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CRM is Key to Getting, Growing and Keeping Customers

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Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is the backbone of any business.  That sounds like a bold statement, but it is true.  Think about it:  when you bought goods or services you might have done so because of how helpful someone at the store was to you, right?  Or think about when you call in to a business with a concern; the way the call is handled predicates how you behave moving forward, meaning, if they are courteous, humble, and helpful, you are more inclined to continue doing business with them, and might even consider adding more services on to your existing plan.  You are not alone in this - many people believe that customer service is important in their overall purchasing experience and/or continuing business relationship.  That’s customer relationship management at its best and that’s why it is infinitely important to getting new customers, growing their footprint with your business and retaining them for the long term.

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How can you make CRM work for your business?  Successful CRM programs work all three facets of the business relationship:  inception, lifespan, and retention.  Here are some steps that will help you implement a successful CRM strategy in your business:

  1.  Make your corporate culture positive. Doing so will help your team to properly reflect your core values when they are outside of the office. This type of positive impact on various areas of personal life (neighborhoods, social media, etc.) will lead to increased interest in your business and a broader reach than mere marketing alone could have given you. It’s called brand recognition and it isn’t only relegated to logo placement. Create a culture that has a life of its own and people will stand up and take notice.
  2.  Empower your employees to make decisions on the fly. Customer service is the face of the business regardless of a team member's station within the organization. To the public, the person they encounter is the business – period. They are not concerned with hierarchies and politics. They expect that the person that answers the phone can help them with their problem and translate it into whatever internal language your company decides upon behind the scenes. Unfortunately, many companies don’t equip their customer service staff with decision making tools and/or rights and require them to go to management levels for even the most basic of approvals. Allow your staff to make decisions about what they should do and give them the ability to do it right then and there, when the customer is on the phone. That will show that you have confidence in them and that sentiment will resonate. It will also indicate to your customers that issue resolution is top on your priority list.
  3.  Pay attention to the details. Your customers may need something that they are unable to articulate. Train your staff to ask leading questions and listen for cues so that they can identify their customer’s needs. This generates leads. Follow up with your customers to make sure that that are still happy with the service and use that opportunity to tell them more about what is coming up in your project pipeline. This makes the customer feel more like a partner than someone who simply pays for service.

With CRM you’ll find that it’s the little things that make the most difference.  Invest in implementing a successful CRM base in your organization today and watch the changes in your bottom line unfold.

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By Socius, a CRM Software Provider in Ohio

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