In your business, you might have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, but do you have a CRM strategy? Having a good system in place is only the beginning.
The strategy should outline your plans to improve your customer relationship management, across your full business model. You can have a CRM strategy without a CRM system or software, but for great results and a more organised approach, you should have both.
As it’s easy to get distracted by shiny new features and automated systems, let’s run through why your company should implement a solid CRM strategy first. We know from experience that getting your strategy right can drastically improve your success and ultimately make you more money.
Benefits of improving your customer relationship management
When it comes to your customers, it’s clear that giving a great experience results in better customer retention and word of mouth reputation. But the benefits reach far further than that…
Having a solid strategy and CRM system in place will save your company time and increase productivity. Being organised, with streamlined processes, will make you more money. Grow your revenues by reducing costs and putting your customers first.
Think of your CRM strategy as a way to not only keep your internal company operations organised but to make sure you keep those customers loyal and happy.
How to start your customer relationship management strategy
Before you start your CRM strategy, you need to follow these three steps –
1. Outline your company goals
What needs to improve? Are you trying to encourage more repeat customers?
Whichever goals you set, make them specific and realistic. Rather than saying you want to increase customers, list how many in numbers or percentage increases.
A good approach to setting goals is to use the SMART method. Make your goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
2. Identify your customers
Do you understand who your customers are and where to find them? Do you have records of your best customers?
Have a detailed customer persona to work with. Do your goals complement and attract this persona?
3. Understand your customer journey
Do you know each step your customer takes? What else could you add in to give them great service?
Being aware of the steps in your customer journey, or touchpoints gives you an opportunity for improvement. Read our guide to improving your customer journey phases if you need help on this.
Once these three areas have been addressed, you can move forward and improve your customer relationship management with a great strategy. Engaging your customers in the right way, at the right time, by giving them what they want.
What should you include in your CRM strategy?
When it comes to customer relationship management, your sales, marketing, and customer service needs to work as one. It needs to cover strategic, operational, analytical, and collaborative goals.
If you’re a company with separate departments and employees handling these different aspects, you need to create a strategy that aligns everyone’s goals. This will create a streamlined process and your customers will receive the best service possible.
Your strategy should include setting goals for maintaining and improving customer service. Based on –
· Company size
· Budget/average sale
· Number of customers
As a CRM strategy is not a one-size-fits-all solution, you need to take some time to evaluate your business before diving headfirst. It needs to serve your company and staff, as well as your customers.
Having a solid foundation with clear company values and tone of voice will give your employees a clear direction. Your strategy should include analysing data and performance.
Set clear KPI’s and assign them to the relevant team members. Encourage good department communication to help reach common goals.
Introducing automated systems and processes into your business means you can keep on track of your customer goals easier. If you’re not yet aware of why you would use automation, see seven main benefits of automating your business first.
Make sure your staff are on board and aware of the overall vision you’re trying to achieve, updating them with any progress. Your team should be working collaboratively, as this will keep your CRM strategy current and adaptable.
Reviewing your CRM strategy
After a few months of implementing your new strategy, things might change. Your goals might be reached sooner than planned, so you can aim higher. Keep things fluid to be open to these situations, as external factors may bring an added challenge or opportunity.
Have a feedback process, where you ask your current customers their opinions on your service. Review your goals at regular intervals. How often you do this will depend on your company – monthly or quarterly, for example.
Look at how your customers are speaking about you – customer reviews, social media comments, and email replies. Spotting any negative comments gives you a chance to improve that aspect of your business. Keeping an eye on your communication will lead to happier, loyal customers and more sales.
Custom CRM systems to suit your strategy
A great strategy is one thing, having a way to keep track of it is another. Off the shelf CRM systems rarely fit with your company's needs exactly, and can be costly if you don’t need all of the features.
Unimax Solutions offers a customised CRM system for your business that sits in line with your CRM strategy. Tailor-made for you, choose the features that will benefit your business. Investing in a custom CRM system created for your business means you can plan ahead, creating a system that grows with you.
Hopefully, this has given you a good indication of why a CRM strategy is essential or your business to run a new CRM system successfully. For more information on outlining your strategy, download our FREE CRM strategy guide or get in touch for a consultation.