CRM Software: How to Use them to Improve Customer Experience
What are CRMs, and Why Do They Matter?
In today’s business world, the customer experience is everything. Your business can never be successful if your customers are unhappy.
Recent studies show that customers are willing to pay more for a better experience and poor customer service is one of the main reasons people switch brands.
The need to offer excellent customer experience and build strong customer relationships throughout the buyer’s journey is where CRM software comes in.
In this article, you’ll learn more about CRM software, its potential benefits to your business, and how to use them to improve customer experience effectively.
What’s a CRM, and What are its Main Features?
CRM is a Customer Relationship Management software that helps businesses manage customer interactions and data.
As a business owner, CRM software comes with several features that you can use to streamline your customer management systems. Some of the most common features of CRMs include the following:
- Contact management: They have features that store customer contact information (e.g., name, phone number, email address) in one place.
- Conversation tracking: You can use them to track all conversations with your customers (e.g., phone calls, emails, live chats) for future reference.
- Opportunity management: CRMs have features that track sales opportunities, so you can use them to nurture leads and close deals more effectively.
- Lead management: CRM helps businesses generate leads and track progress through the sales funnel.
- Purchase history tracking: Through a robust CRM, you can track what products or services customers have purchased in the past to enable you to up-sell or cross-sell them more effectively.
- Campaign management: They help businesses create targeted marketing campaigns based on customers’ demographics, locations, or interests.
How Can CRM Boost Your Business? 5 Major Benefits of CRMs
Are you wondering whether or not you need a CRM for your business?
As a business owner, having a customer relationship management (CRM) tool is vital for effective business operations.
Here are some potential benefits of CRM to your business:
- E-Commerce Integration
If you’re an eCommerce business owner, you can benefit from a CRM by integrating it with your e-commerce platform for a seamless customer experience.
Since customers expect a personalized and omnichannel approach when interacting with businesses, a CRM can help you deliver on those expectations.
Such integration will help you track customer behavior across channels and make data-driven decisions to improve the customer experience.
2. Improved Customer Service
A CRM can help you provide better customer service by giving you a 360-degree view of the customer. With all your customer data in one place, you can resolve customer issues more quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, features like live chat and email automation can help you provide a more responsive experience for your customers.
3. Increased Sales
As a business owner, your ultimate goal is to increase sales.
A CRM can help you increase sales by giving insights into which products or services your customers are interested in most. This knowledge lets you target your marketing efforts better and close more deals.
Additionally, a CRM can help you upsell and cross-sell to existing customers by making product recommendations based on past purchases.
4. Increased Efficiency
Another benefit of using a CRM system is that it increases efficiency in your business operations. With your customer data stored in one place, you won’t waste time looking for information across different departments or file cabinets.
All the customer management information will be right at your fingertips, saving you lots of time, energy, and frustration in the long run.
5. Better Decision Making
Finally, CRM systems can help your businesses make better decisions concerning your customers.
When you have all your customer data available, you can quickly generate reports and analytics that will give you insights into your customers’ behavior.
You can use this information to make better decisions about marketing campaigns, product development, and other critical business functions.
Types of CRM Software in the Market (And examples)
There are different types of CRMs software on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for your business.
Let’s look at the three main types of CRMs to help you make an informed decision:
1. Operational CRMs
Operational CRM software focuses on automating processes to increase efficiency. Sales teams typically use them to keep track of leads and customer data.
Operational CRMs usually include lead capture forms, email tracking, and customer activity tracking, which help retain existing customers and convert new leads.
Examples of operational CRMs in the market include:
i) HubSpot CRM
iii) Agile CRM
2. Analytical CRMs
These types of CRMs focus on giving businesses insights into their customer base. They help companies understand their customers better to offer them more relevant products and services.
Analytical CRMs usually include features like customer segmentation, customer profiles, and pattern recognition, which drive better customer retention.
Examples of operational CRMs in the market include:
ii) Zoho Analytics
3. Collaborative CRMs
Collaborative CRM is the third type of CRM that focuses on giving businesses a platform to manage their customer relationships.
They also enable internal team collaboration, helping businesses streamline communication and workflows.
Collaborative CRMs usually include features like live chat, project management, and task management, which save time and improve efficiency.
Examples of operational CRMs in the market include:
ii) Sugar CRM
iii) Sage CRM
iv) Pipeliner CRM
The table below summarizes the three types of CRMs for easier grasping:
How To Choose the Right CRM for Your Business
Finding the right CRM for your business can be tricky, considering the variety available in the market.
Here are five factors to consider when choosing a CRM for your business:
1. Your Business Needs
The first factor to consider is your business’s needs.
What processes do you need the CRM system to streamline?
Do you need a system that integrates with your current software?
Before you choose a CRM, list the must-haves and nice-to-have features, then find one that has most of the features in your list.
2. The Size of Your Business
The size of your business also matters when choosing a CRM.
If you have a small business with only a few employees, you probably don’t need a complex CRM system.
However, suppose you have a large enterprise with hundreds of employees, you’ll need a robust CRM that can handle your data and give everyone in your organization prompt access to information.
3. Your Budget
You should also factor in your budget when choosing a CRM. Some CRMs are very expensive, while others are very affordable.
Their prices often depend on factors like features, functionality, customization, scalability, and specialization.
You’ll need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on a CRM before you start looking at the different options available.
4. Integration with Other Systems
When selecting a CRM, ensure that it can easily be integrated with any other systems your business uses.
Otherwise, you’ll end up with another siloed system that doesn’t talk to other systems in your organization.
5. Client Reviews
Finally, check out the client reviews before deciding to use any CRM. Reading reviews from other users will give you an unbiased look at what each CRM system has to offer.
Be sure to pay attention to both positive and negative reviews — no product is perfect, but you want to be sure that any negatives won’t affect your business negatively as well.
You can check reviews from their respective websites, download pages, or social media pages.
Expert tip: Take advantage of the free trials that most CRMs offer to help you decide whether the system suits your business.
How To Get Started With Your New CRM
You may have checked the different CRMs on the market and found one that would suit your business.
So, how do you start implementing a new CRM system into your business?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started:
- Select a system and sign up for a free trial
Once you’ve done your research and narrowed down your options, pick the system you want and sign up for a free trial. This will allow you to test the features and see if the system is a good fit for your business.
2. Import your data
Once you’ve chosen a system, it’s time to import all your customer data into the CRM.
This process can be a bit tedious if there’s no option for automatic integration. However, it’s worth doing it right to get the most out of your new system.
3. Set up your dashboard and user permissions
The next step is to set up your CRM dashboard and configure user permissions.
User permissions will ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive customer data.
4. Train your team members
After everything is set up, it’s essential to train your team members on how to use the CRM so that they can make the most out of it.
Organize training sessions (department-wise if possible) and explain each feature to them and how they’ll use them to handle tasks.
Such training will ensure that everyone is on-boarded and minimize chances of confusion and errors.
6. Gather feedback and adjust as needed
Before fully integrating the new system, let your employees test it and provide feedback on the same.
Listen to feedback from your team members and make adjustments as needed so that everyone will be happy when you bring in the new CRM.
7. Plan for continued growth
If you like the system and decide to pay for it, lay down a plan for continued growth down the road.
This means ensuring you have adequate storage space for all your customer data (since your customer base will keep growing) and enough licenses for everyone who needs access to the system.
8. Regular check-ins
Finally, schedule regular check-ins with your team so that you can troubleshoot any issues that come up.
You can also discuss new features, or make changes along the way if necessary.
Regular check-ins will ensure that everyone stays happy with the system and that it continues to meet all your business’s needs as intended.
Customer relationship management is a critical part of your business you don’t want to ignore.
When you have a responsive and interactive relationship with your customers, they become more loyal to your brand and even become brand advocates.
Since it's almost impossible to manually manage your customers, find a CRM software that best suits your business model and can meet all your primary needs, and integrate it into your system.
A good CRM will help you give your customers a better experience when doing business with you and enhance customer retention.
Happy customers = More sales = More brand advocates = More revenue!!