CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a term you’ve heard about for
so long. You know it’s important to your business but either think you
have it already, you do have it but are not maximizing your use of it
or you know you don’t have it but don’t have the time to implement it
or think it’s too expensive to implement. Have no fear, you’re not alone.
Most of you, according to a recent survey by CRM company Avidian,
makers of Prophet, think that Microsoft Outlook and Intuit QuickBooks
are CRM. In the survey of 200 business owners, across a range of
industries and business employee sizes, Avidian’s research found that
the person in charge of IT support was: the company executive or
manager (25%), a dedicated employee (33%), consultant (20%) or no one
Only 16% of the respondents are sure they know what CRM is and 14%
think they know what CRM is. 70% of respondents are not using CRM, yet
20% are at least discussing it.
Why is this survey important?
Using technology to better know your customers, anticipate their
needs and sell them more of what they want or might want is a way to
increase your own revenue while also ensuring that you build deep
relationships with customers. Whether in a retail store or online,
everyone wants to feel that they are special. A properly built CRM lets
you convey this feeling over and over again, every day to customers.
CRM is more than just storing customer contact records. it takes 3 things:
1. Being able to capture the relevant information about customers to build the next relationship
2. Being able to find the information you captured about the customer
3. Being able to use the information to boost sales
Let’s use the analogy of a date.
You have your first date with the the young lady (I’m a guy so I’ll
stick with young lady, if you’re a lady well you can pick a guy) and
she tells you at the conclusion of the date how much she loves pecan
ice cream. You are going on the next date and you can’t remember
anything that she said in the first date. Well let’s pretend you
miraculously bumped your head and you can remember that she loves pecan
ice cream. For desert you decide to take your girl to a chocolate mint
ice cream store. You bump your head again and realize that maybe you
should take her to get pecan ice cream.
This was a stupid example, but technology is that bump on the head
the young man in my example had. We have hundreds and hundreds of
customers (or maybe you’re a solo consultant with 5), whatever the
number you have customers feeding information to you. You’ve got to
have a system in place to capture that information. Once you have the
information you’ve got to find a way to use the information.
CRM helps you go on a successful date each and every time. Hopefully
the customer gets so loyal and is so happy with your service that you
“get married”. Maybe you have to raise prices a bit, the customer does
not mind. Maybe the customer wants something out of the usual – you
deliver. Why you have a deeper relationship than just a pure
transaction based on price or convenience.