Profit is the purpose of every business. Most businesses think of increasing revenue and hence profits by boosting efforts to acquire new customers. But the cost to acquire a new customer is much greater than the cost to retain an existing customer. Depending on the industry, experts indicate that it is five to ten times more costly to acquire a new customer than it is to keep and develop an existing customer.
CRM helps businesses build a relationship with their customers that, in turn, fosters loyalty and boosts customer retention. It helps gather customer data swiftly, identify the most valuable customers over time and increase customer loyalty by providing customized products and services.
Importance of building customer relationships
Strengthening relationship with your customers can help you in realizing their full profit potential. Essentially, the stronger the relationship, the longer the customer will continue to do business with you. Investing in existing customers makes business sense because:
- They are likely trust you enough to purchase your more expensive products or services.
- They have a much higher chance of buying as compared to persuading a prospective client to make a purchase.
- Loyal customers promote your business. Customer referrals are still one of the key sources of new business.
Using CRM for building profitable customer relationships
Most CRM platforms involve businesses analyzing customer interactions and improving the customer relationship during the customer lifecycle. That includes marketing, sales, customer service, and support. In this article, I will be focussing on using CRM for building stronger customer relationships which offer huge potential to improve business revenue and profits.
Use customer interaction data to improve customer experience
CRM can help record detailed accounts of customer feedback and customer service issues. Businesses using CRM can compile this data to improve overall experience of customer base as a whole.
Interestingly, the sources of these customer interactions are not limited to one or two channels. As customers, we now participate in online forums, discuss reviews on social media and research new products and services online much before we decide to make the final purchase. We even find solutions to our problems most of the times on our own by searching online or by reading the knowledge base created by companies themselves. CRM can help companies get better idea of customers’ needs and keep customers loyal to the brand.
In fact, companies go a step further and integrate all customer data in one place from marketing, sales, customer service and support. It gives them a 360 degree view of every customer and brings transparency through the whole sales funnel. That directly translates into better customer service for the clients (and benefits for sales and marketing teams as well).
As a Salesforce CRM implementation company, Cymetrix Software developed a custom Salesforce application to create and maintain customer interactions histories and grow prospects for an Indian research foundation. This database was further used by marketing team to cross-sell and up-sell.
Customize sales messages and improve conversions
A CRM is a central location for your sales team to input and track relevant customer data. It can track customer touch points across multiple channels. But the real value of this data can be realised when it is mined to gain valuable visibility for building buyer personas. That can help in identifying the best sales strategies for a customer. Sales team can use this information to send personalised recommendations for your product or service and improve chances of conversion.
It is a great experience for customers to receive targeted and relevant sales messages which resonate with them.
For example, I know Amazon is capturing my browsing data. But when they use it to send me offers on products which I am interested (based on my browsing history), that’s where it makes all the difference. Compare this experience with other online portal where I am registered, but get very generic offers usually on the product categories that I have absolutely no interest in.
Provide great customer service and retain your clients
Scenario: Last month when my favourite music app stopped working on the phone, I sent a DM to the brand’s official account on Twitter. It took them hours to respond. After I explained the problem, I was asked to send an email to the support team. Support team reached out to me asking for same info, details of which were already shared by me earlier in Twitter DM.
CRM systems like Salesforce can help customer service teams to easily get an overview of all customer interactions across multiple channels like social media and email in this case. Anyone in the customer service team can then respond, without having to ask for the same information every time customers reach out to support.
Also, through CRM, issues and complaints can be easily resolved. It is because the system can sort out issues and queries and, at the same time, forward them to the appropriate department.
According a research from Accenture, 52% of consumers have switched providers (across all industries) due to poor customer service. Customer Service is one of the vital component of building strong customer relationships. In fact, customer service is the new marketing and the more effective way to retain loyal customers.
A note for small and medium businesses: Serving up great customer experiences doesn’t just come down to large businesses that can afford over-the-top marketing campaigns designed to grab headlines. Customer-centricity is essential to business success small and medium businesses as well. Investing in efficiency in customer service from the start is a large contributor to an SMB’s success and repeat business.
Related Post: Benefits of CRM for small businesses and mid-sized organizations
Getting started with Customer Relationship Management
CRM is not just a technical solution, but a combination of methodologies, practices, strategies and technologies which collectively help business in developing stronger customer relationships. If your company wants to invest in your customers, a CRM consultant can bring clarity, strategic planning and an understanding of customer- based processes at the highest level.
To understand whether CRM is the right solution for your business and to get consultation to guide your CRM project, contact Cymetrix Software. Cymetrix is a Salesforce CRM Consulting Partner and has successfully implemented Salesforce for organizations across various industries for global clients. The company has offices in USA and India.