Every small business needs a customer relations management (CRM) tool. If you are attempting to build a sustainable business based on long-term relationships, this is a key tool to possess. Managing customers is key to a successful business and therefore customers need a way to obtain their wants. In the past, using a rolodex was the easiest way to manage contacts; however it is not beneficial for small businesses today. In today’s market, you need more than info than emails, mailing addresses and phone numbers. You need to know the services provided for your customers and a history of previous transactions. A valuable CRM tool gives further insight on your sales process and why a particular purchase was made. It can also provide information on why you lost clients. It can help you identify a target audience for a particular sales product. Its beneficial in showing you who to sell to and what to sell them. However, it still requires you to make the phone calls and sales appointments. You still have to follow up with contacts. Other benefits of using a CRM system:
- All details regarding a customer is kept in centralized location, readily available, which decreases processing time and increases productivity.
- Handling customers efficiently in a database increases your customer satisfaction rate and chance of acquiring more business and eventually more profit.
- Increase in customer satisfaction means more customer referrals and increased net growth of business
- CRM systems are cost effective. Keeping track of such information decreases the need for paper and staff to manage. So, its definitely worth paying for a quality system which is ultimately a cheaper deal in comparison to conventional business methods.
- CRM systems group customers by the type of business they do or by the physical location. This helps in focusing on customers separately and can help distinguish your biggest customer.
-Its often difficult to keep up with changes in customer details; but it is very easy to stay up to date with this system.
There is no shortage of CRM providers in the explosive growth segment. Evaluate them based on your specific needs not simply on all the fancy bells and whistles that that seem like a great idea during the sales pitch but that you may never end up using. Stay clear of contracts as well, the fact is that a CRM is a tool to empower you not hinder you if your not happy you should be able to walk without penalty.
You owe it to yourself and your business to explore what a CRM can do for you.