Effective customer relationship management (CRM) systems result in client loyalty, improved collaboration, the acquisition of important data and an improved customer experience. All of these benefits are only possible, though, if the systems are implemented correctly. A failed CRM system equates to a return on investment that’s less than impressive. Fortunately, these tips can help avoid that.
1. Improve CRM Training Practices
Effective employee training is one of the biggest predictors of CRM success. After all, if the people who are working with CRM software don’t know what they’re doing, no one is getting good use out of the system. And since studies show that companies who spend more on employee training return higher profit margins, a business’s focus should always be on effective training.
This doesn’t just mean a few training classes with everyone present. You should also grab a few eager or IT-oriented employees and provide extensive, in-depth training on the software. This way, they’ll be able to further train and assist workers who don’t necessarily need to “know it all.”
2. Integrate Technologies with CRM
One of the best aspects of CRM software is that it evolves alongside technology. Business owners should take advantage of this and invest in systems that combine other useful tools. Certain CRM software suites, for instance, provide marketing automation tools such as computerized email responses. When CRM integrates with other business technology, the sky becomes the limit.
3. Strive For Up-To-Date Data
Data is one of the most important driving forces of all business processes today. As it turns out, though, it’s hard to keep up with. This could be related to the fact that 2.5 billion gigabytes were generated daily in 2012 alone. And even as new data is being added to systems around the world, it’s imperative that businesses also realize that data changes.
If a CRM system has expired information, it’s essentially useless. Invalid email addresses, duplicate records, outdated phone numbers and a variety of other faulty data can do more harm than good when it comes to CRM software. This is why employees should verify customer information during every contact, and it’s important to invest in additional labor or applications that can periodically append data.
4. Take It to the Cloud
While some entrepreneurs find it tempting to host their CRM solutions on site, there are a variety of benefits related to hosted CRM. One of the most important, though, is that employees can access customer accounts and manage relationships while on the go. With the modern business world being as hectic and “on-the-go” as it is, adding a bit of mobility to CRM processes only seems common sense.
5. Step into the Social World
With an email address, name or phone number, it’s now possible to easily track anyone down on social media. This is especially the case since there’s over one billion users on Facebook alone. While on the surface it may be difficult to understand how CRM and social media can intersect, it’s worth noting that big name companies like IBM are now touting the effectiveness of integrating the two worlds.
By being able to view clients’ and prospective clients’ social media pages, employees can see where they’re posting, the type of content they’re sharing and a wealth of other personal information. This equates to additional data, and more data means more information available to make or keep a customer happy. Additionally, the integration of social media listening tools will show a company when they’re mentioned on different platforms.
CRM systems are one of the many technologies that have evolved the business world. Their simple implementation can make running a company easier and more efficient, but when focus is given to maximizing the system’s usefulness, businesses can see a substantial return on investment.