It may sound shocking, but your company needs to bring in money if you hope to stay in business for long. To make money, you need to find and keep customers. Obvious statements aside, you also know that it’s never as easy as that. In order to find and keep customers, make money, and keep your business running, you need to take steps to build relationships with those potential and current customers, remain helpful at every touchpoint, and ensure that the costs to acquire and retain them don’t get out of control.
The Practice of Building Customer Relationships
This is where the practice of customer relationship management comes in. Considered the strongest and the most efficient approach in maintaining and creating relationships with customers, the practice of CRM relies on building a personal relationship with people to move them closer to the sale and keep those who you sold to coming back.
The Practice of CRM, Defined
As discussed by Forbes, customer relationship management (CRM) is all of the activities, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage their interactions with their current and potential customers. CRM helps businesses build a relationship with their customers that, in turn, creates loyalty and customer retention. Since customer loyalty and revenue are both qualities that affect a company’s revenue, CRM is a management strategy that results in increased profits for a business.
Satisfying the Customer: It’s Nothing New
The practice is something that’s been around for centuries or even millennia. In fact, a tablet from ancient Babylon called the “Complaint letter to Ea-Nasir” documents a customer (Nanni’s) challenges in buying copper ingots from Ea-Nasir. From Wikipedia:
“On one particular occasion, he (Ea-Nasir) had agreed to sell copper ingots to Nanni. Nanni sent his servant with the money to complete the transaction. The copper was sub-standard and not accepted. In response, Nanni created the cuneiform letter for delivery to Ea-nasir. Inscribed on it is a complaint to Ea-nasir about a copper ore delivery of the incorrect grade, and issues with another delivery. He also complained that his servant (who handled the transaction) had been treated rudely. He stated that, at the time of writing, he had not accepted the copper but had paid the money.”
Tracking Customer Needs and Building Relationships
It appears that Nanni was a pretty good customer—purchasing more than 1,000 pounds of copper in this one transaction. It also shows the consequences that poor customer service can have—Nanni documented his complaints both with Ea-Nasir and within the hub of business at the time, the temple.
Maybe Ea-Nasir was just a sub-par merchant. Maybe he failed to appreciate the business that Nanni provided. Maybe he failed to document that Nanni needed “fine quality copper.” All three could have been avoided if Ea-Nasir’s focus on customer satisfaction was better.
Now, you’ve likely been on both sides of this transaction. Maybe you’ve been slighted by a merchant. Maybe you lost track of an order and damaged a customer relationship. Either way, it was a failure in customer relationship management that set you back.
Luckily, we’re not carving customer orders onto tablets anymore. We’ve even moved past the rolodex and address book.
However, in today’s sales landscape—where many companies are facilitating their customer relationships management practices with software, those trying to track relationships might as well be using cuneiform tablets.
Why CRM Software is a Necessity for the Modern Business
Today’s business needs to understand its customers. What they need, how close they are to the sale, how to better serve them, etc. To facilitate this, many turn to CRM software designed to make this process easier.
What Is CRM Software?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a product built to track your interactions with customers in order to improve relationships. According to the Business Software Education Center (BSEC) glossary, CRM Software is defined as the following:
“Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software – Customer relationship management is the term used for the way a business collects and manages data about its clients. Companies use CRM software to keep track of all the information they collect on clients, such as service calls made, or previous products purchased. This helps businesses close future deals and grow relationships with customers.”
Why Companies Need CRM Software
The path to converting lead to customer has never been more diverse—websites, social media, telephone calls, chat, mail, email and various marketing materials all can contribute to a sale.
CRM software makes this happen, integrating all of these methods into a single hub, and allowing a company to maintain a record of which conversations, purchases and marketing material can be associated with leads and customers.
Three Benefits of CRM Software
Frankly, CRM can be gamechanging for many businesses, and there are many ways it delivers information to facilitate sales. However, there are three main ways this delivers:
- Learn More about Your Customers: CRM helps businesses learn about their customers, including who they are and why they purchase your products, as well as trends in customers’ purchasing histories. This makes it easier to craft marketing messages, anticipate needs, and serve customers.
- Keep Your Sales Processes Organized: CRM allows businesses to become more efficient by organizing and automating certain aspects of the business.
- Make Your Customer Interactions More Effective: It pays to know what works. Whether that means understanding the path to purchase for a unique industry or knowing what works with each customer, CRM software helps you track it.
Learn More: CRM Software, Customized and Delivered by MIBAR
Businesses of all sizes have turned to CRM software to track, organize, and improve their customer relationships. As a leading provider of business management software in the New York Metro, we understand how to help your business do more with CRM solutions customized for your unique business. Get to know more about our company, the work we do with CRM, and contact us for more information.