Customer relationship management systems, or CRMs, are becoming a standard investment for modern business organizations. CRM software helps companies centralize all customer information and interactions, putting them in a single unified place for effortless management and access.
With customer relationship management (CRM) software, enterprises can derive actionable insights from reliable and updated customer data to generate high-quality leads, enhance their lead conversion process, streamline their sales process, devise and implement personalized communications and marketing strategies to build strong and fruitful relationships with clients and potential customers.
A 2019 report on the CRM software market projected massive growth in the coming years. Valued at $25.5 billion back in 2018, the CRM software industry is expected to go as high as $36.53 billion by 2022. That’s a CAGR growth of 9.4%
As businesses gain more customers, the demand to efficiently manage new and existing customer relationships as well as the increasing need to achieve customer satisfaction at every stage grow as well. These factors will fuel the demand for more comprehensive CRM systems in the future.
CRM systems are a huge investment, whether you are using a CRM software for small business or a large enterprise. Thus, it is imperative that your organization find ways to fully maximize your CRM platform and generate a richer, more handsome return at the soonest time possible. The following are expert tips that you might want to try.
1. Conduct A CRM Survey on Workers
Prior to purchasing CRM software, it is prudent that you go by the would-be end-users: your workers and internal customers. Conduct a survey to find out what they want in a CRM system. Identify features they would like to have or find useful.
This is important because you want to invest in software that your people will actually use, not loathe. A 2017 article on CRM failures cited that the non-involvement of actual users were among the many factors that drove CRM adoption failure rate to as high as 69%.
Even the best CRM software on paper may not be the perfect fit if your employees find it difficult to use, causing them to use your CRM sparingly or not at all. When your CRM is underutilized, you are not getting any value from it. And it becomes a bad investment that will set you back financially and cost you business opportunities.
2. Train Your Employees Prior to Deployment
There is always a learning curve for everyone involved when you’re introducing a new system in the office. The trick is to make that learning curve short and sweet. One surefire way to kickstart and expedite CRM adoption is to train actual users on how to work their way around the software before its actual implementation.
Tim Lynch of Applango encourages companies to perform 5 specific training techniques to improve CRM adoption:
- Hands-on training,
- Group training,
- Scenario-based instruction,
- Role-based training, and
- Constant review/refresh.
Constant implementation of these training techniques prior to software deployment drastically improves knowledge acquisition and retention.
Come deployment time, Tim guarantees your workers will not only find the software easy to use, but they will also be able to fully maximize all its advantages, increase your bottom line, and deliver a huge return on your investment rather quickly.
3. Automatically Collect/Update Customer Data
Your CRM software is a very powerful business tool when its processes are based on the most reliable and recent customer information. But manually entering new information and updating existing data is cumbersome and presents a lot of risks like typos and duplicate information. Utilizing erroneous and outdated information can result in inaccurate forecasts, flawed marketing strategies, and poor customer interaction.
You want your CRM to automatically collect data from every interaction and instantly categorize information and update them across devices and systems. If your business CRM is not able to do this, you need to break up with it and search for a CRM software that offers such capability.
4. Go for Social Integrations
Many people spend a lot of time on social media. A 2019 infographic on social media usage revealed that 3.48 billion people dedicate 2.23 hours on social media platforms, particularly Facebook (58 minutes), Instagram (53 minutes), and YouTube (40 minutes) per day.
The aforementioned figures may not be your standard CRM software statistics, but they mean a lot as far as CRM goes. You would be putting your business at a great disadvantage if you don’t integrate your CRM with social media channels. By doing so, your CRM system can automatically detect updates in your customers’ profiles and collect fresh information such as a new email address or recently visited places.
Social media listening tools complement CRMs very well. These applications feed your CRM software with aggregated information from mentions, comments, tweets, posts, and forums, all in real-time. The topics can range from positive experiences to complaints, strategies to find new clients, potential business ambassadors, as well as toxic customers whom you need to deal with before their issues escalate and go out of control.
Keep Improving Your CRM
There is no perfect CRM system in existence but you can always improve on your existing software. Always keep your users involved and keep their input among your priorities. Identify and prioritize potential features and keep everyone in the loop.
By listening to your users’ comments and acting on their input, it shows that you care about their experience. This makes your employees not only feel good about your CRM software but actually empower them to use it.