Your customers are the foundation to your business’s success; so, have you thought about how you’re managing your customer relationships? Providing great service is essential, but in a highly competitive environment, you might also need to take a more personalised approach by understanding your customers and their needs. We explore why it’s vital to understand your customers and how tools like CRMs can support your business.
Why understanding your customers is so important
In today’s digitised, fast-paced environment, customers have a lot of choices and may feel disconnected, unless you make an effort to build a one-on-one, personalised connection with your audience. This could be by understanding your customers and using targeted messaging. Knowing your customers’ preferences, history, and pain points lets you market to them more effectively with personalised approaches. It lets you identify your most profitable customers and focus on them.
Understanding your customers could let you anticipate their needs, resolve their pain points, and provide the right goods and services when they need it most. You can use your knowledge of customers to segment them by categories like location, types of goods and services, and industry, and then assign the right account managers to better address their requirements and successfully upsell and cross-sell.
By understanding your customers, your business can become genuinely customer-centric, build loyalty, and improve customer satisfaction. You could successfully retain them, which in turn could significantly lower your customer acquisition costs and drive higher growth and profits. Focusing on understanding customers at the acquisition stage could also allow you to convert leads more effectively and eventually retain them for the long term.
But tracking numerous customers can become challenging as you scale up. How do you maintain a connection with hundreds or even thousands of customers? The answer is with a CRM – customer relationship management – platform.
How a CRM can benefit your organisation
A CRM platform is one of the most powerful tools you can use for your customer relationship management. Choosing the right CRM and using it correctly could enhance everything from communication and automation to customer service and reporting.
1. Enhanced communication
A CRM gives you a historical view of leads and customers, with real-time, whole-organisation access to customer data. Every staff member, from sales to operations, can access this information, which might have been entered into the system by different departments. This supports a uniform, consistent approach to customer service by enabling stronger collaboration and communication within your organisation.
At the same time, a centralised system facilitates internal communication. Different functions, from warehouse and deliveries to operations and customer service, can communicate instantaneously on orders, payments, and other aspects of your daily operations.
2. Better customer service
A CRM collates customer information inputted from across your entire business to give every team member access in real time. This supports customer-facing staff in providing informed, more personalised customer service, including coming up with the right solutions to queries more quickly. Sales and marketing staff can be more responsive, build trust by immediately understanding the customer’s context, and upsell and cross-sell. A centralised, organised repository of customer data allows everyone else to act in a customer-centric way.
3. Automation of tasks
CRMs can be used to automate a wide range of processes, especially customer-facing ones. For example, event hospitality and catering company One Hundred Hospitality started running into an issue of scalability as they couldn’t handle a large of amount of orders occuring at one time. Through the use of a catering CRM, they were able to automate their ordering process, reports, and equipment management. This greatly improved the efficiency of their operations and are able to handle larger demand.
Sales and customer service functions encompass hundreds of small tasks. From filling out forms and sending reports, these time-consuming tasks can be a major drain on your staff’s time. Having the right CRM could relieve your team members from this burden by automating a significant portion of your menial tasks. This could boost accuracy while letting your team focus on higher priority issues.
4. Greater efficiency
Collecting and organising customer data is time consuming, and your CRM provides an accurate, streamlined way to do it. Your CRM centralises all your customer data in one place, allowing multiple team members to manage, measure, track, and view data. This data can be used for marketing, sales, customer service, reporting, and strategic activities. The potential time savings, process efficiency improvements, and productivity gains could be associated with lower overall costs and higher sales and revenue for your organisation. CRMs are cost-effective investment, reducing paper and manual workloads and supporting productivity and collaboration with a centralised repository of data.
5. Improved reporting
With a CRM, you can generate customised reports to improve business decision-making. For example, you can generate reports that list your most valuable customers and focus targeted marketing campaigns on these high-value customers. You could integrate your CRM with different platforms, tools, and plug-ins to generate the reports you need. From customer data to sales performance and projections, you can use these reports to identify new opportunities, generate customer loyalty, and make smarter decisions.
Taking care of your customers takes care of your business
Your customers are the most important aspect of your business, and you’ll want to keep them satisfied and happy. With a quality, targeted CRM you could be empowered to provide better customer service, achieve greater efficiency and improved communication, and make smarter decisions.