You do get emails and offers on SMS from restaurants and e-commerce stores you shop from often, right? An e-commerce store would start giving you offers the moment you sign-up with them. All of this is nothing but CRM (customer relationship management).
The work done by sales forces and the promotional team in a business will go vain if CRM is not integrated in the marketing strategy of a business. This is because a brand never works if it has to look for new customers all the time. From a given point, existing customers should start making repeat purchases. However, due to competition, you have to make sure they come back to you.
So, what does CRM really involve, and how does it really work? Let’s check this out.
What is CRM?
CRM or customer relationship management is a part of marketing, where the company focuses on retaining its existing customers. The process involves maintaining a CRM database, which has the name, contact details and purchase history of all its customers.
You need a dedicated team that concentrates on these customers by building up a relationship with them. The more data you have, the better it is. This is because it helps you send more personalized messages to your individual customers.
For example, if you know the customer’s date of birth, you can send him or her birthday greetings on SMS or email. If you have an e-commerce site and have a customer’s browsing history, you can send some specific offers on what he or she has been looking for.
Various CRM Marketing Strategies
There are many ways in which you can perform customer relationship management for your brand. Some of the most popular methods used are as follows:
Email Marketing: This is one of the most popular methods of building relations with your customers. All you need to do is create a customizable email template and integrate email automation with your CRM software. This helps you pull those customers who are actually interested.
Social Marketing: Here, the medium you use to approach customers is mostly social media like Facebook or Twitter. Using SMS is included and very common. You must have probably received messages on Facebook Messenger for subscribing to certain news sites or channels – it’s a classic example of CRM using social channels.
Search Marketing: If your presence is mostly online, then search engines are the best way to remind your audience that you’re the best. When you’re doing your SEO, do make sure you include every detail regarding the demographics, interests and user behaviour of your existing audience. The same applies to your ads.
How to Go About It?
Once you have figured out the channels you want to use for CRM, the next step is to plan how to go about the entire process. You’re going to have plenty of customers and the number increases day by day if you’re good. Do you really think that maintaining all that data and sending out those messages can be done manually?
No! You’ll go absolutely crazy. Whether you have a team or just one person handling it, you will need CRM software that can automate the process for you. Believe me, that’s not as complicated as it sounds. You have plenty of open source CRM software and applications out there to help you. A free CRM system will make your work a thousand times easier.
The following are some of the CRM tools that you can use:
This software provides you with a customer contact center, sales pipelines, invoices, web forms, multi-channel communication, detailed reports, artificial intelligence and marketing automation. You’ll even get a mobile app for this if you want. Here’s what you can actually do with it:
- Gather data from multiple channels like web forms, emails and social media.
- Generate leads and create a sales funnel.
- Integrate instant messaging and other forms of automated communication with customers.
Microsoft released its Dynamic CRM software on November 2016. Their application is super-flexible and customizable. Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can now:
- Use AI to communicate and engage with your customers.
- Provide personalized services to your customers.
- Receive quality feedback that can help you with further planning.
This is considered to be the world’s No. #1 open source CRM application. This is due to the following features it provides:
- Helps you gain deep insights into customer data.
- Allows you to integrate with your other business systems.
- Has a community that provides continuous improvements.
The G-Suite web applications also include sales and CRM based apps like GMass, SMS Reminder, iCRM for G Suite, NetHunt CRM for G-Suite and many more.
If you can’t have even one person handling your CRM with a software, an alternate option that may be reasonable for you is outsourcing your work. One such company that specializes in providing professional CRM services is Salesforce Stock.
Salesforce CRM is known to be one of the best in the international market. Apart from that, they also provide several solutions for marketing, sales, e-commerce, analytics and more. You can inquire them directly to know about Salesforce pricing.
Benefits of Using a CRM Software
There’s no chance of doing CRM manually. It is practically impossible to just handle so many customers without the help of an automation software. Even companies providing CRM services use a software (usually their own) to carry out their operations. Here’s how they help:
You just need to make a few settings and this software will prepare detailed reports and databases for you. Not only that, it provides you with alerts, notifications and reminders for important things. More than anything, it automates the basic task of sending out messages so you don’t have to type them for every individual.
Whatever you need for doing CRM is provided to you by the software. Your job is to decide on the content of the message your customers will receive and instruct the software to do the job for you.
A lot of these CRM tools are free of cost. Some of them may even come at a price but are still reasonable. More than anything, you don’t need a very big team to handle your work because half of it is automated. So, you’re saving on the cost of hiring permanent employees too.
Enhances Relationship Building
The reason why you’re doing this is to ensue that your customers never forget you. In fact, when you are able to respond to them immediately, it leaves a better impression and pulls them towards your brand. It is the ability to automate your communication with the customer that helps you build better relations.
Removes Restriction of Place
There are cloud CRM platforms and applications available on today’s date that allows you to store and access data from wherever you want to – your mobile phone, laptop or office PC. Given that work from home is gaining more importance this year, this feature is important.
How Do You Plan to Go About Your Customer Relationship Management?
Without CRM, it’s nearly impossible to retain all your existing customers. Today, competition is so tough in every field that customer loyalty is fading away. To pull your customers towards your brand, it is important that you constantly communicate with them. How do you choose to do it?