15 Overlooked Best Practices in Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
To uncover the often overlooked best practices for customer relationship management (CRM), we sought insights from CEOs and Marketing Directors. From actively seeking and utilizing customer feedback to adopting a proactive problem-solving approach, here are the top fifteen insights shared by these industry leaders.
- Actively Seek and Utilize Customer Feedback
- Optimize CRM with Regular Data Cleansing
- Couple CRM Activity with Human Interaction
- Leverage Predictive Analytics and Maintain Human Touch
- Ensure Multi-Channel Integration for Consistency
- Implement No-Pressure Marketing Emails
- Emphasize Post-Sale Engagement
- View Customers as Humans, Not Numbers
- Integrate Accounting Tools with CRM
- Provide Continuous Support and Training
- Harness the Power of Personalized Communication
- Integrate Feedback Loops into CRM
- Convert One Time Consumers into Loyal Customers
- Use Data Segmentation for Targeted Communication
- Adopt Proactive Problem-Solving Approach
Actively Seek and Utilize Customer Feedback
One often-overlooked best practice for customer relationship management (CRM), from my experience as a digital agency owner, is the importance of actively seeking and acting upon customer feedback. While many businesses collect feedback, not all effectively use it to improve relationships and services.
It’s crucial to have a structured feedback process in place. This can include regular surveys, post-project evaluations, or simply encouraging clients to share their thoughts openly. However, the key is not just collecting feedback but also taking concrete actions based on it.
For example, when we receive feedback from our clients, we don’t just file it away; we analyze it and use it to refine our services. If a client suggests improvements or expresses dissatisfaction with a particular aspect, we take that seriously and make necessary changes. This not only demonstrates our commitment to their satisfaction but also strengthens the relationship by showing that we value their input.
Optimize CRM with Regular Data Cleansing
Despite the technological advancements in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, many organizations fail to realize their full potential.
One often-overlooked best practice is regular data cleansing. CRMs are only as effective as the data they contain. Outdated contacts, duplicate entries, or incorrect data can lead to missed opportunities or misguided marketing efforts.
By scheduling quarterly audits and clean-ups, our B2B SaaS company has reduced bounce rates in email campaigns by 15%. Regular data maintenance not only improves accuracy but also boosts CRM system efficiency, ensuring marketing and sales teams operate at their peak.
Couple CRM Activity with Human Interaction
The CRM is a fantastic lead-nourishing tool. However, you want to couple the CRM activity with activity from real-life human beings. We could double sales from inbound requests for information by putting a human face to all contacts with potential customers.
For instance, immediately after someone hits the submit button on a webform from one of our websites, the person gets an email from our CRM that looks like it was sent from me, the CEO. The brief message just says, “Thanks for requesting information. I have forwarded your information to one of our excellent consultants…” In the message, I introduce the consultant by name and give a little of his or her expertise.
The email also includes a Calendly link to the consultant’s calendar so the new potential customer can instantly schedule a Zoom meeting with the consultant.
Your customers want instant gratification. If you use your CRM to help you connect your customers with people who can answer questions, sales will increase.
Leverage Predictive Analytics and Maintain Human Touch
Drawing from my experience as the CEO of EchoGlobal, I’ve noticed a recurring oversight in CRM: the underutilization of predictive analytics. Many organizations employ basic CRM tracking but often fail to fully leverage the potential of predictive analytics to anticipate client needs. Our most successful initiatives at EchoGlobal stemmed from preemptively understanding the potential challenges our clients might face, allowing us to tailor our approach proactively.
Furthermore, beyond mere data-driven strategies, there’s an art to CRM: maintaining the human touch. We’ve found that a combination of regular face-to-face interactions (or virtual ones in today’s environment), along with data insights, creates a holistic, trusted, and efficient client relationship. Always remember: data informs, but people connect.
Ensure Multi-Channel Integration for Consistency
One often-underestimated best practice in CRM is ensuring multi-channel integration for a consistent customer experience. Customers today connect with businesses through various channels like email, chat, social media, and in-person visits. It’s easy to overlook the fact that customers expect the same smooth experience regardless of the channel they choose.
Customers don’t see each channel in isolation but as a representation of your brand in general. If the service quality or information differs across channels, it can result in confusion and frustration. On the flip side, when your channels are well-integrated, customers can move between them effortlessly, which makes their lives easier and sets you apart from the competition.
Implement No-Pressure Marketing Emails
I’m a big believer in the power of the absolutely zero-pressure marketing email. We’ll send our customers birthday greetings, holiday greetings, and also moving anniversary greetings. This is a great long-term investment for us because it makes those customers a great source of referrals and recommendations for others long after they’ve moved.
Emphasize Post-Sale Engagement
Through my interactions with various CRM systems, I’ve recognized that the emphasis on post-sale engagement is often lacking. Many businesses focus primarily on the acquisition phase, neglecting the post-purchase experience. Regular check-ins, appreciation notes, or even educational content can enhance customer trust and encourage repeat business.
Building a strong post-sale relationship is vital not just for retention but also for turning customers into brand advocates.
View Customers as Humans, Not Numbers
Remember, they are humans too. With customer relationship management software packed with metrics like email-open rates and lifetime values, it’s easy to see customers as mere numbers on a screen. However, behind every statistic are people with individual feelings, experiences, and preferences.
We have an industry-leading customer satisfaction and retention rate, and it’s because we have always rooted our strategy in customer obsession. We think true customer loyalty stems from genuine care for every customer and an unwavering desire to provide them with value through our products and services.
While many businesses work backwards from their metrics to shape their customer strategies, we work towards better numbers by seeing each customer as a fellow human that deserves the best we can give them.
Integrate Accounting Tools with CRM
CRMs are a great way to manage interactions with customers. What most people don’t realize is that CRMs can easily integrate with accounting-automation tools as well. Accounting can take up a lot of time and resources, not to mention the headache during financial closing.
Luckily, integrating your accounting tools with a CRM allows you to reconcile your statements in real-time. This way, your team does not have to worry about maintaining tax files and cash-flow statements. This will help you save time and resources.
Provide Continuous Support and Training
While putting in place a CRM system is essential, ensuring that your team receives thorough training and ongoing support ensures that they can perform to their full potential. Many businesses spend money on CRM software but often neglect to train their staff on its functions and benefits.
Users can be empowered to utilize CRM solutions efficiently by attending regular training sessions, having access to user guides, and having a dedicated support team. This improves efficiency, data precision, and overall CRM adoption, which has a positive impact on customer interactions and business results.
Harness the Power of Personalized Communication
One often-overlooked best practice for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is personalized communication. Businesses often neglect the power of consistent, personalized messages in maintaining and developing customer relationships.
It’s important to collect data to understand personal customer preferences, their purchasing history, and their previous interactions with your brand. Leverage this data to create tailored communication strategies. Engaging customers through personalized emails, promotional offers, and other content that cater to their preferences and needs will both enhance satisfaction and cultivate loyalty.
Make sure your communication is consistent, and not just post-purchase, so your brand stays at the top of mind and you demonstrate a genuine understanding and appreciation for your customers. This will positively influence customer advocacy and retention.
Integrate Feedback Loops into CRM
One nuance in CRM that often goes unnoticed is the integration of feedback loops. Many organizations collect customer feedback but fail to loop it back into the CRM system systematically.
By integrating real-time feedback into the CRM, businesses can not only address grievances more proactively but also identify patterns, predicting potential issues and preemptively addressing them. This proactive approach not only resolves problems but also demonstrates a genuine commitment to customer satisfaction.
Convert One Time Consumers into Loyal Customers
Often overlooked in CRM is the importance of post-purchase engagement. Many businesses devote enormous resources to recruiting new clients while ignoring existing ones.
After a customer makes a purchase, it’s critical to keep them engaged and interested. Send tailored follow-up emails, surveys, or unique offers to express gratitude and solicit feedback. This interaction keeps your brand at the forefront of their thoughts and assists you in identifying areas for improvement. Furthermore, it can result in repeat purchases and convert one-time consumers into loyal customers.
Use Data Segmentation for Targeted Communication
One often-overlooked best practice in CRM is data segmentation. It’s critical to understand that not all customers are the same in order to create great customer connections. Segmenting your consumer base means splitting it into smaller groups based on shared criteria such as demographics, purchasing history, or behavior.
You can then adjust your communication and marketing efforts to each segment’s individual needs and preferences. This ensures that consumers receive relevant messages, resulting in greater customer engagement and satisfaction. For example, if you own an e-commerce site, you can categorize your users as “frequent shoppers,” “occasional buyers,” and “window shoppers.”
This enables you to deliver unique offers or product recommendations to each group, enhancing conversion rates. Segmentation can improve the efficacy of your CRM approach and assist you in developing better, more meaningful interactions with your customers.
Adopt Proactive Problem-Solving Approach
An overlooked best practice in CRM is proactive problem-solving. Customer service is mostly focused on solving issues as they arise. Very few brands focus on identifying problems that may arise later. This proactive approach can help prevent major issues. Brands can do this by collecting regular feedback and deriving valuable insights from it. They have to monitor recent trends and predict customer behavior.
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