Archive for the ‘CRM-Customer Relationship Management’ Category

Articles

10 Ways to Keep Your Customers Happy

In Business Buy Guide,CRM-Customer Relationship Management on November 19, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged:

Believe it or not, as a small online business owner, there are some things you can offer your customers that your bigger competitors cannot. In general, a larger company cannot provide the personalized service that so many consumers value. Here are ten things you can do to ensure that your customers return to your website again and again, as well as mention your company to their friends.

1.    Always include your contact information in your email signature, business cards, receipts, etc. Provide more than one method of contact: phone, fax, mobile, email, and a physical address.

2.    Answer all questions completely, in as much detail as possible, and in a timely manner. Don’t use acronyms or technical terms without any explanations; your customers may not know what they mean.

3.    Always double check your computations. Math errors can leave a terrible impression, especially if you overcharge a customer. When computing manually, remember to take the extra time to add everything up a second time to make sure that it is correct.

4.    Return missed calls as soon as possible. See to it that you call back within 24 hours. The same applies to email. If you will be away for a while, let your customers know that you will be unavailable.

5.    Always thank your customers for their business. Send a thank you email or card. Show your appreciation and let your customers know they’re important to you. You want them to order from you again and refer you to their friends.

6.    Wait two weeks after an order then follow up with an email or card. Remind them that you are still here for them. Make sure that they received their order and are happy with it. Ask them if they are satisfied with the transaction, and if they aren’t, do your best to correct things right away. Your customers won’t stay around if you ditch them when something goes wrong.

7.    Contact a customer again after six months and inform them of any approaching referral specials, sales, etc. Email them or send them a catalog. Keep your customers aware of your company, but do not pester or overwhelm.

8.    Phone interruptions are a no-no. If you take calls at home, go to a quiet room. Don’t multitask; give your full attention to your customer.

9.    Maintain your professionalism no matter how familiar you are with a customer. Never use profanity, eat, chew gum, or smoke when you are talking to a customer in person or on the phone. Speak in a pleasant tone. If you are in a bad mood, wait until you calm down before you return calls. Your customers can sense your foul mood.

10.    Offer additional small products or services for free when you can. Your customers will mention this when they tell their friends about your company.

Articles

High Quality CRM

In Business Buy Guide,CRM Systems Quotes,CRM-Customer Relationship Management on August 30, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged:

For businesses large and small, their profitability and success depends upon customer retention, customer relationship enhancements, and customer acquisition. This is often known as Customer Relationship Management or CRM. CRM is the managing of all business and interactions with customers.

The main purpose of Customer Relationship Management is to allow businesses to better manage their customers through the introduction of reliable systems, processes, and procedures for interacting with those customers.

A good CRM program helps the business acquire customers and service the customers. Good CRM also helps retain good customers and identify which customers can be given a higher level of service.

CRM is a complex mix of business processes, enterprise strategies, and information technologies, which are used to study customers’ needs and behaviors to help businesses develop more substantial relationships with them in order to get greater results.

In the late 90’s, customer relationship management mainly consisted of just an index file, an answering machine and a telephone. Today, an advanced CRM system has evolved into an Excel spreadsheet and more. CRM systems normally consist of email and/or snail mail, marketing campaigns, contact manager programs, sales tracking program, and multi-media contact center or voice mail system.

A successful CRM strategy doesn’t just mean simply installing and integrating a software package; it also involves a wider approach including modifying business processes based on the needs of customer, training of employees, adopting relevant IT systems and software, and IT services that allows firms to track their CRM strategies.

Good CRM software can help run an entire business by allowing companies to maintain all customer records in one centralized location that is accessible to the whole organisation. Front line offices have systems that are set up to collect data from the customers for processing at the data warehouse where data is stored, orders are filled and tracked, and sales data analyzed.

One of the most common causes for customer relationship management system failure is poor data quality, which can be easily avoided. CRM systems are as useful as the information it provides. The old saying “garbage in, garbage out” can be applied to CRM data quality. To ensure good CRM data quality, be sure to input the data accurately; check data entries twice to minimize the possibility of duplication; if there is an error in the provided information or if the information is not complete, then re-establish contact with the customer to recheck the data.

Do you have the best CRM system?

Articles

Loyal Customers are Key

In Business Buy Guide,CRM Systems Quotes,CRM-Customer Relationship Management on August 27, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged:

Talk to many business people about how they approach customer service and the majority of them will say that they are aiming to have ‘satisfied’ customers. And, that’s the wrong answer.  The real foundation of profit is found in having loyal customers.

Loyal customers are your brand advocates. They will be the first to try out you new product; they give you honest and critical feedback; and they refer business to you. This will truly develop your business profit center.

They are in control

Do you know the best ways that your clients like to receive information or notices of news of updates in your business?

Build relationships

Loyalty customers come from having a true relationship with your customer. Aim to build rapport. Find out their interests. Keep in regular contact with them for the purpose of getting to know them – not selling something to them.
All of this will help in building a long term relationship. Once you have this, they are less likely to walk away.

Help your team generate rapport with customers

How can you cultivate a loyal customer if your team doesn’t even know who  your customers are or anything about them?   To move your business forward, some type of customer relationship management system needs to be in place to provide staff members with good information.  Customers will be more loyal if they see familiar faces. A business with a high staff turnover will find it difficult to build a relationship with their customers.

Treat your staff well. Reward their successes and recognise their achievements. Hold regular training sessions so they feel they are learning and developing.  And, provide them the necessary tools and training to develop great customer relationships.

Seek complaints

This may sound strange but the customer who complains is giving you value feedback and the opportunity to develop a good relationships where the customer who silently leaves removes any of those possibilities. Set up a clear complaints procedure or line of communication with your customers.  Provide staff with the tools to effectively deal with customer problems. Follow up all complaints to ensure that they have been resolved.

The old 80/20 is likely to apply to your business – 80% of your sales or profits are likely to come from just 20% of your customers. Work out who your top 20% is!

So, how will you know?  Good CRM is the key!

Articles

Consider Your Budget

In Business Buy Guide,CRM Systems Quotes,CRM-Customer Relationship Management on August 25, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged:

Budget

Make sure you look for hidden costs in addition to costs for items such as licenses, hardware and other infrastructure. These could include costs for implementation, training employees and customers, business reengineering, increased service requirements from infrastructure vendors and internal IT support.

Implementation

This involves tasks such as system installation, printer installations, user configurations, preliminary training and system testing. While planning, keep in mind the importance of effective implementation. Many companies do not get the expected results out of a CRM solution simply because of faulty implementation by the vendor. Take references and cross-check success rates of prior implementations done by your shortlisted vendors. You may also consider purchasing the application from an OEM and having it implemented by a specialised provider.

Do you think there are other budget considerations?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Articles

How Do You Select the Right CRM Provider?

In Business Buy Guide,CRM Systems Quotes,CRM-Customer Relationship Management on August 23, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: ,

Selecting software packages can be very tricky. It often requires you to re-engineer your business processes, human resources and operational systems to achieve the desired results. When selecting an application that is your direct interface with customers, it becomes increasingly imperative to adopt a systematic approach to package and vendor selection. The luxury of pouring financial resources to fix initial errors may not be an option, especially for a small business.

Let us look in greater detail at how to go about selecting the right product and service providers.

Needs Assessment

All levels of your organisation and all departments must be engaged in this process. This is important not only to recognise departmental objectives, but also to communicate the importance of the CRM initiative.

More customised assistance…

Articles

What Can CRM do for Sales?

In Business Buy Guide,CRM Systems Quotes,CRM-Customer Relationship Management on August 20, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: ,

You might think that CRM is an over-hyped contact management system. But any business manager realizes that increased customer satisfaction, better co-ordination between employees and well-informed staff will boost an organization’s profits. All these benefits can be realised through CRM. A CRM solution goes beyond simple contact management. It also affects departmental functions such as sales, marketing and HR to make your organization increasingly customer-focussed through the use of technology.

Some of the benefits of CRM for a business like yours are:

  • More effective sales calls
  • Increased sales through repeat business from past customers
  • Improved ability to provide a higher level of customer service
  • Greater customer satisfaction because you understand their unique needs
  • Enhanced and up-to-date communication
  • Accurate client account records

For more on what CRM can do for your business, download the FREE CRM Guide.

Articles

What is CRM?

In Business Buy Guide,CRM Systems Quotes,CRM-Customer Relationship Management on August 18, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged:

CRM, or customer relationship management, can be defined simply as a strategy that focuses on how you interact with your customers. But there’s much more to it than that. And to put your CRM strategy into action, you’ll need software tools that track the responses and actions of customers, employees and others involved in your business relationships.

Good CRM also requires the broader process of monitoring and analysing the data that these tracking tools record. By obtaining valuable feedback on transaction behaviour and how customers and employees think and interact, you can develop relationships and increase repeat business through greater customer satisfaction. Thus, not only will CRM save you money through increased staff efficiency, it will also bring you more money through increased business.

Traditionally, only larger enterprises could think about implementing CRM. But nowadays, all businesses are realising the importance of this technology. With the internet revolution changing the options for businesses like yours, CRM has become more accessible. You now have access to Web-based CRM tools and packages that allow you to easily organise your client data.

Another option available to you is hosted CRM solutions. With these, the data resides with your service
provider and is hosted in a well-protected environment. In effect, this does away with the need for IT
infrastructure development costs and allows you to save money by transferring that cost to the provider.
Major names to look out for in the CRM market include Siebel, Salesforce.com, Microsoft, RightNow
Technologies, NetSuite and open-source player SugarCRM. You’ll hear terms like operational CRM,
analytical CRM, collaborative CRM, hosted CRM, on-premises CRM and CRM on demand. This probably
sounds rather overwhelming, which is why we’ve created this buy guide to help you make the right choices.