Ask any successful business owner what it is that makes their business successful and you’ll get a number of different responses. Some may say it’s all down to having the right sales skills. Some may put the reason down to the product or service they’re offering having the right USP. Others may simply cite that it’s due to the relationships which they form with their customers, both at a personal and company level.
Whatever the reason, these responses all have one thing in common. They will all be utilising a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) method of some sort to record the relevant information about their customers.
WHY do you need CRM?
If you’re not using a method of recording customer information in some form or other then you are immediately at a serious disadvantage when it comes to knowing about your customers. Imagine having to constantly ask your customers what their phone number is, what preferences they have, or what information you gave them the last time you spoke to them. If you don’t tire of asking them, they’ll soon tire of being asked.
Worse still, what if your biggest customer rings your company and someone in your organisation asks them, “Who are you, again?” It’s not going to give the person on the other end of the phone confidence that you can handle the business they’ve given you in the past or that they may be considering giving you in the future.
By not having a CRM solution you have no way of drawing on any previous information as to who they are, what they are looking for, or what they have previously received from you – vital points of information which you should, ideally, know about all your prospective and actual customers to ensure you can give the best level of service to them.
WHEN should you implement your CRM?
Implementation of a CRM solution should, ideally, be done at the earliest possible opportunity. That way you remove the need, at a later date, to waste time playing catch-up by having to put all those pieces of information into the correct format. There’s nothing more time-wasting than having to wade through masses of spreadsheets, business cards, Post-it notes, note books and scraps of paper purely and simply to migrate existing information into one place or having to collate that information in the first place by asking your employees what they can remember or, worse still, by going back to your customer and admitting you haven’t really got any idea about them or their requirements.
By having a recording system in place you will give your customers a better experience through their lifecycle with you. Your customer relationships are two-way conversations. Therefore, drawing on previously gathered information, at the right time, will make them feel cared about, valued and, if they think you care, will mean they’re more likely to stay with you as a customer and give you return business.
WHAT do you need to consider when looking for a CRM solution?
There are so many questions which will arise as soon as you start to look into CRM solutions, that it is impossible to list every one.The top 8 deciding factors are:
1. How much do you want to spend? Or, conversely, how much money do you want to SAVE by implementing the correct solution?
2. How do you want to access the information? e.g. From a single point of view giving all the information in one place, or scattered in various places such as people’s heads, spreadsheets, emails etc.
3. What other information resources are you wanting to integrate with and possible share data with? e.g. email, financial accounts, calendars etc.
4. How easy should the system be to use? Consider not just the day-to-day usage of the system, but also how easy it is to get the information in there in the first place.
5. Where do you want to be able to access the system from? Just in your workplace, carried around on your person e.g. smartphone, a computer-based system e.g. PC, laptop or tablet over the Internet or somewhere else?
6. What information do you regularly need to get out of the system? Is this something as simple as business card type information, order references, or a full company overview report?
7. What if things go wrong? Who you gonna call? You need to ensure your provider can give good credentials to support their ability to give you what you need.
8. Who needs access to the information in your system? Just you and your company employees, or customers, suppliers, resellers? And what information do they need to see?
Established in 1994 EnableIT Technologies Ltd is a leading provider of IT solutions across the UK and offers a unique service to their customers. Few other companies are able to put together such a comprehensive range of IT services from within their own organisation. This puts the company in a powerful position in the marketplace as traditional systems are eclipsed by the need to bring together e-commerce and local systems into one integrated business solution.
For further information and advice on implementing a CRM solution please go to www.enablecrm.co.uk or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 01473 618980.