As it is commonly said, it takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. A good business strategy not only means more closures but also happier customers and repeat business. How can you beget happy customers? By understanding their needs and delivering on them. To achieve this, you will need more information and a contact management software(CMS) will help you in building stronger informational customer profiles.
Contact management software is critical to the operating your sales team. It helps them dig customer information w.r.t preferences, needs and wants. For small and medium businesses (SMB) with a lower customer base, an investment in customer relationship management (CRM) software could stretch the budget a bit. However, a CRM offers much more and can empower your sales team, not to mention, contact management is integrated.
Contact management software, as a part of a CRM also features:
- Centralized repository for contact information
- Easy to search through database
- Sales tracking
- Email integration
- Lead nurturing
- Document management
- Conversation history
While the need for customer data is recognized, most businesses fail to focus and create a contact management plan, integrated with customer touchpoints. Read on for a few contact management best practices for your business:
A CRM with integrated contact management software creates a single page for all the interactions between your company and prospect. This helps your sales, marketing, and customer support teams to get a quick access to the required information when and where needed.
All the interactions of meetings, phone calls, emails and social interactions are logged and stored with the contact’s information. So, a single click can provide every bit of information required. For instance, as a salesperson, you get an inbound call from one of your prospects and, you don’t remember what conversations went on in the past. You may have to refer back to check excel sheets, documents for the prospect’s contact details and call interactions. Considering that you hardly have 5 minutes to prepare for the call, would it be possible to retrieve all information?
But if you have CRM in place, a single click (either name of the prospect or his email address) can give you all the information including email/ phone interactions and comments column in a single page, preparing you to take the call with all relevant information at your fingertips.
“With a single view of all customer information, the bank has benefited from reduced operating costs and greater collaboration, leading to an improved service experience for its customers.” – Maybank, Malaysia, a contact management software customer.
McKinsey demonstrated the importance of taking into account the entire journey of your customer, in their report. It says that there is a chance of losing the customer if you consider certain touch points and ignore the rest. For instance, they considered new-customer onboarding, a journey that spanned about three months and involved an average of 9 phone calls, a home visit from a technician, and numerous web and mail interactions. At each touchpoint, the interaction had at least a 90 percent chance of going well. But average customer satisfaction fell almost 40 percent over the course of the entire journey. The touchpoints weren’t broken—but the onboarding process as a whole was. This could have been eliminated with the use of a CMS, or better a CRM.
Enhanced customer service
According to eMarketer, customer service is one of the key aspects that will affect a sale, and it’s especially true for smaller businesses. Your customers are the strength of your business, and your job entails you to serve them to the best of your ability. According to data from AYTM Market Research, personal service was the No.2 reason US internet users preferred small businesses vs. large companies, cited by 52.7%.
With contact management software, you can have all your customer information, including orders, feedback, and activity on a single page, which helps you understand customer behavior and respond to his queries quickly and effectively. It also helps you to cross-sell and forecast what products/ services could be of interest to them.
CMS helps in bringing different teams together while dealing with a customer. For instance, when you know your marketing team has sent out the recent newsletter to your prospect, a salesperson can pitch for the new product listed in the newsletter. With improved customer service enabled by CRM systems, you can raise customer satisfaction levels and retain your current clients.
Better understanding of your customer
Customer service is far less expensive than customer acquisition. Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. This implies that it is not about your awesome product or your large enterprise status, the only thing that matters to customers is how well they are being treated. 89% of businesses are soon expected to compete mainly on customer experience.
The most prominent aspect of CMS is the convenience and accessibility. With a CMS software, you can access everything that’s concerned about a prospect, his purchase history, interactions page, link options to your client’s website, his social presence, his interests in social media, everything. With such humongous information on your mobile(mobile CMS), you are ready to pitch in for a sale. With a single click, you can view personal or company news for each of your clients.
Upselling and cross-selling opportunities
When you have all the requisite information stored centrally, it is easy to access and share. Using CRM services any of your departments can access customer history and notes to better understand how to meet their needs. By implementing CRM software many businesses have taken great strides in up-selling and cross-selling products and services.
Here’s a scenario, one of your customer’s purchase history shows multiple ankle-length jeans, you can email them on best-suited belts or sneakers for that pair of jeans. By automating email campaigns from CRM software, you will see an increase in up-selling to new customers as well.
Can you imagine collecting a huge number of your prospect’s business cards and storing them without a CMS, it’s impossible. Even if you do, they are stored in silos making no sense of the data that is visible to you. This can greatly reduce your sales and profits since the sales team will be spending more time finding information than leveraging it.
Manual data entry is tedious and time-consuming. Content management software automatically organizes data as specified and helps employees invest their time in more important tasks than administrative ones.
As your business grows efficient by cutting out unnecessary middle work, retaining more customers offering better customer service, making up-sells and cross-sells by understanding the client’s needs and gaining new customers through networking and word of mouth, you will accomplish more in the same workday.
With CMS marketing departments can access marketing templates and create timed and automated drip email campaigns. CRM software helps take the monotony out of your workday. CRM software is equipped with lists showing leads and potential clients who have been contacted once or twice before, how and when this happened, and notes on what they are looking for. Once the leads and prospects turn into clients, they are designated as such. Potential clients can also be grouped by priority or interest: critical, high, medium or low. These groups also customizable and it is possible for you to create the groups that fit best into your marketing plan or objectives. Every aspect of CRM software is cut-out to do a particular task efficiently so as to help you manage, market, sell and support better.