Posted by Indusa Admin on August 22, 2016 4:51 am
One bad experience can cause otherwise loyal and repeat customers to look elsewhere, ultimately impacting your bottom line. It’s become more important than ever to empower customer service and in order to do, you need to be using the right technology.
That’s why it’s imperative for your business to fully utilize its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Instead of using it solely as a transactional database, your CRM can be used to form a genuine relationship with your customers.
As Robi Ganguly in Forbes , “Thinking of people in term of prospects, leads, and contacts — even if it’s only in CRM — seeps out in unintentional ways. You begin to treat those people as such, instead of what they actually are: human beings.”
By truly emphasizing the “relationship” aspect of your CRM, you gain a breadth of knowledge and insight as to who your customer is and how you can nurture that relationship throughout the buyer’s journey. Using this data proactively and strategically leads to your business providing top-notch customer service for your customers.
Empowering Customer Service with CRM Software
Provide the Information Customer Service Teams Need
- 82% of customers say they’ve stopped doing business with a company after an experience with poor customer service, according to a study from TechCrunch.
“There is no part of an organization’s workforce that touches the customer as much as the agent does,” said Barton Goldenberg on “Yet all too often, organizations undervalue or underestimate the role that agents play, and fail to arm them with the right tools to do their jobs well.”
That’s why it’s vital to empower your customer service department with metrics that matter.
Adam Toporek, recognized customer service expert, author of blog explains.
“In customer service, an ounce of proactive prevention is worth a pound of reactive cure. A solid CRM system can help organizations create frictionless, personalized experiences that will prevent many common service issues from occurring in the first place. Frontline service teams are only as good as the information to which they have access. In my workshops and training, I’ve found that some of the greatest challenges frontline service reps face are a lack of timely, accurate information and a lack of visibility into a customer’s history. For organizations both small and large, a CRM that provides current, actionable information can be a powerful tool for delivering value across all parts of the customer’s journey.”
By using a CRM, customer service managers can look at data in the aggregate, such as the total number of tickets received, which channel the ticket was received on, and how well the agent responded. Was the issue the customer had resolved or abandoned? What was the average wait time versus the average resolution time? These are questions that can be answered using analytics.
Additionally, customer service agents themselves can use a CRM to ensure that customer satisfaction stays high. Perhaps a longtime customer has an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Using data from the CRM, agents can prioritize customers based on the urgency of their issue to have a high first contact resolution rate.
Create a Genuine Relationship With Your Customers
It’s Friday night and you want to eat at your favorite restaurant. When you call to make a reservation, the hostess knows you like a table for two near the bar. When you arrive, you are greeted by name and are promptly seated. When you order your drinks, the waiter knows you like extra lemons in your iced tea. When you order your burger, the chef knows you like extra pickles. When you’re eating dessert, the owner shakes your hand and thanks you for coming in. When you leave, the hostess mentions upcoming specials and wishes you a “good night.”
That is excellent customer service based on forming a genuine relationship with the customer.
The same scenario can be applied to whatever industry your business is in by using the data and predictive analytics from your CRM.
“CRM applications help you better understand your customers, including their purchasing history,” said Nigel Burton on . “Determining common characteristics of your most profitable customers enables you to focus on boosting relationships with these clients and identify where to center efforts on securing similar leads.”
By leveraging the data in your CRM, you can make your customer feel like they’re the only customer in the world!
The predictive analytics can suggest not only what item your customer will want next, but when they will want it, too. By looking at their buying habits, you can determine what time and day of the week your customers are more apt to make a purchase. If you see a customer is coming back frequently for repeat business, you can set up a rewards program that incentivizes future purchases with discounts or exclusive offers.
This all amounts to a highly-personalized and intelligent relationship which, in turn, makes your customers happy.
“Making (and keeping) customers happy has benefits that stretch beyond simply having satisfied patrons,” said Stephanie Walden of . “Happy customers are more likely to refer your service, product or business to their friends, family and colleagues — and this grapevine effect is invaluable.”
Keep Customers Happy and Focus on Retention
According to the acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
As you shift focus from acquisition to retention, you can use the data from your CRM to provide an exceptional customer experience post-sale. Once your customer gives you their trust and makes a purchase, it’s important to immediately begin nurturing that trust into loyalty.
The data from a CRM solution can be a catalyst for a personalized, incentivized loyalty program that can continue to keep customers happy. A loyalty program can provide your customers with a reward system to accrue points, coupons, discounts, rebates, early access to products, gamification, exclusive news, offers and much more. Starbucks recently attributed their record growth to the My Starbucks Rewards.
A study stated that 68% of millennials wouldn’t be loyal to the brand if it doesn’t have a good loyalty program. A loyalty program is important, but if it’s weak, customers aren’t going to become advocates of your brand.
“By providing loyalty programs for current customers, small-business owners are not only saying thank you but are also motivating them to continue to be their brand ambassadors,” “They can easily spread the word about a business to their professional, personal and social networks, helping small-business owners increase their customer base even more.”
Your CRM contains more than just a database of leads and existing customers – it’s an incredibly powerful tool that forms a relationship with your customers throughout the entire buyer’s journey and most importantly, empowers customer service.
If you use your CRM solution to empower your team, yourself, and your customer experience, you will maximize your potential to deliver exceptional customer service and keep those happy customers happy.
- Winning at Customer Service with CRM
- The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a CRM
- How Dynamics Is Delivering Superior Customer Service
About the Author – Chris Krapek
Chris is a journalist-turned-digital marketer who has diverse experience working for non-profits, corporations and startups. At Indusa, he focuses on cultivating an engaged audience while emphasizing the importance of alignment between sales and marketing.