If you ask different C-suite executives what is the most important asset in their business, don’t be surprised if you get a bunch of different answers. Brick-and-mortar owners will chant that location is everything. IT managers will say the same thing for technology and HR managers will of course say that employees are the most valuable.
While all of these are indeed important, the truth is that they are all aimed towards getting (and keeping) the most important asset of them all – customers.
In order to protect that asset and offer their customers a better customer service, businesses spend a great deal of money on CRM software.
Why is it then that more than $41 billion is lost each year only in US due to poor customer service?
The reason for that is that many executives focus only on the “M” part of the CRM, instead of focusing solely on “C”. This leads to a great deal of problems such as difficult-to-prove ROI, poor adoption, and usage among employees. Since a CRM solution can help improve sales and customer service only when it is completely adopted and used throughout the whole organization, we bring you 8 ways on how to achieve exactly that – amp up your CRM and make it the number one customer acquisition and retention tool in your toolbox.
#1 Make your CRM easy to use for your employees
When implemented correctly, a CRM solution can quickly become the backbone of all your customer relations. This is why the first goal of a CRM implementation should be to assess your employees and organization’s needs. If you implement a CRM without assessing the needs of your employees, the CRM adoption (and its ROI) will be poor, at least.
#2 Provide CRM training to your employees
Making your CRM easy to use is only the first step on your goal to having a high organization-wide CRM adoption. Generally, people fear change and if they are not shown that the change is good, they will resist it. Since the most value of each and every CRM system lies in the data it contains and use of that data, it’s important to teach every employee how to correctly use the CRM in order to get the maximum results from it.
#3 Make your CRM a company-wide system
One of the most frequent mistakes that businesses make is that they consider the CRM to be only a sales tool. By doing this, they limit or deny access to other customer-oriented departments such as marketing or customer service. By reserving the CRM as a sales-only tool, other departments often end up not knowing of new customers or changes to current customers. This results in a great deal of missed opportunities and crippled relationships.
#4 Keep your data up-to-date
Most businesses are all part of “data-hoarding” culture where they amass great amounts of data during their everyday business activities.
According to Veritas Technologies, 52% of all that data is considered as ROT (redundant, obsolete and trivial).
Indeed, data is money, at least when it’s good and up-to-date. Serving your marketing and sales with obsolete data will not result in no money, but it could cost you some, as well.
#5 Integrate your CRM with social networks
Today, more than 1,78 billion people login to their Facebook account at least once per month, and that number is constantly growing. Same thing is happening with other social networks. By integrating your CRM with social networks, you can reach a wider range of potential customers in less time when compared to your competitors that don’t use a social CRM.
#6 Sync your CRM with your other tools
Already synced your CRM with social networks? Why stop there? If your CRM doesn’t automatically collect information about important interactions with your customers (emails, meetings), or your employees are entering it manually, you’ll find it difficult to trust that data to be accurate. This leads us back to point number 7 and ROT data.
#7 Use CRM through the whole sales cycle
The sales cycle can start in many different ways: with a call, a meeting, a customer’s inquiry… But the sales cycle never ends with a sale. It continues by building loyalty and turning your customers into repeat customers or brand ambassadors. Considering the number of customers that some companies have, keeping track of them, their needs, and different contacts can be difficult. Therefore, it’s important to use CRM throughout the sales cycle.
This way, you’ll not only get better understanding of your customers’ current needs, but to predict their future needs and fine-tune your future marketing and sales efforts.
#8 Use your CRM data to further improve your customer experience
Besides being a great sales tool, a well-maintained CRM system can quickly become an even better marketing, retention and loyalty building tool. Combining data from your CRM (customer information, specific interests…) with contextual data (location, device type…) and behavioral data (lead source, time spent on page…) you can generate highly detailed and segmented surveys to send to your customers.
Most CRM systems can be easily amped up with a customer survey solution and besides better understanding your customers and their needs, a customer survey solution will give you an in-depth insight on how you compare to your competitors.