It’s easy to miss the real value of a business tool when you’re focused on the initial investment to purchase it. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions can prove to be invaluable when used to combat some common business problems. The best news is they’re more affordable than ever.
It’s simple enough to say that using a CRM could help you improve customer loyalty, but is yours really that bad? How exactly would you improve it? A study of more than 2,000 loyalty programs conducted by FiveStar found that 20 percent of customers have visited your store at least 10 times. Sound small? That 20 percent makes up 80 percent of your total revenue. Loyal customers also spend more than random site visitors. Ten times more.
The same study showed that customer loyalty programs can increase customer visits by as much as 44 percent, depending on the industry you’re in. The social data you gather by integrating social media interactions into your CRM can inform the creation of a customer loyalty program or improve an existing one. Cross-selling, upselling, coupons, targeted offers, and loyalty rewards can all be leveraged to strengthen customer loyalty.
Small businesses tend to have fewer people involved in a project, so it might be easy to miss the value of a CRM with project management, like Insightly. When you’re running a small business, plenty of your daily tasks require supporting documentation and contact information at your fingertips. Project management can be used to streamline tasks you perform regularly, check off milestones, and prevent scope creep.
SMBs in particular need mobile access to projects. Whether you’re hiring freelancers or your people are working out of the office, you can stay on top of tasks, timelines, budget, and other important project information. You can give each party access to everything they need from anywhere they may need to access it. Project management software also lets you cut down on bringing everyone in for meetings, which are described as the top “time-waster” by 47 percent of workers. Save everyone time and save yourself money by tracking projects online.
Obviously, it’s important to keep your customers happy. You can’t keep all the important information about your customers in your own head. Even if you could, your employees can’t access your brain when needed. One study found that 82 percent of consumers ended their relationship with a business over poor customer service. Now that’s a BIG number.
When your team has access to CRM, they can see more than just a contact’s phone number and purchase history. They can see that you promised someone a discount over the phone last week and make sure that customer is taken care of when they come into your business. They can update a client on the progress of a project over the phone with all the important details.
Close the Sale
All businesses have window-shoppers. Whether they are browsing your physical shop and leaving without a purchase or browsing your site without converting, you can use CRM to help turn them into customers. When someone isn’t ready to buy from you, you have to use every avenue open to you to learn what they want and market effectively to them. Before they leave the store, ask them to sign up for your mailing list to receive occasional sale announcements, get them to follow your business social media profiles by displaying them prominently on your website or in-store signage. All these points of contact are inroads to building a whole contact profile that can inform your marketing methods, so you can turn them from a browser to a buyer.
CRM is truly affordable now with some brands even offering totally free entry level plans. Now you know the true cost of overlooking CRM as a worthy tool for your business.
Diana Doherty is a freelance writer specializing in SEO content, and is a contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She loves all things tech, photography, craft, military family life, and business. She earned her BA in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego.