Published: Aug 21, 2022 | Updated at: Aug 23, 2022
The pandemic was, in many, a great spur for would-be entrepreneurs to make the leap into running their own businesses. Just in 2021, over five million new businesses launched in the US.
While many of those businesses are solopreneur operations or e-commerce operations, they all have something in common: customers. As those businesses grow, they'll discover that managing customers becomes increasingly difficult.
Many of those businesses will turn to all-in-one CRM systems to take up the slack. Not sure what a CRM is or the benefits it offers? Keep reading to understand what a CRM can do for you.
What Is an All-in-One CRM?
Customer relationship management systems are management tools that streamline your interactions with your customers. Given that many customers will flat-out abandon brands following a bad customer service experience, businesses should welcome anything that helps on that front.
A standard CRM functions a lot like a database that consolidates customer info into one, easily accessible place. That lets customer service reps pull up relevant data, such as location, purchase or subscription history, and warranty information. This also lets the customer service rep skip right to the purchase or transaction in question.
An all-in-one CRM offers a vastly extended set of functions. This lets them operate as integrated business systems that cover everything from marketing to task assignment and even VoIP services.
With those essentials out of the way, let's jump into the benefits of a CRM.
Improves Customer Service
Poor customer service is one of the most common complaints people have about dealing with any business. It's even worse when it's over-the-phone customer service. People must often endure a long wait and multiple menus before they can get to a human being.
Then, once they get to that human being, they must explain who they are, what product or service they bought, and only then can they begin the process of resolving the issue. It becomes even more frustrating if they get disconnected and must call back because it invariably means going through the same steps and explanations.
With a CRM, most of the information is right there in the system, which limits the amount of time the customer spends explaining what they bought. A good CRM also includes an option for taking notes during a call. That lets the next service rep pick up where the last one left off in the case of disconnection.
Limiting the total call time for each customer means shorter waits and happier customers. The faster the customer can get to their problem and find a fix, the better they'll feel about the entire interaction. Happy customers recommend companies that offer good customer service.
Most CRMs offer a range of marketing tools. For example, you can often build entire email marketing campaigns inside the system and automate delivery.
You can use these systems for both current customer contact, lapsed customer contact, and even lead generation, assuming you maintain good list control.
Some CRM systems also offer automated voice campaign features. With those, you load up a list of customer phone numbers and the system calls them a prerecorded message.
Another of the big benefits of CRM solutions is the boost in efficiency. Using one system for sales and marketing, as well as customer service tasks eliminates a lot of problems.
You no longer worry about whether the marketing department will format files in a way that your sales department's software can interpret. All of the information goes into one system, so you escape the need to import and export data altogether once the system is up and running.
Many businesses spend a disproportionate amount of time on customer acquisition over customer retention. That helps explain why some companies face unacceptably high churn rates in their customer bases.
The reality is that getting new customers costs you a whole lot more than keeping customers. Unless you sell high-ticket products or services that qualify as one-time purchases, repeat business is a cornerstone of maintaining a consistent revenue stream.
A CRM makes customer retention a much easier task. For example, you can often set up your CRM to automatically send out an email to customers who don't make a purchase within a certain amount of time. In most cases, it's a basic, "We miss you, here's a discount on your next purchase," email.
Makes Scaling Easier
Not every business will scale up, but many do to one extent or another. As you scale up, the number of customers and amount of customer service required will scale up with you.
A well-designed CRM will make that transition with you. It will allow for rapid expansion of your databases, as well as the increased number of emails and calls.
That scaling capacity frees you from the problems of transitioning over to a completely new system, such as lost productivity, at a time when your business and employees are already under stress.
How to Choose CRM Software
The question of how to choose a CRM software package hinges a great deal on your specific needs. You can go through your entire business and build a list of your needs. Then, you can go out and look for a system that ticks all of those boxes.
The all-in-one option makes life simpler. You may not use every feature, but you will get all the features you do need. Instead of worrying about the features, you can focus on finding one with a good user interface.
Make sure you pick ones with a free trial, so you get a clear picture of what you're getting before you spend any money.
A CRM and Your Business
While very small businesses and solopreneurs can often get by without a CRM, almost any growing business will benefit from an all-in-one CRM. You eliminate headaches before they even occur.
Plus, you get all of the benefits like improved efficiency, better customer service, automation, and simplified scaling. You also get the benefits of folding in marketing, sales, and outreach into one system.
Halsell specializes in CRM software. For questions or to get started, contact Halsell today.