Customer relationship management tools can help your business provide better value to customers and optimise your operations to ensure growth and profitability
The dream of many entrepreneurs is to watch their little cottage industry turn into a global power. For some, that dream takes years to fulfil; for others, it occurs with breakneck speed.
It’s true that speed isn’t necessarily all that important as long as growth is in a positive direction. But there is the possibility of achieving both goals — a fast-growing company that maintains steady upward movement without frightening setbacks in markets or profits.
Part of the power to grow like that comes from your products and services. If you’ve built a better mousetrap, the speed of social media lets the world beat that proverbial path to your door faster than ever.
But it doesn’t take a revolutionary product to get that type of growth. Sometimes it just takes a well-targeted marketing plan to know what customers want and to meet their other needs.
Good customer relationships
A successful plan is driven by good customer relationship management, better known as CRM. The 2 mainstays in the CRM market focus their efforts on helping companies know more about their customers, based on data derived from previous interactions and transactions with them.
CRM builds companies quickly with a number of major tools. Personnel working with a CRM system will have access to a wide range of information about each client. For example, a single dashboard can show staff all the interaction they have had with a given client. They can see what products or services have been previously purchased, through what channels, and with what form of payment. The staff can review marketing techniques to see which ones were most successful for a given customer, providing feedback for future efforts.
Better knowledge provides value
The value here is clear. Advertising campaigns that aren’t yielding sales can be curtailed, and successful ones can be enhanced. Fast-selling products can be produced in larger numbers, and relevant add-on products can be developed.
The sooner customers get what they want from a company, the faster the company grows. Likewise, the sooner companies find out what customers don’t want, the faster the company can cut their losses.
But it doesn’t end there. Relationships after the initial sales are built with CRM as well. The system can follow troubleshooting and customer service activity, helping the company see where problems are being repeated.
It can also give a profile of customers most likely to encounter difficulty or confusion in using products. For example, if a smartphone manufacturer offered a keypad that worked like the old rotary-dial landline telephone, most younger customers would have no idea how to use it, and their customer service contacts would reflect that.
Another important aspect is profit tiering. A general balance sheet will tell a company whether the month or the quarter has been profitable, but CRM can take it much further than that. It can incorporate demographic information, exposing whether the company is making or losing money among different age groups, ethnicities, genders, and geographic locations. Stronger areas can be fortified, while weaker ones can be targeted for improvements with changed product offerings, advertising methods, and marketing techniques.
It’s a time-honoured tradition for companies to ask customers if they like their products, how they found out about the company, or any one of dozens of other questions. However, it is too time-consuming to be cost-effective, and many customers prefer to say “fine” and go on. With CRM, companies can gather this information, package it, and utilise it, all without creating an undue delay or hassle for customers. The result for you can be a fast-growing business that makes your entrepreneurial dream come true.
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