Ensure Success – Up the Ante with Customer Relationship Management

Service organizations are now spending day and night striving to maintain superior quality of service with the effort of gaining loyalty from customers. Have you ever looked at your competitor’s service and wondered whether they are doing things better than you? Customer relationship management has appeared frequently in many books and articles, it is one of those phrases that you cannot escape from hearing in business today. While people are putting more emphasis on the digitalization of the world, some may attribute that Customer Relationship Management is a way of computerizing your business, or a series of tools and techniques. Yes, customer relationship management has to do with new technologies nowadays. And the competitive edge has to be paid with sufficient investment of time and money.  In its simplest form Customer relationship management is an attitude, and mindset, a value that you place on your business and its relationship with its customers. So if you want to make sure you are doing better than the next player in the game, CRM might be the leverage point with which you can differentiate your business from the others.

Why does CRM help?

Remember the leaky bucket? It is a very common way to explain the role of CRM. Companies are way too busy with trying to reach new customers when they should also put efforts into maintaining their current customer base. So, you end up putting customers in a leaky bucket rather than preventing them from leaking away from you. Competition is high in all markets so approaching a new prospect is more costly than retaining the customer one already has. Satisfied customers who frequently come back should receive more attention from you than the new customer who just came and bought your services as a tryout. Still, we do not mean to discourage businesses from getting new customers, how else would a business be able to grow, right?

68% of customers change product or service providers because they feel they do not receive enough attention and care. Good management of customer relationship helps companies treat customers as individuals rather than groups. CRM can go deeper to analyze or to study customer behaviour with the best produced products and services. Assumptions, which are based on previous experiences and cultural factors, that one carries about customers will also become more explicit.

Controversially, people say that at some point when the cost of retaining customers is higher than acquiring a new one, the leaky bucket actually works best. The author personally believes that all companies will be in such situation at some point. However, the only way to recognize that moment is when the companies invest more in customer relationship management and a CRM system.

Benefits of using a CRM system:

Is CRM system basically all about contact management? Well, actually CRM system can do more than that.

Customers want to use the products and services but they also want to be consulted more closely. In short they want to receive more attention from a company, they want to be trusted as individuals rather than a gray mass. The interaction process between customers and the sale staff will create the real relationships. Customer information is stored smartly, transaction process is recorded instead of rushing out taking a note and then forgetting about it; the information on customer satisfaction, productivity of a team or a specific employee are is updated in real time. The fastest answers will help to gain the needed trust from the customers. CRM managers are allowed to know and able to analyze each session each day, and also the work their employees are processing.

Very often, you get confused when you look up for CRM systems and get bombarded with hundreds of choices. In The Paradox of choices presented by Barry Schwartz, it stated that: the more choices we have the less likely we are to be content with our decisions. Our aim is not to confuse you so only few, but good, choices are shown in the pie chart above. It is important to mention Hubspot’s CRM which is 100% free. It is extremely lightweight and really a good option for small to midsize businesses that have never used a CRM before.

At the end of the day there is no business if there are no customers. Loyalty is difficult to find these days but if you manage to find and maintain a loyal customer you know you have struck gold. But keep in mind that customers are not clones of each other, each comes with different requirements for attention. So, like in so many situations, communication is key.