Enhance Customer Relationship Management with CRM Tools

Have you ever wondered what your business life would be like without a cell phone? How about no email? Well, if you are in sales or any other form of customer service and are not using CRM software then you should be wondering why you are missing the single most powerful customer relationship tool available. CRM stands for ‘Customer Relationship Management’. It is a software solution that puts your entire client list and individual client information at your fingertips. CRM is available from many different vendors, but what all solutions have in common is the ability to not only keep track of your interactions with customers, but to greatly increase sales and customer satisfaction.

Imagine the following scenario - you call a customer whom you have not spoken to in a month. You enquire if he has made a decision on equipment that was discussed. He says that he has not had a chance to review the quote and asks if you can check back with him in a couple of weeks. You read the notes on your CRM screen and see that his daughter plays softball for a team called the Cougars. This is information that you recorded from a previous conversation. "How is Jessica's softball team making out?" you ask. The prospect's tone changes from curt to friendly and what was at one moment a dismissal has now turned into a conversation, ingratiating you with your client and giving you a better chance to close the deal. Now, you might have remembered this information about this particular client, but how about 50 clients? When a client calls and asks what she paid to renew a contract last year are you going to remember? On a CRM - simply open the client’s screen and quickly find the information. It's as fast and customer friendly as it gets.

A typical CRM software program consists of client screens that include contact information and a space for time and date stamped notes. Some CRM users choose to label clients by industry type, making it easier to sell to various market segments. If you employ CRM company-wide, then all members of your organization can access and update customer screens, notes, technical/ service information and related quotes. If you work for a service organization, it is particularly helpful to be able to view services provided to a particular client and analyze how to sell more. CRM can be easily set up to assign specific customer information such as cases, mails, surveys, invitations to events, birthdays, appointments, renewals and more.

CRM is a highly efficient business decision tool - it empowers the management to discern effectiveness and to streamline sales and customer service efforts. It provides a complete overview of sales, service, marketing and related customer data. Additionally, it provides the tools for collating real time data to generate highly effective forecasts.

Marketing is made easy using a CRM solution, mailing or call lists can be compiled in a matter of minutes and can be tailored to specific industries using templates and mail blasters. Let's say your company takes on a new product - each sales person records his or her introduction to the product for their respective clients or leads. Management can track these activities on the CRM and study the results.

From an individual sales person's perspective, CRM is an exciting addition to your sales or customer service offerings and to their personal success. The more you know about your client, the better you can service him. This leads to better customer satisfaction and more sales! Let's think about the aforementioned ‘new’ product. What customers would most benefit from it? With CRM you can access the customer history that will enable you to find out. Maybe they don't have the budget right now to purchase it. Type a note on your CRM and schedule a call for a couple of months later. Oh, and don’t forget to add your contact’s Birthday, the CRM will remind you in advance!

Like any technology or tool, CRM software is what you make out of it! CRM programs are highly flexible and can be tailored to your particular needs. Like email or cell phones, once you have used CRM, you will wonder how you ever succeeded without it.