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Tag Archives: Customer relationship management

What would happen to the world of business if CRM suddenly disappeared?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a vital tool for many businesses today. It is invaluable in sales and marketing, both for attracting new customers and retaining those who already patronize the business. So what would happen to these businesses if Customer Relationship software was no longer available to them?

For many businesses, everything comes down to information. In order to market your product you need to know as much as possible about your customer base – what they want; what they need; how they make purchasing decisions; how quality, price and service contribute to their impressions of a company; what market segments are you not appealing to; why do you not appeal to these segments? During and after sales, successful businesses need to know what their customers have purchased, do they have any other needs, who is their primary contact, was the customer happy?

If CRM software were to disappear tomorrow, all the information that businesses store on it would disappear also. Many businesses would grind to a halt without it, and would have to divert many employees to the herculean task of trying to reassemble vast databases of knowledge. In the future, all of this information would have to be gathered by individual employees, taking their time away from other important tasks and incurring huge costs as further workers needed to be hired.

Even if this information remained when Customer Relationship Management Software was gone, the world would still not be rosy for companies. Information is nothing on its own. At best it is useless, and at worst stifling. In order to be useful to a company, information needs to be analysed and understood, with all the dots joined up and links made in order to make vital insights, develop strategies and implement those strategies. This is precisely what Customer Relationship Management Software allows companies to do, both in marketing and sales. Without it, countless man-hours would have to be spent in trying to analyse this information, and undoubtedly valuable insights and links would be lost due to human error.

Internal company improvement would also suffer without Customer Relationship Management software. One of the most valuable insights that this software gives is weak links in company procedures and personnel. Customer Relationship Management software enables analysis of every step of the marketing and sales chain, giving companies the information they need to refine and improve their service. Perhaps cold-calling to sales conversion rates have dipped, or a highly anticipated brochure has not reaped the success that was foreseen. Potentially, a particular branch is vastly outperforming other comparable branches, and would be an excellent case study in how to improve staff training. Without Customer Relationship Management software, these successes and failures would be much more difficult to critically appraise.

Clearly, were Customer Relationship Software to disappear tomorrow, many businesses would be devastated. Costs would increase, efficiency would decrease, and customers would receive vastly inferior service to what they had come to expect from these companies.

This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of web-based CRM software.

 

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How Not to do Customer Service

by @matt_seo

“The customer is the king.” “The customer is always right.” There are many such sayings in the world of customer service, but the extent to which we end up complaining about poor customer service shows that such advice is all too frequently overlooked. This article looks at some classic scenarios which demonstrate poor customer service and addresses how they can be prevented so that you can retain a loyal customer base and build your company’s reputation.

Bad attitudes towards customers
Perhaps the most frequent gripe experienced by customers is being on the receiving end of a bad attitude from an employee of a company. Being addressed in a surly fashion; being ignored; having a question answered unsatisfactorily; these are not only evidence of bad manners and unhappiness on the part of the employee, but also reflect poorly on the company as a whole. Bad news travels fast, so polite and friendly staff are vital for good customer service. If a particular employee is causing a problem, find out what is making them unhappy and address any underlying issues.

Not calling a customer back
You’ve said you’ll call a customer back at a particular time. But you’ve forgotten when you said you’d call them, and now they’ve sent a disgruntled email threatening to take their business elsewhere. This scenario could easily have been prevented with the use of CRM software, which allows you both to record conversations and correspondence with a customer and to schedule future contact. We all know how difficult it can be to stay on top of our workload, but diligent use of CRM software will make your life far easier as well as giving out a much better impression to customers.

Keeping the customer on hold
There are few things more frustrating for a customer than being kept on hold for what seems an infinite amount of time. If your phone lines tend to be busy, it would be wise to invest in some call-monitoring software to ensure that each member of your customer service team is pulling their weight. Advise your team that calls should be answered within three rings, and if you don’t have enough staff to handle the volume of calls you receive, consider hiring an extra member of staff – even if only temporarily to cover particularly busy periods or a team member being on holiday.

Getting into an argument with a customer
It can be very frustrating and upsetting when a customer bombards you with a barrage of complaints, treating you as though their (often unfounded) gripes with your company are your personal fault. But the last thing you should do is to argue back. Far from helping resolve the conflict, this will only worsen it. It will end with the customer hanging up on you – and you lose their business. Resist the temptation to give them an earful back, and instead take a step back and try to look at the situation from their point of view. Often, a customer may simply be having a bad day and taking it out on you; it’s not personal. Empathise with them; let them get whatever it is off their chest, and focus on what you can do to bring about a positive resolution to the situation.

 

This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of web-based CRM systems.

 

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