Customer relationship management can be defined in three steps:
- It helps a business identify its buyers
- It helps a business understand its buyers
- It helps a business better provide for its customers
The main focus? To build a better relationship with each and every individual customer so that they not only buy from your company, but so that they are satisfied and will return again to do business with you. This requires a business to anticipate and respond to a customer’s needs.
Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? From my personal experience, new businesses enter into the world with their homework done. They think that they know their target market, they think they know exactly how to acquire and win over a lead, and they think they know how to retain customers.
Fast forward a few years from then. Suddenly those excited business owners are no longer excited. As a matter of fact, several become quite jaded. They no longer have any idea who their customer is. They scramble just to try and organize every buyer they have and develop migraines trying to come up with ways to nurture their leads and turn them into customers. Oh, and trying to keep that all organized is just downright impossible.
Or IS it?
Anything is possible. And with customer relationship management software, YOU, the business owner, can regain control over your leads and customers once again.
Also, be sure to check out our FREE eBook, “What You Need to Know About Lead Generation” to learn more about generating new leads from your website.
What does CRM Software Do?
There are a lot of different CRM software programs out there, many of which offer something different than the next. But the main goal behind each CRM software program is generally the same. CRM software should:
- Keep information up to date on leads and customers
- Be a platform that is accessible to employees
- Provide information in a way that you can then determine what your customers’ needs are
All in all, CRM software should collect the right information about your customers, as well as organize that information for proper analysis, interpretation, and action.
Here’s an example of how a fully functional CRM software program can benefit your business: Let’s say you’re in the insurance industry. CRM software can help you maintain an efficient data base that will allow you to enter in information like:
- What the customer purchased
- When the customer made a purchase
- How often they purchase/contact your company
- Options that they choose with their typical purchase
- Why they made the purchase
The list goes on and on. A list like this will allow you to totally streamline your marketing campaign. It will tell you what marketing material you should be sending out. It will tell you what sort of promotional product information you should be sending out. It will give you a good idea of what you can do to guarantee the sale for each individual customer. Businesses have gone so far as to even program their CRM software to remember a customer’s birth date so that the customer receives a birthday card from their company each and every year.
How to Choose CRM Software
An inbound marketing firm is a great place to start when asking about what CRM software to choose. If you’re planning on running your internet marketing strategy yourself, then I always recommend that they start with making a list of what they want form their software. What are your objectives? What benefits do you want from the software? Some things to consider are:
- Check out the supported platforms and make sure they work for your business. Read about the hardware, databases, operating systems, online ordering systems, etc. and make sure the CRM software would be compatible
- What’s the price? It’s preferable to buy a CRM software at a one-time fee and not have to pay any annual licensing fees
- Customization is nice, but for the new or inexperienced web owner, it may not be necessary. Most CRM software programs are quite user friendly.
For more ideas on how you can organize your website and your leads, download our FREE eBook, “Website Redesign 101.”
CRM software is really all about streamlining the marketing process by showing you exactly who your leads and customers are, and then telling you what direction to take with them. You’ll see exactly where you are in the lead nurturing process with a lead. You’ll see how loyal a customer is. You’ll see what products are selling and which aren’t, and maybe be able to draw conclusions as to why one product is selling better than the other. I say it’s definitely a time-saving and money-saving investment.
If you’re interested in CRM software but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.