Your customers are your lifeline. And as your business grows in scale, you will soon be confronted with the onerous task of maintaining a customer database that describes customer-relationships in such detail that you can study the behavioural attributes of every customer from long-term business perspective.
This will in turn enable you to match customer needs with product plans and offerings, remind customers of service requirements, etc. This methodology which helps you to maintain customer relationships in an organised way is known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Why does a growing business need a CRM?
• Building a database that will help your sales-team with information and processes necessary to know your customers, understand and identify customer needs and effectively build relationships between the business, customer base and distribution partners.
• Identify and target most profitable customers and provide them with the highest level of service, latest product offerings. • Manage marketing campaigns systematically and generate quality leads for the sales team.
• Optimize sales management by collecting and synergizing information shared by multiple employees Building a robust CRM The foremost requirement in order to build a robust CRM is to align your CRM framework with your business goals and then devise and define measures to track them. The indicative pointers below can help build a complete framework — match it to your business requirements in order to address your specific needs:
• Brand-Building: This includes: o Measuring your brands loyalists o Creating brand awareness o Gauging your customer’s perception of the overall quality of your product/ service o Identifying your brand’s recall strength.
• Customer-Facing Processes: This includes tracking and assessing all: o Marketing processes like – customer conversion costs, customer acquisition cost, average interaction cost, attrition, average order size o Sales processes like – Expenses, Sales totals, number of calls, number of new customers added, sales lost, training co-relation o Customer Service processes – Average Hold Time, Call counts and duration, Average cost per call, Service Level, Call Quality o Servicing Processes – Repair fulfilment time, Cost of repairs, CSAT, Service level o Logistics operations – Promise to performance cycle, customer order cycle time, supply-chain cycle time, cash cycle time,etc
CRM framework can collect an enormous amount of data about customers. The success of your CRM efforts will lie in your ability to use that data and implement the same in your everyday business operations. So start consolidating the data across your functions, analyze them and draw up a plan to effect better customer relationship management.