Building a Customer Relationship Management Strategy

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A successful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Strategy is the cornerstone of a successful CRM implementation. In this post we’ll outline some of the building blocks you should consider before you even begin evaluating software packages and vendors.

3 of these building blocks are actually in the title of this blog post; namely Customer, Relationship and Management.

Customer

“We put the customer at the heart of our business” – How many company mission statements feature this statement or similar? How many organisations actually achieve this or even put in the systems, processes and training to take them on this journey?

Mapping out your customers’ desired experience when interacting with your organisation should be at the core of your CRM strategy. Your CRM strategy needs to cover every touchpoint your customers or prospective customers have with you, from the first time a potential customer comes into contact with your organisation through the entire customer lifecycle.

A CRM strategy must encompass all the business systems and processes that deal with customers, including sales, marketing, customer services, technical support, engineering and finance to name the most common functions. In addition, it should include all channels that the customer interfaces with, including call centres, retail stores, online and mobile self-service as well as direct sales.

Relationship

Whether you are an eCommerce business, only selling products online, or a professional services business, providing complex solutions into corporate businesses, you need to build relationships to drive repeat business and grow margins as well as keeping your customers happy with the services that you provide.

Today’s customers are constantly evaluating the relationship they have with the brands in their lives, and a few missteps could cause your organisation to lose customers. Conversely, if you can consistently impress your customers with a knowledgeable, personalised, right-first-time service, you can dramatically increase their lifetime value and drive recommendations.

Understanding what relationship your customers want with you, and you with them, enables you to build this thinking into improving the touchpoints and experiences. You may decide to segment this activity into size and value of customer, business and consumer or vertical segments.

Management

So, you’ve mapped out who your customers are, how, where and why they interact with you, and designed a customer experience that you believe will deliver happy, long-lasting and profitable customers. The next stage is how you manage these new experiences and how you would like your CRM solution to help you get there.

Management guru Peter Drucker famously once said, “what gets measured, gets managed.” This applies in particular to the challenges firms face in measuring their customers’ experience and its impact on the firm’s performance.

Understanding the Key Performance Indicators that you’ll need to measure within your CRM solution will be critical to managing your customer experience and your sales upwards. Creating reports and alerts to produce real-time, recurring or ad-hoc insight allows your teams to react quickly to customer demand and issues as well as flagging issues and escalations in a seamless way.

You’ve now built three of the main building blocks of your CRM strategy; customer, relationship and management. What else should you consider?

Data Cleansing and Migration – Clean and valid data is at the core of any CRM solution.  Consideration should be given on how to make sure all data is passed to the CRM from any additional platforms and how the data flows out of the CRM to any relevant platforms. What processes will you need to ensure data integrity at every stage of the customer life-cycle?

CRM workflow – Determine the stages of relationship with prospects/customers, map out the moments for contact interaction, and identity the necessary workflows required by employees to make it happen.

Feature requirements – Talk with employees that will be using the CRM system to determine the most important features and processes so that the system is selected and built in a way that meets the most important requirements.

System selection – Research different solutions to determine the one that most thoroughly meets your CRM strategy, feature requirements and budget.

Training – Training is a key element to determine adoption. Investing in one-to-one or group training, as well as continued support, will help to establish adoption and unlock the value of the system amongst employees.

We’re here to help. ViewPointCRM has been developed to help complex organisations serve their customers better through integration with legacy systems, developing robust workflows across teams, developing fit-for-purpose quotation and pipeline management tools as well as providing robust reporting tools. Get in touch with our team today or book a demo.

 

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