Five Reasons to Choose CRM

CRM-Selling

How customer relationship management systems can boost your small business.

Customer is king, as the old saying goes. It’s crucial for businesses to truly understand their customers’ needs and behaviours. In the past this was done by knocking on doors or making calls, but increasingly businesses are using web-based customer relationship management (CRM) systems to further their knowledge about the people who buy from them. Here’s why…

1. Improved information storage

“Keeping all the information and data you have on your customers in one place rather than on separate spreadsheets or databases helps make your record keeping more organised and ensures a more consistent user experience,” says Tim Shute, manager at MillerTech Ireland. “It can also help with data security, especially important with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming. The data is in one place and not scattered in various systems. If it’s particularly sensitive, you can sure it’s only accessible to certain staff.”

Gary Cullen, director at Provident CRM, adds: “With spreadsheets, you can get disjointed information across marketing, sales and service. One department will know something about a customer that the other does not, and the information is often not shared. With a CRM system in place, you don’t have these problems, such as a customer enquiry that was lost because it dropped between two stools.”

 

2. Improved operational efficiency and productivity

CRM systems automate minor tasks, such as setting up and organising phone calls to customers or sending out marketing emails. And because they’re web-based systems, they can be accessed anywhere, anytime on laptops or smartphones.

They can also integrate with other applications and systems in a workplace such as a company’s website and individual marketing, human resources or supply chain departments.

3. Better internal communications

A CRM system encourages closer collaboration and communications between different parts of the business, such as advertising and sales, and helps break down silos. All the information on a customer is stored on one system. This leads to clear and consistent processes and presents a unified front to clients.

“If you come in on a Monday morning and someone from a different department comes at you sideways wanting information about a customer or asking why both of you have called the customer about the same thing, then a CRM system can help prevent that,” says Cullen. “You know exactly when they’ve been contacted and what about. Staff are one half of the customer relationship and need to have the tools to keep that flourishing.”

 

“Customer relationship management systems are all about getting to know your customer better”

 

Gary Cullen, director at Provident CRM

 

4. Improved customer service and experience

“The CRM system allows your staff to look at only one point of contact for a customer rather than three or four. This ensures there’ss better consistency of service without repeating the same information to a customer,” says Brian Kelly, CEO of software company Mindaclient.

Cullen calls it developing relationship management and intelligence. “It’s about getting to know your customer better. If you have a single view of all correspondence and contact with a customer, the one-to-one relationship is enhanced and you can deliver services or information to them at the right place and right time,” he says.

“Look at Amazon and Google. They know us as consumers so well – they know our personal preferences, and that’s creeping into the business world. A CRM system allows you to improve the personal experience and leads to a customer being more likely to recommend you to their families, friends and colleagues. It improves customer retention rates and helps you gain new customers as well.”

Cullen says it’s all about mapping out a customer journey from first contact onwards. “What and where are the touchpoints? What do they need from us and if it’s something we’re not providing then maybe we need to be more pro-active. Should we ring more than once a month?”

A system can also link to a chatbox service on a company website. When a live chat begins, the CRM notes when it takes place so staff retain a record of the communication.

5. Data analysis and reporting to improve sales and marketing and boost revenues

“By adding information on your customers from a variety of data sources your staff in sales and marketing can look at patterns such as who is buying your product and when, what leads are out there and who is showing interest,” says Kelly.

Cullen adds: “You can spot trends across the data which you can use to upsell or cross-sell products and add to your revenues. You can follow information on a particular organisation looking at whether they’ve carried out recent marketing and advertising or are about to launch a new product. Are they looking to buy a new product, are they looking elsewhere? This information doesn’t just come from customer communications but their digital footprint and other data sources such as news feeds or social media. This information can be merged into customer records so that if a firm has filed their accounts or someone has got a new job then it triggers an alert.”

 

 

Comments 2

Pat Horgan on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 15:21

I agree with all of the top 5 suggestions - Salesforce is a key CRM tool in our business that is currently supporting positive activities

I agree with all of the top 5 suggestions - Salesforce is a key CRM tool in our business that is currently supporting positive activities
Shane Feeney on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 16:41

Customer Experience - It looks at the overall experience customers have with an organisation. It’s primary role to embed a culture of focused thinking and decision making across the organisation. (Deloitte 2014)
If CRM can help us with this it can only be good...

Customer Experience - It looks at the overall experience customers have with an organisation. It’s primary role to embed a culture of focused thinking and decision making across the organisation. (Deloitte 2014) If CRM can help us with this it can only be good...
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