CRM - it's how to keep your customers

I bought something from a large department store chain recently that needed to be delivered. I'll skip the details - you can see where this story is going already. Lousy customer service. Again.

The key word above is 'again'. It is possible that even a reputable organisation can let down a customer more than once, especially when using a third party carrier, but what is just plain unacceptable is that they didn't know they'd let me down before. If they had been using decent CRM system, the customer service representative I spoke to would have known and we would possibly have had a rather different conversation. Instead, they've lost a customer. I won't buy from them again and I'll tell anyone who'll listen not to bother either.

What's a CRM system?

At a seminar recently when the host said 'hands up if you use a CRM system' it was met with about 70% of the audience tentatively raising their hands. Why tentative? Because the word 'system' somehow suggests a purpose-built, ordered, smoothly-running thing of wonder and lots of people in that room knew that their CRM systems were anything but. For the 30% who didn't put their hands up, they also used a CRM system, they just didn't realise it.

The acronym means 'customer relationship management' and every business has one, whether it's a Roladex and a filing cabinet full of copy invoices or a fully integrated state of the art online system. A good one will tell you everything you need to know about where you stand with your customers, such as how long they've been with you, who within your organisation manages their account, how good they are at sticking to their payment terms, their golf handicap.. whatever information you have about your clients should be stored in your CRM. 

What can it do for me?

To drive a business forward you need to spend your time wisely, analysing what's happening in your business, with your customers and to your competitors. Searching for and compiling that data in the first place isn't your job, but it really shouldn't be anybody else's either. You need your people 'doing the do', not generating reports for you, interpreted their way. If you don't have that information at your fingertips, you could find yourself dealing with a customer you know little about when you should know everything. They'll know it too and then they won't be your customer any more.

What you really need to truly deliver for your customers is an online system like Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Customised to your needs, used by everyone in your organisation, no matter where they're located, it's a transformational business tool that will give you the competitive edge you need. We know this because we use it ourselves.

With systems like this available, there really is no excuse for poor customer service.

Want to know how we can help you deliver for your customers? Get in touch and let's talk.

 

 

Posted by Kirsty McIntosh on Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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