Quite often CRM systems are thought of as mostly beneficial to the companies that use them – due to the fact that they help them increase their sales, organise their sales team better, achieve their business goals better. However, a lot of companies miss out on the single most valuable benefit a CRM system gives – it makes the customers’ lives a lot easier. After all, CRM stands from Customer Relationship Management.
Looking after your clients via a good CRM system positions the company as a responsible and caring one. It also has the potential attract more customers thanks to the good service and rich product offering that the system allows.
Long story short, a good CRM system is the best kind of marketing, without even trying to be.
According to Gartner, the CRM market is valued at 40 billion dollars in 2017 and the forecast is for it to be increased by 16% in 2018. These numbers speak lots about the trend of evaluating the benefits of a CRM system and subsequently adopting it by more and more businesses.
Albeit a more technical topic, the CRM system is the place where the company really gets to know its customers. Without it the services, communications and marketing would not be supported by data or actual insights. No one will benefit from this – neither the company, nor the clients. So before you jump into applying the latest marketing tricks to your target market, you have to understand the basic things that characterise your clients and by doing this, to improve the quality of your communication.
It all starts with the client
It would be stupid to try and sell meat to people who are vegan or vegetarian, wouldn’t it? But imagine for a second that you don’t know that they don’t eat meat. You don’t have a system or a research practice in place that can help you study and record their preferences. So, you send emails, advertisements, brochures, you spend money and your waste precious time on promoting things that don’t really interest that customer segment. Of course, the success of such communication equals zero.
Such an analogy could be applied to many businesses as they start off not with the client, but with their products. It’s a mistake to try and create demand with aggressive advertising, combined with lack of quality data and a real business strategy. Long gone are the times of mass marketing and its respective video and TV ads. People no longer seem to respond in a positive way to this kind of marketing. Today people are individuals, demand a personal approach, and caring for their personal needs and wants. How can such an approach be delivered? With a smart system that knows their preferences and taste.
In the digital age, the whole information you need is out there, freely given out by the customers. Whether you collect it, process it and use it so that you can get to know them better, is a question of skills and whether you actually want to. Of course, it would be much easier to just throw marketing messages at a big pool of potential and actual customers, hoping for some sort of success. And you probably will get some sales but do you ever stop to wonder that these sales could be a lot more, at a lower cost-of-acquisition, with a much lower percentage of complaints and aftersales issues?
Next level of customer service
CRM systems only gather as much info about a customer as they need to, without going too much into their personal space or discovering sensitive information about them. After all, all the info is given by the customer themselves! Through information about their shopping behaviour, products or services they like or don’t like, as well as their whole opinion of the company, every customers creates their own profile and it saying – I want this, I don’t want that, I like this, I don’t like that. This gives businesses the opportunity to only send out relevant messages and promotions, without annoying and unrelated communication attempts.
As a result, you send better targeted messages, without spamming or annoying your customers. Actually, they will receive more relevant messages with discounts, offers and content that interests them and is useful to them. Customers have an unprecedented opportunity to voice their concerns and preferences, thus giving you the chance to understand them better. Automatization and personalisation happens seamlessly with products such as the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
According the CRM Barometer, 52% of the surveyed people say that quick resolution of their problems by a business is a deciding moment on whether they will shop from this company again. And what better way to address problems that have arisen with a product or a company than to have all the information about a client’s transactions, products and additional things, all in the one place? Salesforce Service Cloud is the perfect solution for big call centres, as well as for big customer service and customer care departments.
Take your customer on a journey
This isn’t some marketing trick or a fairy-tale metaphor. Knowing your customer well, understanding their needs, you can really take them on a journey through various digital channels, where they can find useful information, offers, discounts, vouchers and many other cool things that you could offer them. By doing this, you win them over as loyal customers and you leave them with the sense that are valued. Because this is the truth.
The system helps you create and guide customer journeys for potential and existing customers that take into consideration their favourite digital channels and ways of communicating to the specific segment. Would you spend a thousand dollars for a Twitter advert if that’s a channel than your core customers rarely use? A lot of companies make mistakes such as this one because they don’t know where their target customers are and how to talk to them.
Even more companies don’t know with what messages and promotions to attract their target customers – as a result, they waste money on mass marketing that isn’t particularly efficient, while the people who have seen these ads end up forming negative opinion of the company as this kind of marketing looks unprofessional, incomplete and lazy.
According to the same survey by CRM Barometer, 38% of people surveyed would like to receive custom offers and prices about products and services they are interested in on the digital channels they use the most. This, however, had to be balanced and done tastefully, and shouldn’t feel like you’re under a constant marketing attack. If you’ve chosen a mass marketing strategy for yourself, then you might be potentially losing out customers and in the long term, not doing your brand any favors.
By utilizing all the power a CRM system has, such as AI and smart marketing, you will be fully able to give your clients what they wat, when they want it and how they want it. It’s a win-win situation for everybody!