Most small business owners I talk to still manage their customer base from their mobile phone contact list or a spreadsheet. Today's technology never applied to them as the cost of $100s per month or more plus the thousands in implementation costs far outweighed the potential benefits. With so many options to choose from the high costs are removed from the equation when you work with Cumulus. With the barrier of entry removed what are the benefits for a small business and why do their need a CRM?
Keeping regular communication with clients ensures they remain a client. Communication is key, but the key is not just sending an email it is all about tracking what you said and when you said it. It ensures that when you are dealing with your educated customers they are not getting the same message twice or worse getting different messages each time. A number of sales people that I have worked with over the years all state communication is key. It is also about the timing of the communication and the consistent message. A CRM solution will enable tracking, reminders and management of your communication.
Management of Tasks
What needs to be done and when does it need to be done by. The follow-up calls, the sending of a quote, the chasing of a quote, the checking on progress or the simple call to say hi/how is it going. There are many tasks that should and need to be managed as part of any small business. Typically this has been managed in your calendar or on your phone. The lack of association with a customer means that it is not traceable nor repeatable. We all have those 8 - 10 successful steps that need to be done to keep the customer happy. What if that was automated? What if it reminded you that you needed to do each of these steps by a certain date for each customer? What if each customer is slightly different and you needed to change the process? That is what a CRM can do for you.
Working on the go
No matter where you are and what you are doing you can update and keep track of what needs to be done. Having a fully mobile CRM either on your phone or tablet ensures that your office travels with you. Whether it is a client visit or a project visit information is presented and/or collected which needs to be stored/updated in the CRM. This information needs to be tracked and instead of waiting to get back to the office or home to update your mobile CRM will enable you to update on the go.
Automation of business processes
There are many tasks that have to be done and completed each day and each week within any business and all of which take time. Through integration with accounting systems, email systems and calendars automation can improve efficiency and enable the refocusing of time. For example, the simple process of taking a quote and making it an invoice; sending the invoice or providing reminders; and stock delivery to stock ordering. There are many business processes that can be handled through automation and such automation of even the simple processes, and making them available in a customised CRM that has workflows and triggers, can streamline your business.
Gaining customer feedback and looking for continuous improvement in your business processes ensures that you remain competitive and still in business in the future. The best feedback is often gained from the customer insight post sale, post project or job. Using some automation within your CRM you can use free and simple tools like survey monkey and others to gain that feedback and insight. This can occur as an automatic trigger within your CRM to send a message that has a survey to gain that feedback 7 days post the event. Customer feedback is one pathway to Customer Retention and with continuous business improvements a successful business can not only “stay in touch” with their customer base but also grow with them.