Your competitors are gleaning information about their customers every single time they interact. Are you?
Advertising content and spend, personalisation, special offers, service and product offerings…in a data-driven marketing strategy, all of these should be informed by the information you can collect about your customers. Understanding exactly where to spend time and money can boost productivity, help you get more efficient and increase the lifetime value of each customer.
So, what does a CRM have to do with it?
WHAT IS A CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a catch-all term for all of the technologies and strategies businesses implement to help them create great customer relationships and experiences. In this context, a CRM is a software that helps you gather and store customer information and track their behaviours or interactions with you.
In some ways, it’s a great big client database, with extended functionality to help you really analyse what is happening with your customers, build sales pipelines of prospects and communicate with different groups of people at different times.
We know a lot of businesses who have different pieces of information like this living in spreadsheets. But there are a lot more benefits to a CRM beyond acting as a contact database.
IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE THROUGH PERSONALISATION
One of the biggest advantages of CRM is how it allows companies to provide customers with a greater level of personalisation.
Have you ever made a grocery order online? I love being told what items I may have forgotten with this order, based on my shopping history. This type of personalisation often boosts my spend and value per transaction.
What about personalised email? I don’t just mean including a name, but the kind of email that includes information relevant to you. Say I’d run a fun run last year; the email to invite me back might challenge me to beat my time or fundraising goal, but shouldn’t explain the event from scratch. That would just waste my time. This kind of personalisation boosts my connection with a brand and loyalty.
KEEP DATA SAFE AND ORGANISED
Make sure you’re not losing valuable contacts. Storing customer data on spreadsheets or shoving business cards in your drawer isn’t the best way to ensure this asset is secure. How many times have you been asked by a colleague to email through a name or contact details? Or to get you up to speed with a contact’s interactions with your business? Keep information at your fingertips, behind a password, save time and secure those contacts.
TELL THE FUTURE AND INCREASE THE LIFETIME VALUE OF CUSTOMERS
Use data on customer interactions forecast your customer needs in the future. Gathering data will help you recognise particular patterns in each client-business interaction. If you sell running shoes, how often do your customers usually replace their shoes? Get back in touch before this milestone is hit to make sure you’re front-of-mind when it’s time for them to make their next purchase; you’ll not only ensure their loyalty but likely increase their lifetime value, as they spend more with you over time.
A big part of implementing CRM is customer segmentation. How well do you understand your customers? Read 7 Ideas To Help You Segment Your Customer Data.