How do you track your customer interactions? Do you keep a record of phone calls, emails and other contact, questions, feedback? It can be a tough job to keep on top of every interaction, with every customer, but it’s definitely worth the effort. When a customer gets in touch and you can immediately see that they called a month ago about a similar issue, it can help you to respond more appropriately and come across as professional and organised. Here at The Business Village, we have a LOT of interactions with tenants, service users, event attendees, suppliers and stakeholders. We decided to implement a digital CRM system. Here’s why we think it’s a good idea for all businesses to do the same…
Keeping records has always been a resource-heavy activity. Many of you will remember the banks of filing cabinets that would line a full wall of many offices. They’d be filled with copies of invoices, orders, correspondence and other relevant – and irrelevant – bits of paper. Email cut that down – although many companies still print documents unnecessarily to put in ‘the file’.
If your business is one of the many that have evolved to being paperless, you may have folders on the server for invoices, correspondence, etc. You may have individual folders for each customer or supplier, with the documents stored. All in the cloud of course, so you can access them when you need to, from wherever you are!
A good digital CRM system helps you to streamline the process. As well as storing every digital communication, whether email, invoice, remittance, etc. it also allows you to add notes about verbal interactions, such as phone calls and meetings. Essentially, it’s a complete record of your relationship with that organisation.
It takes no time at all to add a note to the system and it can be accessed via mobile devices too. This means that you can update it when you are out networking, at meetings or even if you take a business phone call whilst at home.
Just the organisation element makes the system sound worthwhile, but there are far more benefits to having a digital CRM system than having everything in one place.
A digital CRM will help you to:
- Immediately check on the status of an issue by checking the customer record when speaking or emailing. This instant access to information will make your business processes much more efficient.
- Offer a better customer experience, by understanding your customers wants and needs more readily. Being able to see if there are any ongoing issues or spotting that they haven’t placed their usual order more readily will give you the opportunity to head off any potential problems and even increase customer loyalty by making them feel more valued.
- Your employees will be able to access the information they need, in order to do their jobs more effectively. They will be best placed to make informed decisions, more quickly, because they have the background and data at their fingertips.
- Ultimately, you will save money if you are running a more efficient operation. Not to mention less paper floating around!
- Information is stored securely with digital encryption and in the cloud. This makes it more secure than paper records. It’s also retrievable in the event of a fire or flood…
- The workplace will look tidier, as desks will no longer be littered with folders and files!
Mobile systems such as CRM platforms are a huge benefit to business. If everyone in the organisation agrees to use it properly, it will have a positive impact throughout the company. You have greater control over the information you keep, sharing it with the right people becomes easier and communication is improved.
CRM systems also help with the following project areas:
Sales reports, finance projections and customer activity reporting become much easier when all of the required information is stored in one place. No more having to switch between four different windows to collate the data or create complex macros to update spreadsheets. A good CRM system can do all of this for you.
Mailing lists and contact details soon become out-of-date and cleansing them is a chore. It’s easier to keep them updated on a live system that’s constantly in use. When you need to pull off a list of all customers with specific criteria for a marketing drive, you’ll find it a simpler process. You can even integrate it with other platforms, for example, if you have a newsletter sign up on your website, you can even link that to automatically update contact details in your CRM system.
When setting or reviewing budgets for your business, you will be able to utilise the information and reports stored in your CRM system. This give you the advantage of having all of the relevant facts regarding your customers and suppliers to hand. This will help to support your business growth and ultimately can impact favourably on your bottom line.
The CRM system we use here at The Business Village is Capsule but there are obviously a lot of systems out there, we also have a couple tenants on site who can provide bespoke CRM systems including:
If you would like to find out more about implementing a digital CRM system, or to see how they work in practical terms, please get in touch with Kevin Steel our Business Development Manager and he will be happy to help.