because customers nowadays are more knowledgeable than ever before, they also have more power. They expect more of you and want a smooth process regardless of the channel they choose.
Is Your CRM Good Enough?
Many businesses use outdated or inefficient CRM software to manage their relationships with prospects and customers. If your business is small and uncomplicated, this system might be enough.
But as your business grows and the complexities of day-to-day operations increase, you will need to streamline your CRM system if you want to keep pace with your customers’ needs.
Think about it this way: as you add more customers, products, and so on, there’s more data to keep track of. At a certain point, retrieving information or forecasting customer behavior will become slow and tedious. You will waste more time on repetitive tasks than using the information you acquired to strengthen the relationship with your customers. You won’t have a clear view of your business processes, and it will be difficult to track and engage with customers at relevant touch points.
That’s where streamlining your CRM software can make a major difference. With a solid CRM system in place, you can achieve more by doing less. You can automate your current business processes, integrate interactions and information across sales, and get a clear view of each customer.
Streamlining Your Customer Relationship Management
Here’s a list of features that will help you put your CRM system on autopilot:
- Customized Fields
You probably know your business better than anyone else, so you need a system that allows you to accommodate the information you have. With customizable fields, you can define the data you need, to track customers, assign contacts, and follow the buying cycle. Look for CRM software that features customizable fields.
- Ensure Your CRM Allows for Mobility
In this day and age when we are more connected than ever before, a CRM system that doesn’t offer mobility is not a solution. Ensure that your system provides mobile access so that your reps can stay connected with your customers throughout the entire buying process and make informed decisions on the go.
- Survey Management
Sometimes, the best and simplest way to please your customers is to ask them what they want. It’s as simple as that. CRM software that offers survey management features allows you to create and send surveys to specific customers and figure out their needs, desires, and preferences.
- Territory Management Features
As your company grows and expands to different cities or countries, it becomes vital to have the ability to define and assign territories to meet the needs and desires of your growing customer base. A customer relationship management system with an integrated territory management function allows you to customize your efforts based on geographic locations, streamline processes, and engage customers based on the parameters that suit your business.
- Social Media Integration
There are more than 2.2 billion people with active social media accounts, so it makes perfect sense for you to take advantage of this growing community and improve the relationships with your customers. Look for CRM software that allows you to add several social media accounts for each customer or lead so that you can nurture relationships and move them further down the sales pipeline. Not only does a CRM system with social media integration capabilities let you interact with customers through multiple channels and with targeted messages, but you will also be able to monitor your brand and the competition. Not to mention the fact that you will reduce numerous manual tasks and you’ll be able to put your efforts on autopilot.
Customize Your CRM Software, But Don’t Overdo It
So you’ve chosen CRM software that provides flexible functionality and allows for enhanced customization. Although it’s important to make some necessary tweaks to streamline your system, try to resist the urge to over-engineer. Think twice before customizing the system too excessively, and carefully consider whether some modifications are actually needed.
It can be fairly simple to over-engineer the system. Most of the time, users describe their needs focusing on how they want the system to work, rather than what they are trying to achieve. This miscommunication can make the IT team implement custom features when they aren’t really necessary. More than that, excessive engineering requires more training, which can lead to additional costs.
To avoid this scenario, focus more on the goals of your CRM system rather than its functionality, thus helping the configuration team to find the best methods for reaching these goals.
Test, Test, Test
As big and innovative software might be, the implementation process can be draining. CRM implementation is no different. After a sustained effort to set up the new customer relationship management system, users are ready to get back to their normal tasks.
If you want to improve implementation and adoption and streamline your processes, it’s important to collect user feedback and start a productive dialogue. Organize weekly meetings to ensure that everything is moving forward and to solve any issues that might arise. But most importantly, test every part of the system yourself and try to find breakage points. Test everything from the workflows, reports, security setting, data entry, and so on.
Managing customer relationships can be challenging, especially for large companies with complex business processes, where the requirements multiply quickly. However, companies can’t afford to put customer relationships on the back burner. In a world where customer experience is often equal to product/service quality and price, if customers can’t find what they are looking for quickly, or if they don’t get a customized shopping experience, they will switch over to the competition.
The best way to handle this issue is by working with a team of professionals that has years of CRM consulting experience. At PulaTech, we can create a streamlined and flexible customer relationship management platform that combines your system seamlessly to help you drive real one-to-one engagement with every customer at every important touch point.
Contact us to learn how we can help you.