Are you getting the most out of your CRM?

Building client relationships is about understanding their needs and solving their problems. It’s about being there just at the right time, and, let’s be honest, not getting in the way when they don’t want to hear from you.

As your business scales up and your lead list grows, doing this gets harder.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a practice – it’s a thing you need to actively do. You are your business’s best CRM asset, but a CRM platform can automate a lot of the grunt work. Here are some tips for making sure you’re using your CRM platform to your best advantage.

Get your data right

Are your clients’ details complete and up to date? What other information could you be recording to better understand their needs? It may sound pretty obvious, but like any database, your CRM’s effectiveness relies on what goes into it.

Make sure you’re funnelling in your leads from all sources, including web contact, email campaigns and contacts at conferences.

Capture all touchpoints

A CRM that provides a complete picture of client relationships helps you spot problems and opportunities early.

Ensure you’re recording all channels of client interaction. That means email and phone calls, but don’t forget SMS and social media. And if you have staff, make sure they’re using your CRM too.

With everyone in your team contributing and referring to your CRM, you’ll deliver better customer service. You can present a consistent message to each client, and avoid duplicate contact or – worse still – failing to follow up with a client at all.

Plan your campaigns

Some of your CRM’s most useful tools for growing business are those that automate communications (often called campaigns).

You might already be sending out a regular newsletter. But don’t underestimate the power of carefully timed, personalised communications – auto responses, follow-ups after meetings, or emails about new products.

Doing this well relies on understanding your clients’ needs. No one wants to be spammed, but a relevant piece of information at just the right moment can make all the difference. So make smart use of the tools that schedule emails, and diarise reminders to call.

Businesses commonly make the error of using their CRM to chase new customers, and miss the wealth of opportunity in engaging existing customers. Don’t forget them when planning your communications. The occasional well-placed contact (for instance, on an acquisition or property-purchase anniversary) can keep you in mind while building goodwill at the same time. Make sure you don’t forget your privacy obligations though.

Use analytics

Finally, it’s easy to overlook the power of your CRM’s data for analysis and strategic planning. For example, what campaigns have worked and what haven’t? How do people like to be communicated with? What’s the return on investment (ROI) on completed deals? Investigate what reports you can run.

For more information about how to get the most out of your CRM, please contact us.