I’d like to look today at the bigger picture, at CRM strategy.
Companies in recent years have adopted CRM platforms as a way to manage, track and analyze communication with both prospects and customers. Utilizing a wide range of marketing and customer service channels, CRM software enable organizations as whole, not just the sales team, to engage customers at the highest level possible.
However, the full potential of CRM is only fully realized if it is used within a customer-based framework. It is important therefore, that every organization should employ a CRM strategy within that framework.
Gartner has pointed out that “IT managers can work with marketing and customer experience leaders to improve customer service. It is emerging as the best opportunity to keep customers engaged with the business, products and services. However, CRM process flaws and inadequate technologies could derail customer loyalty strategies.”
With that in mind, there are three things to remember when employing a CRM strategy that is customer-centric. These are company needs, user needs and most importantly, customer needs. Incorporating these needs will ensure that your organization is able to achieve success in the way it manages its customers, thus enhancing their loyalty and long-term value.
1. Customer Needs
Who are your customers and what do they want? Understanding your customers is the first step to developing an effective CRM strategy. Your customers will belong to different demographics. They may also have different tastes. What affects their purchasing decisions?
You also need to understand how your customers interact with your business. What are their experiences like? What do they want to change? Are they satisfied with your customer care services?
You should use all the customer-profiling tools at your disposal. Understanding what makes each customer tick is the key to providing excellent customer care.
Since the most effective CRM strategy is one that is customer centric, organizations should make use of all the data collected on customers to determine the right system for the job. The tools used for CRM should be based upon the needs of the customers, as opposed to having customers forced to adapt to the system being used.
One last point here – customer needs do not stay static. They evolve constantly, and obviously the impact of technology on buying practices and customer preferences plays a huge role as well. So it’s important to keep up communication, study trends, and analyze Big Data to keep up to date as best as possible as to what customers need.
2. Company Needs
Once you have understood what your customer needs are, you need to ensure that every member of the organization is informed. Everyone should be involved in making changes to the business processes and policies to ensure that they are in line with the customer needs.
Goals need to be set and the organization needs to map the journey that will be taken to achieve them. A leader must be chosen to guide every member of the organization to the company’s new destination.
There should be a charted course to be followed, and everyone must collaborate and cooperate. Without the whole organization participating, the new customer-centric CRM strategy will not be implemented effectively.
Vendors for the new system must also be chosen, in line with customer needs and the compatible goals set. That system must adapt to the guidelines set within the organization, and not vice versa.
3. User Needs
In order for users to have a pleasant experience with your new CRM system, there must be effective implementation.
Your organization employees should all be trained to use the system in the right way. Providing continued employee performance support, which provides immediate assistance in the moment of need, contributes dramatically to overall individual and team productivity.
The CRM system should also integrate seamlessly with the existing business systems and processes. This will ensure that the communication between the customer care personnel and the users is efficient and accurate. Users should also have a platform to raise issues regarding the use of the new CRM system.
By ensuring that customer needs, company needs, and end-user needs are considered, you will be able to implement the most effective CRM strategy possible. Your employees and customers will be very happy!
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.