Are you a small business owner worried about the quality of your customer service? Not sure how to improve it without dropping the ball in other areas of your business? Here’s how to choose a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program or service that empowers you to reach and interact with your clients and customers like never before.
Why Try Something New?
Running a business means you have to keep a lot of plates spinning. So many products promise to help you do just that. They say they’ll simplify your workday. They promise to automate simple tasks. They’re available wherever you are.
Plus, oftentimes the promise of a useful product is dampened by past experience. You know there’s a learning curve to new software. You’ve spent precious time and money on products and services that didn’t pan out or further complicated your usual workflow.
Bottom Line: If you choose the RIGHT small business CRM for your business, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results—and your customers will love you for it.
To-the-Minute Customer History
Customer service hinges on really knowing your customers. When you’re talking with a customer, you need to be aware of whether they’ve had previous issues with your business. Were those issues addressed yet? How long did it take to fix the problem? Were they satisfied? When was the last time they spoke with someone from your business? Going into a conversation with a customer without knowing these details could leave you with your foot in your mouth. Or worse, lose you that customer. That’s where CRM comes in. You can rest assured your team has up-to-date info on every customer, whenever they need it.
CRM in Your Pocket
Of course, busy business owners need a CRM solution that goes everywhere they go. Not all CRM is equal when it comes to mobile compatibility. Some are web CRM only, others have mobile optimized sites, while others offer apps. What you can do in-app or via mobile browser may also have limitations. If you’re an SMB owner who’s always mobile, be sure to choose a CRM with features accessible from any device. It will help you deliver a consistent customer service experience no matter where you are.
Powerful, Integrated Calendar
Your mobile CRM should keep you plugged into your calendar wherever you go. You should be able to double-check time sensitive items, instantly. Like reminders? Look for a CRM solution that will allow you to receive reminders on your mobile device. Reminders also help you stay on top of time sensitive customer interactions and marketing plans. If you use another calendar, like Google Calendar, be sure your CRM will integrate with it, so you’ll have all important dates and reminders in one place.
Built-In Project Management
When you find a CRM with built-in project management, you’ve hit the jackpot. Your team will be able to set up reminders, change or add responsible parties to tasks, and add notes and updates. With a mobile-capable CRM, you can also manage project progress no matter where you are and no matter where your team is. You’ll be able to instantly check the status of a project for a client or see where a sale may be in the pipeline. Whether you get a call when you’re away from the office or if you unexpectedly bump into a client, you’ll have access to all the important information you need about a project right in the palm of your hand.
Who Knows Who
When you access your address book, what information do you find about your contacts? If your CRM has email analytics, you’ll be able to see which of your contacts know each other. A great CRM will analyze the From, To, and CC fields of your emails to show you who knows who. Contacts can even be automatically added from saved emails, so your address book will always be up-to-date, even when you’re not in the office. When you need to make a connection or introduce clients on the fly, you’ll have the information need right at your fingertips.
When you need to jot down information from a customer interaction, you can do it right in your CRM. Look for a CRM with a notes feature that allows you to add notes and comments to almost anything, including contacts, opportunities, and projects. Likewise, comments and notes left by other team members should be visible to you as well. Imagine meeting a client for lunch and wanting to share important information with your team right away—just add a note to that contact or to the related project. You’ll also be able to get up-to-speed on any interactions or important notes left by your team before you meet with a client, no matter where the meeting is.
Still not sure if CRM is for you? Read 5 Essential Factors in Planning a Successful CRM Implementation.
Stellar customer service must be personal. A great CRM can help you familiarize yourself with your customer’s history, their prior purchases, interactions with your team, even their activity on social media. Track their interests and concerns with your business. When you talk with a customer, you’ll have all the information you need to ensure a positive customer service experience. It’s worth it!