In a world where every one and every business is more and more social, sharing everything from personal journeys to their experiences with companies, we’re more aware than ever before that we need to manage our customer conversations.
Putting your customer first makes a lot of sense and is far removed from the old ways of doing business where the customer was just a number. Even big companies are now trying to act small, as their customer base is more likely to contact them 24/7 and tell others about their experiences, too.
Putting your customer first is paramount whether you’re a small corner store or a global brand.
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool) can help you do this.
If you’re trying to build a business whilst also keeping your current customers happy then you’ll be all too aware how challenging this can be. Sometimes, you don’t quite get it right.
A CRM could be the answer to that and here’s how.
Focused conversations and outreach
To truly treat your customers as if they’re special and valued it’s important that you retain information and history about them. It’s important to understand them and also have some key points and interactions that they’ve had with your company.
A CRM is built to do this. Every email and conversation can be stored alongside key information and details that help your future conversations.
Making sure you’re not asking for information twice or offering something that’s already been offered/declined/accepted is simple, but powerful.
Focus your conversations with a CRM.
Keeping it social
Social media conversations drive the world that we’re in. Even global leaders turn to micro-blogging sites like Twitter to share their news and post updates and ideas.
If you’re trying to engage with your customers – even if you’re B2C – social media allows you to do this. Simply adding your customer’s social media channels to your CRM and then taking a very brief look at recent posts before a call, email, or meeting can really change the landscape of those interactions. It demonstrates your interest and shows you’re aware of what’s going on in their world.
Some CRM software like SalesRadar will even search out the social media channels for you based on the contact information you supply.
Keeping and using relevant, yet old conversations
Sometimes you’ll start a conversation with a customer, and it doesn’t become a sale. That’s normal. Maybe they were researching. Maybe they were just curious. Maybe you’re part of their future plans, not their ‘right now’ plans.
It’s now your job to record this information so that you can then use it and add to it when the time is right.
A CRM is the perfect history teacher! Log in, check on the contact, see what you’ve said in the past, and then carry on that conversation or guide the conversation to bring you right up-to-date.
Putting your customer at the centre of your business
You customers should be at the centre of your business. Without them, there is no business. A CRM can be a core part of your business with emails and other pieces of software linked into it.
Using a CRM at the centre puts your customers there too. Putting them in the core of your business and then working out from it can be very effective. Imagine if you only started a marketing campaign or outreach project based on the contacts in your CRM? Those people already know you and will be more interested than people you’ve never contacted before.
Managing contact details
Clearly, as you grow and build your network with new leads, sales, and customers, you’ll start to gain a lot of customer contact details. Even the simple act of networking a few times a week will soon mount up and you’ll have a good number of contacts to sift, sort, and manage.
The Filofax is dead – long live the CRM.
Put all those new connections in your CRM and you can not only keep them ready for future conversations, but you’ll be able to search for them, too. Wading through a drawer full of business cards isn’t a great way to search your customer base! And it’s definitely easier to type in ‘graphic designer’ to your CRM than check every card you’ve kept.
Because they rarely say “Yes!” right away…
And of course, a CRM helps you stay on top of 1000s and 1000s of customers at once because you never really know when they’re ready to say yes. You can certainly add in reminders and tasks to follow-up and nurture them – and you should do this – but sometimes it really is a case of being there at the right place and time.
A CRM can help you do this with timely reminders to email or drop a message and then gives you all the history of your interactions right at your fingertips.
Managing 1000s of relationships in one go is powerful for the future success of your business. A CRM allows you to do it seamlessly and en-masse.
Looking for a CRM for your small business? SalesRadar is FREE – sign up right here!