MANAGING YOUR CUSTOMERS
It's one things to start a business and its a different ball game to keep that business running effectively. One way to achieve this is to know how you can manage your customers. Why? Because they are the hub of your business, they are the ones that patronise your brand and help you grow that business, they are the ones that make you go to the bank once in a while to cash in a cheque or upgrade your products or services. With all these and more, it's enough to understand why your business needs to employ good customers relationship management systems in its business stategies.
Customer Relationship Management, otherwise known as CRM majorly defines how your business interacts and communicates effectively with your customers. It entails way more than just having a database that captures your customer's information so you can boast about how many people your business could attract. Sorry to burst your bubble but that is not what CRM is all about, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
CRM involves using digital technology to gather the intelligence you need to proffer improved support and services to your customers. But then, you have every information you need, so what will you do about it? This is why CRM also entails what you do with that information to know and meet the expectations of your customers, identify new customers and input marketing strategies which would result in higher profits for you. Therefore, CRM not only gives you more information about your customers, it also helps you analyze the information you have gotten which involves identifying your customers needs so you can come up with a strategy that would help you address those needs.
Let me break it down for you: Your business has an e-commerce platform where customers can order for beauty products. On your Instagram page, you are able to have over a thousand followers with a large percent of them being people who actually patronise your brand. However, that is not enough to think your business is booming. You need to have a platform where you can know your customers, what are they saying about the services you offer? What strategies should you put in place to meet the needs of your customers? How can you give your customer a good service delivery experience and satisfaction? You must have all these information about your customers. When good CRM systems are inputed, it helps you identify certain areas where you need to improve your business service for your customers.
You must also understand that your online customers are different from your traditional customers. They both have different set of expectations. A traditional customer may walk into your office and ask questions, one on one but the online customer may not necessarily do so. Their own form of interaction is through the internet. When they visit your website or social media platforms, they expect to know more about your business, how they can navigate your online platforms easily enough to push them to take action and patronise the brand. They expect your products to be available online with minimal searching, more opportunities for self-service on your website and speedy delivery of products. Therefore, you need to consider CRM principles when doing business online.
To ensure efficient growth of your business, an effective Customer Relationship Management System must be put in your business:
-Develop your CRM strategy, and then choose the best digital technology to support it. Creating a strategy allows you to set a course for your CRM objectives and ensures that it is targeted to build stronger relationships with your customers. A CRM strategy should be able to identify your business customer's profile which includes their needs, expectations and also impacts their purchasing decisions. You have to clearly define and outline the goals of your business’ engagement with current and future customers to maximize sales, profit and long-term growth. You also need to assess your company’s capabilities and whether it has the technology, human resources and skills to meet these goals. It is important to note that the implementation of CRM in your business is dependent on the level of planning that went into developing a CRM strategy.
-Ensure all your employees understand CRM and its importance to your business growth and success. This can be done through formal training or information meetings.
-Implement your CRM strategy. If your business has more customer base, it may be necessary for you to employ the help of a good CRM agency. A good CRM professional would help you evaluate your strategy and provide recommendations on how to improve or implement a new one. A CRM professional will also help you identify the best technology that matches your business needs and budget, develop a plan for impkementing your CRM strategy and direct you to manage your customers effectively.
-Remember, the key to growing your business is to provide quality service to your customer and ensure good customer feedback and satisfaction. An angry customer can make or break everything your business has strived to built, it is therefore important that your customers always have something good to say about your business.
Tell us, what systems have you put in place to monitor and evaluate your customer base? Join the conversation.