Customer relationship management (CRM) is having an increasingly significant role on how brands engage with their buyers. It looks to improve interactions between businesses and their consumers, encouraging long-term relationships, loyalty and advocacy, as well as streamlining functions in the process.
But are you getting the most from your CRM? Does it boost the customer experience as much as possible?
Here are four surprising tips to ensure your CRM is improving customer experiences for your brand:
1. Make it #1
If your CRM is an afterthought or way down your priorities list, then you're doing it wrong. Figures from Walker show that by 2020 customer experience will be the biggest factor influencing consumers when they make their buying decisions.
With it being more important than price and even products, companies can't let CRM and how it impacts customer experience be at the bottom of the pile. You need to put CRM front and center for your brand, and build your other decisions around it instead of the other way round.
There's a massive potential for CRM to boost customer experience, which can then lead to improvements in loyalty and advocacy. However, if it is an afterthought, it will be clear to consumers when you interact with them and they will go elsewhere.
2. Proactively find consumers
A key part of customer experience is giving consumers what they want and a study from inContact found that the majority of adults (87%) want to be contacted proactively by an organization or company.
To avoid this being intrusive or annoying, you need to clearly identify where there are genuine opportunities. Brands need to anticipate the needs and wants of their customers, but to do that, you need to understand as much as you can about their unique buyer experience - this is where your CRM comes in.
Using software that condenses all interactions - whether by email, live chat, or phone - from an individual consumer into one place, companies can more easily understand the motivation or pain point they are experiencing. Your CRM should allow you to get a clear picture of who your customer is and what they need from you, so you can proactively contact them to offer a solution.
3. Focus on personal relationships
You need to be actively using the information held in your CRM to drive long-term relationships with your customers. Many brands prioritize the first interaction they have, or the one that ultimately leads to conversion, but any time you speak to consumers is an important test of your customer experience.
More people want to feel valued by the businesses they choose so don't forget about them once the sale's been completed. Use the contact information they've given you and any other data you have of their purchase history, interests, age etc., to keep your relationship warm.
Company news, latest product offerings, industry developments, and general check-ins about your service can all be used as reasons to stay in touch with a customer and add a personal touch.
4. Be attentive
CRMs can be so effective for improving a brand's customer experience because they allow companies to properly connect with their audience, but this can only be effective if you are being attentive. One of the cores of good customer service is recognizing and answering the concerns or queries buyers may have. You need to ensure whatever resources you have in place for your CRM are set up to complement this element of customer experience.
Much like proactively finding customers, you need to use consumer data to preempt the problems or pain points they may have. This attentive approach will ensure you cultivate better, more long-lasting relationships with your audience.