As we have discussed on this blog before, CRM is about customer relationship management, with the emphasis on customer relationship. A relationship is at its core getting to know someone better. Over time you understand their likes, dislikes, and how those align with yours. This is how you know if you will get along.
While a customer relationship is different than a friendship or other kinds of relationships, it does have some similarities. One of them is that to better serve your customer and provide them with the ideal experience with your company, you need to know who they are. But how, exactly, does a CRM help you get to know your customer better?
Generate Customer Profiles
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? However, often businesses will do little to use their CRM to build a more robust customer profile. Often there is little more than a name and an email address for prospects, and little else is added when they convert to customers.
This is often because the CRM is not being fed data efficiently. Things like hidden fields in forms and installed analytics mean you can gather more information about potential customers from the very beginning of their journey on your website.
It also goes to sales training. If your team has a physical interaction with a prospect, it is their job to fill in every detail of the customer profile they can, and also to ask the right questions when interacting with them. Relationships are a lot about listening rather than talking about you and your company.
Generating a robust customer profile means listening and recording data, whether that is in person or from online transactions. Your CRM is the perfect place to store all of that data, and much of the recording process can be automated.
Take Surveys (And Pay Attention to the Results)
Taking a survey is a great answer. Responses can be fed into your CRM by the customer or even anonymized for privacy purposes. Either way, the survey tells you a lot about your customer and what they want. But there is more data included in the survey results as well, things it is important to pay attention to.
For example, what time did most of your customers answer the survey, and from where? If you posted it on Facebook, and most of the answers that came from that platform on Tuesday and Thursday between 2-5 p.m., you have just isolated one of the best times to post on Facebook to reach your customers.
You can look at other demographics from the survey as well. Did more women answer a certain way than men? What was the age and position in a company of each respondent? Are you reaching decision makers with useful information and the right product? All of this can be determined by information recorded by the survey and even automatically entered in your CRM.
Study Prospect and Customer Behavior
The next thing a CRM helps you do is to study prospect and customer behavior. Your website and Google analytics collect a lot of data about what your customers do and when. What pages are they landing on? Are they mostly from ads or from organic traffic?
Where does your prospect go from the initial landing page? How many times do they visit your site before they make a purchase or subscribe to your newsletter? What landing pages are actually capturing leads that turn into customers?
All of this helps you determine your ROI from marketing campaigns, but it also helps inform future actions. Money can be shifted to more effective campaigns. Customer and prospect behavior can be mapped, and your advertising efforts can be focused on those behaviors.
Using your CRM, getting to know your customers and prospects is simplified through process automation. Studying their behavior will make your marketing department more efficient and your campaigns more profitable. The real point though is to personalize your customer’s experience with your company by getting to know them better.
Document Every Detail about Every Transaction
We mentioned this above when we talked about surveys, but it bears repeating here. Every detail about every transaction matters, from the first time a visitor hits your site until they make a purchase, or they stop interacting with your site for some reason.
This includes some vital things you might not think of right away, but that can add a great deal to your CRM that helps you get to know your customer.
- Where they came from first: Google, social media, a banner ad.
- What interested them on your site. From product descriptions to blog posts to free downloads, how did the customer interact with your website?
- How many times did they visit your site before they converted from prospect to customer?
- How often do they visit your website now as a customer for help, advice, to read a blog post, or to make another purchase?
- Do they open your email newsletters? Click on the links inside?
- Have they used your chat, email, or other means to contact you or your staff? What were the results?
Think of your own interactions with brands if you made a purchase, had a complaint, or just needed help. If the customer service representatives had to ask the same questions over and over, if they did not know and understand your needs, are you likely to continue as their customer or ever make another purchase?
On the flip side, what if just as you needed a product or service the company you were working with you emailed you a coupon or a special offer? What if the checkout process was streamlined and personalized to what you have purchased before? The experience was likely a good one, and one you may even share with your colleagues who need similar services.
That is the kind of experience you want to provide for your customers. You can do that by getting to know them. Your CRM allows you to build a relationship with them by recording every detail, studying their behavior, taking surveys, and using all of that to generate good customer profiles.
Ready to set up your customized CRM and automate your business processes for better efficiency and higher profits? Contact us here at SixtySixTen. We’d love to talk with you about how we can help you with your specific CRM needs.
About The Author: Troy Lambert
Troy is a freelance business and tech writer from the northwest where when not writing about being an entrepreneur he writes thrillers and mysteries. He's the owner of Unbound Media and loves business process automation, customer service, and all the benefits technology offers to today's businesses.
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