A CRM is the small business most valuable tool. Fortunately, most of you have a CRM and are using it to help keep track of contact information and purchase history, but are you realizing the best value? Understand that having a large database is worthless if you’re not using it to build long-lasting relationships. To keep existing clients coming back and bring new ones in, follow these 5 CRM best practices.
Always update customer information
A CRM system is only effective when the data it provides is current. If the customer’s address, company name, or preferred method of contact has changed, your staff should be recording this information immediately so your sales and marketing teams are always equipped with the right information.
Use purchasing history for upselling opportunities
It’s easier to sell to existing customers than acquiring new ones. Boost your sales performance by analyzing your existing clients’ purchasing history and designing promotions or events designed just for them. For example, if they recently purchased a razor from your online store, you can program your CRM to recommend related products like shaving cream or aftershave. Not only does this widen your profit margins, it also makes customers’ lives a lot easier and promotes repeat business.
Take advantage of the workflow automation features in CRM apps to eliminate time-consuming and repetitive tasks. For instance, when a new lead is added to your CRM (via newsletter subscriptions or website visits), the CRM can be programmed to send follow-up emails, offer promotions, and other interactions to keep your business at the forefront of their attention.
Learn from analytics
CRM also makes it possible to analyze customer trends and behavior. If you noticed a spike in demand for certain products and services during the holidays, be more aggressive in pushing them out next year. If certain email campaigns were more successful than others (e.g., higher open rates, click-through-rates, and potential customers), understand what elements were responsible for that success and try to replicate them the next time you send a newsletter. After all, If you’re not learning from your data, your business growth will be limited.
Integrate CRM with other business software
Tying CRM software to other programs makes it even more powerful. For example, integration with accounting software combines customer and financial data, eliminating redundant manual data entry and providing more insightful reports.
Your CRM should be your most valuable business tool but to be effective it requires active participation from executives, managers, and frontline staff. If you need more advice on keeping customers happy or want to know what CRM system would work best for you, call us today at 604.270.1730 and we’ll be happy to work with you.
Bob Milliken is the TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com specializing in helping businesses with their IT needs. They use their CRM to create raving fans and build long term lasting relationships, what about you?