Customer relationship management systems, or CRM as they are more affectionately known as, are the backbone of most companies. They are a multiverse of customer data, call tracking and email tracking just to name a few.
So with all this information in CRM, how can you ensure it’s not hindering your business? What can you do to improve your CRM in order to make the most out of it?
Training might take up time and cost a bit more but well executed training will create confidence in staff to use CRM properly as see it as more of an asset than a chore. Training will clarify why a CRM is more effective when it is full of correct information and how it will work better for staff in that state. It goes without saying that this will increase user adoption and prevents staff from creating their own little databases in their notebooks!
First were the notebooks and physical files of contact details – both of which took forever to complete. Then along came computers that made this job so much easier, but still quite slow. Now, the process has evolved to include automation tools. Automation tools reduce the amount of time your staff will spend finding and filling in details. Tools such as lead capture and address validation have complex technology behind them to predict, autocomplete and add information using either an email address or a few keystrokes. Staff can therefore allocate more time to making calls which add value. Using an automation tool, the data is formatted correctly in order to organise and store addresses properly – no more village names in the city field or road names in the post code. Jazzy.
- Standardising titles and fields
I love standardisation- neat little drop down lists to select fields such as department and industry type. It really helpful as it saves time and prevent ambiguity. It prevents having a variety of slightly different names for the same field. So for example in the ‘Job type’ field, for a customer who is Manager of HR; an employee could write HR Manager, Manager of HR, Human Resources Manager and so on. Standardising the job type in a drop down list means quick selection and also provides the marketing team to perform targeted campaigns.
Data is equivalent to the most delicious cake for a CRM, so when it’s bulging with delectable information, you’ll be working with a very cooperative system. Like you’d add icing and goodies to cake, you can add email addresses, credit ratings and addresses to CRM. It opens up opportunities for omni-channel communications, targeted campaigns and provides a background for salespeople to connect with their customers on.
- Duplication rules
Duplication. Duplication. Duplication. Imagine receiving one promotional email which is well designed, but not really something you’re interested in. So rather than unsubscribe, you just delete it. Then a few moments later, you get the same email again and again and before you know it, it’s some sort of email groundhog day and you’re trapped in this loop of duplicate emails. Okay, that’s a bit far-fetched BUT it is really annoying when this happens, so don’t do it to your customers. Ensure you have de-duplication rules in place within your CRM which alerts you to very similar contacts being created and gives you the opportunity to merge them together. Not only will you be saving your reputation, it decreases costs and creates a more informed view of customers – super for analysis and predictions.
Duplication. Duplication. Duplication. Imagine receiving one promotional email which is well designed and everything but not really something you’re interested in. JUST KIDDING. Just wanted to enforce the point of duplication rules.
So, just a few ways to make your CRM love you and to make your staff love CRM. This advice is much like Q giving James Bond a new gadget to play with, so go and make the most of it and reap the rewards!