A fundamental change is happening all around us. Power is shifting from companies to customers. Forrester calls it the Age of the Customer:
“In this era, digitally-savvy customers would change the rules of business, creating an extraordinary opportunity for companies that could adapt, and creating an existential threat to those that could not.”
This has profound implications for businesses like yours. A well-thought-of customer relationship management (CRM) strategy, therefore, is more important than ever in this new era.
But what is CRM strategy and how do you build your own? Let’s throw some light on it below.
What is a CRM strategy and why is it important?
The concept of CRM strategy refers to practices that are focused on converting each prospect into a customer and retaining your customers by engaging them with personalized communication. Since its inception, the concept of CRM has helped businesses enhance their communication with customers and achieve their goals.
To get fruitful results through your CRM strategy, it is important that you have all the verticals of your business on the same page. For example, it is important that your sales, marketing, support, and finance work together to execute your CRM strategy.
An ideal CRM strategy focuses on decreasing the cost of customer acquisition and increasing the customer lifetime value. Having an ideal customer relationship strategy provides amazing benefits that help your business increase profitability.
With an effective CRM strategy, you get:
- Better efficiency in marketing
- Effective communication with customers
- Data-driven decision making
- Profitable sales cycle
- Improved accuracy in forecasting
- increased customer loyalty
On the other hand, the risks involved in the absence of an efficient CRM strategy are;
- Inability to access or improve customer satisfaction
- Missed opportunities to sell, upsell, or cross-sell to existing customers.
- Inability to attract and retain new customers
- Losing a competitive edge to businesses having a robust CRM strategy
This clearly suggests why businesses always look forward to developing and leveraging an effective CRM strategy.
However, joint research by Forrester and CustomerThink cites that 33 percent of businesses still struggle with building an effective CRM strategy. Let’s shed some light on a few tips that will help your business formulate a CRM strategy that can yield fascinating results.
Tips to build an effective CRM strategy
Define a vision
Having a clear vision is an essential aspect of building a CRM strategy. Ask yourself what should be the end goal of your CRM strategy. Depending on your goals, you can track the progress of your team. For example, if your goal is to increase conversions, you can check metrics for website traffic, lead generation and conversion, etc.
Ensure that the final objective of your CRM strategy incorporates what should be the future environment of your business keeping in mind customer experience and profitability.
Align your CRM strategy with your corporate strategy
Businesses have corporate strategies that focus on doubling revenue growth or offering a unique customer experience. All these goals can be achieved by implementing an effective roadmap.
However, “CRM strategy” is a complicated term. It’s not an implementational framework but rather helps in achieving strategic goals such as increasing customer loyalty, reducing customer churn, etc.
It is essential that your corporate strategy and CRM strategy complement each other. Your CRM software should also have the functionality to address your corporate goals. If your CRM software struggles to address these unique priorities, your business also struggles to get increased user adoption and hardly becomes sustainable.
Leverage and examine your existing data wisely
The existing data that you have already gathered plays an important role in developing your CRM strategy. It is essential that you map your customers’ journey by analyzing their buyer personas. Go deeper into the problems you faced while communicating with customers in the past.
Segmenting customer journeys into various groups can help you identify unique customer differences and expectations. Your team can then prioritize these groups to initiate communication accordingly. For example, a separate set of email will be sent to repeat customers and customers who make large purchases.
Plan your content strategy
Having an effective content plan plays an important role in building a robust CRM strategy. It’s essential that your content delivers a relevant message to your target audience and especially those who are central to making purchases. Write blogs that educate your audience and increase their likelihood to convert.
Similarly, you also need to decide which channel should be used to deliver your message. Decide whether you will use social media or communicate with your customers through email. Going through a few experimentations may help figure out the right content channel for you.
Kickstart communication channels
One of the main objectives of having a CRM strategy is to increase the effectiveness of your support channels. Doing so makes it easy for your customers to reach out to support if they encounter a problem.
The best plan is to implement a live chat option on your website to let customers get solutions for their queries quickly. Live chat not only enhances the customer support experience but also helps boost conversions. Similarly, you can also consider using social media channels to solve customers’ problems.
Find and leverage the best CRM software for your business
Businesses often make mistakes while choosing the right CRM software. It’s important that you do good research about what CRM software would integrate properly with your business operations. You can also consider learning what CRM software your competitors are using.
If you have shortlisted a few CRM solutions, it would be a good idea to visit their official forums and reviews and check the past experiences of other customers. You may also get some helpful answers for yourself while exploring these community forums.
Businesses use CRM software to incorporate their CRM strategy into their overall business plan and yield better results. A good CRM solution helps businesses manage all interactions with their customers digitally and seamlessly. Using CRM software that comes in the cloud helps different verticals of your business retrieve information from the stored data as per their usage. This reduces the need to maintain information silos.
Remember, there are various CRM software solutions available in the market. But choosing the right one according to your requirements is the key. Opting for CRM software that comes with all-in-one functionality such as sales, marketing, and support helps streamline your business operations. It also helps avoid information silos and provides you with a 360-degree view of the customer.
In most of the cases, businesses look forward to leveraging CRM software without having a productive CRM strategy. Although this could be done, your business may face various obstacles like increased implementation time and cost, reduced user confidence, etc. That is why it is critical to have a CRM strategy before selecting your CRM software.
Customer relationship management is an important aspect for every business regardless of its industry. Having a robust CRM strategy helps businesses interact with customers in the right way and deliver a relevant message.
Building an effective CRM strategy is the key to success for your business. However, shifting landscapes in the industry and rapid technological advancement have transformed CRM. It’s important for businesses to adapt to these changes in order to save themselves from becoming obsolete.
The future will see various changes in CRM that need to be implemented to build a robust CRM strategy that helps your business grow. Follow the points above to develop your own CRM strategy to produce more conversions and increase revenue.