Do you have a solid customer relationship management strategy? As we recently pointed out, CRM isn’t just a software solution, it’s a science which every department in a business (more or less) relies upon for a positive customer experience in practical application. It spans marketing, sales, customer service and everything in between.
So, if you don’t have a solid customer relationship management strategy, you’re sunk. Your customer service will be abysmal, your product management will way off, and your marketing will miss the mark entirely. You really don’t want to botch this! So, this time, we’re going to give you some advice on formulating a strategy to prevent calamity here. Given how all-encompassing CRM really is in your business, you might want to pause YouTube and pay close attention to this one.
#1 – The Right People for the Job
People working directly with CRM, and thus interacting with the customers, both as marketers or service agents, need to have the right combination of skills for this job. You need to choose people with the great technical skills to interact confidently and competently with the software you have in place, but they also need to have very solid people skills.
#2 – Constant Training
A common mistake in CRM is to train people outright for the job, and then leaving them to their devices, to continue to improve without any further input for training. That’s a bad idea.
As we’ve pointed out with training, constant learning is important in business these days. Given how the attitude of customers changes over time, constant training to keep up with evolving attitudes as well as evolving software is paramount.
#3 – Quality Control
Along with constant training, maintaining a presence in the daily processes is important. Watching agents, marketers and product managers interacting with CRM, making changes to improve as these issues arise is important. Be proactive with quality.
#4 – Use and Learn from Data
CRM, by its nature, acquires tons of data. This is both marketing statistics and customer service statistics as well. This data’s good for tracking history of campaigns and customer issues but … it’s good for something else too. You can build patterns from this data, to take measures to prevent future problems and improve marketing campaigns. You can also learn from this data better ways to provide first contact resolutions and the like as well.
#5 – Multi Channel Contacts
We’ve talked about this in our customer service and support stuff, but that’s part of CRM (a big part). Providing the most diverse channels for customers to contact you is very valuable for efficiency and convenience.
#6 – Global Consistency
A problem a lot of businesses have is that their standards for conduct and handling of customers in support/service differentiate unnecessarily from how marketing and financial departments work. Providing the same standards and policies for quality and handling across all these CRM departments is a good idea for many reasons.
#7 – Incentivize
Incentivize your CRM personnel to go above and beyond the call of duty to work out effective marketing, and excellent customer service. Incentivizing these people can be done through gamification among other things.
If you follow this advice, you’re on your way to building a solid, dependable customer relationship management strategy. If you haven’t done that, it’s a miracle your business functions well – don’t tempt fate and count on that to continue. Act now.
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.