What is the role of CRM in the 21st century?
- A CRM system is so much more than just a sales tool. It helps track customer behaviour and identify trends and opportunities for any size of business.
- Above all else, customers of today expect personalisation and exceptional customer service.
- Businesses need to use technology and draw insights from customer data, so they can spot trends in buying behaviour and make business decisions that keep them ahead of competition.
If you own a business today, you know that customer relationship management (CRM) is a lot more than just a sales tool it was intended to be some decades ago.
It started off as such, but in recent years it is more of a tool to manage all business processes,
from monitoring leads to tracking sales orders and keeping an eye on the delivery pipeline all at the same time.
In the 21st century, the CRM is the glue that bonds a business with its customers and it is also a funnel through which the business can carry out its operations.
It enables tracking of customer behaviour,
predicting business opportunities and helps the business work in a more effective and productive manner.
The CRM: so much more than a sales tool
Using a CRM system for your business, you can compile data from a range of different communication channels,
such as the company’s website, email campaigns, marketing materials and social media.
A CRM system enables even the smallest of businesses to easily log customer behaviour. From marketing messages and the leads they generate,
to number of orders placed and the type of products /services that they have shown interest in or bought.
Knowing and tracking customer behaviour like this enables the business to predict opportunities. Coincidently,
it also enables the business to identify what is not working, therefore putting any further investment under review.
From the business processes point of view, a CRM system can considerably simplify back office operations, enabling the business do more with less resources.
From document generation and email automation to logging of sales leads and handling customer enquiries.
Some of the latest CRM additions, can now also track engineer and delivery teams to help businesses really push the boundaries in their service delivery.
What do customers expect in 21st century?
It wasn’t too long ago when every business was claiming that the key to winning customers was in the quality or price of the product or service they deliver.
But things have changed and now an even more important success factor has appeared.
Providing the best customer experience.
This year’s Econsultancy and Adobe Annual Digital Trends report has highlighted customer experience as being the most exciting opportunity for business in 2020.
According to this annual report, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.
So what is customer experience?
Customer experience is every touch point between you (the business) and your customers.
It is about understanding your customer’s pain-points and presenting your solution
to their problems in the way that gets their attention.
It is encouraging a call to action via digital media, telephone or face-to-face.
It is about them being acknowledged and notified appropriately following their
encounter with your company or brand.
With so many media options available, it is now more important than ever to maintain consistent experiences across channels, without increasing cost or complexity.
Personalised treatment is sure to bring any business above and beyond customer expectations, but how do you do this efficiently with 100, 1,000 or more of your clients?
Now, imagine doing any of the above effectively without a CRM system… where will this customer intelligence be captured and stored?
Will it be accessible by the different teams and how can you guarantee consistency of message and effective pathway to your buyer’s journey?
Value of CRM integration
A fully integrated CRM system means that your marketing and customer services teams have access to the most up to date information about your customers.
That your sales and engineer teams can effectively log customer leads/sales/enquires and initiate the required follow up processes.
And finally, your finance and stock management teams can log and execute the required processes to keep the whole business functioning effectively.
Resulting in instant access to key business information at your fingertips.
So what does a business have to do to grow?
- In order to exceed customer expectations a business needs to first of all know what these expectations are, these should be logged and tracked over a period of time.
- Offering high quality products and services with exceptional customer service will ensure the business stays ahead of its competitors.
- Understanding the buyer’s journey properly, the business can guarantee a more simplistic sales process.
- racking leads, managing customer expectations and actioning any processes that will move the customer along the buyer’s journey will ensure every customer feels appreciated.
All of the above can be achieved effectively if a CRM system is integrated within the business processes. No matter the size of the company,
having business processes in place and a CRM system supporting each of them,
will ensure that a solid foundation is built to cope with larger customer or order numbers as the business grows.
What is the most exciting opportunity for your business in 2021?
Speak to us to learn how a CRM can help you achieve your goals.
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About the Author
Founder | Business Solution Consultant, Solutions Shared Ltd