Friday March 1, 2019
Did you know that more than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase because of poor customer service? It’s no wonder more businesses are choosing to invest in customer relationship management or CRM.
CRM software is a set of tools that allows you to keep track of your clients' personal information, past purchases, contact preferences, and much more. It not only gives you some much-needed insight, but it allows for your entire sales team to be on the same page anytime they speak to a customer – and that makes for a great service experience.
If you want to make the most out of your CRM software, there are a few best practices you should follow on the daily. Here’s a list of my best tips and tricks (learned through lots of trial and error!):
- Use your CRM on a daily basis. Much like starting a new diet or exercise routine, a CRM isn’t going to make much of a difference if you’re not consistent. Besides contact info, CRMs log pretty much every interaction between you and a client, from phone calls to emails and everything in between. Some CRMs even offer the ability to track deal progress so you can see where the customer or prospect is in your pipeline. What happens if you decide not to use the software for a day or two? I’ll tell you what – you miss out on logging valuable information, and you’re not going to have all the data you need next time that client calls in!
- Train the whole team. If you run a business (and you probably do if you’re reading this), you know that managing your workforce can sometimes be like herding cats. When you invest in a CRM system, it’s still like herding cats . . . but at least those cats know where to go and what to do. Bottom line? Having a set customer service policy (and training EVERYONE to use it properly) will make work life 100% less stressful, for both you and your team. Now, if only I could find a CRM to manage my three boys at home, I’d be all set . . .
- Use your CRM to keep track of networking opportunities. How many times have you gone to a networking event, collected a bunch of business cards, and then promptly forgotten about them? Well, guess what? Networking doesn’t have to be a one-night stand. With a CRM you can organize that giant pile of business cards you’ve been saving and actually make connections.
I have several clients that I fear are going to have to learn this lesson the hard way: no matter how many times I tell them they deserve more than a casual encounter, they keep filing those business cards away in their old Rolodex – setting themselves up to never talk to that contact ever again.
- Utilize built-in reports. Ever go out to a restaurant or the movies and realize (far too late) that you’ve been walking around with your skirt tucked into your stockings? Let me tell you: do that just once, and you’ll be certain to always check yourself in the mirror before heading out again.
Having a CRM and not utilizing the reports is much the same: your business might be a hot mess right now, and you don’t even know it because you’re not checking your analytics.
A good CRM will have the capability to show you just how good you look (or don't look) so you know where you stand: from supply chain and procurement to HR, to marketing forecasts – it's all there. It's like that friend you love to hate: they tell you exactly how it is, no matter how terrible, but deep down, you really appreciate their honest feedback.
A CRM might uncover some ugly truths about your company that you don’t really want to face – but in the long run, business will be much better for it. Tell me: do you use a CRM? Has it helped improve your customer service processes?