The benefits of having a small business CRM system

By June 14, 2012 July 16th, 2012 All members

Filing cabinetCRM = Customer Relationship Management System. According to David Willis, of Information Drivers (www.information-drivers.com) CRM can be defined as:

“A customer-focused strategy, designed to optimise customer satisfaction, revenue and profitability.”

The important thing is to have ‘all of your contacts in one place.’ It’s all too easy to end up with them scattered all over the place. I was talking to a client about this recently and I asked him how many contacts he had and where he kept this information?

“Er,” he replied, “well, I have quite a few within my email system. And then I have a few spreadsheets. I throw business cards into a box I keep underneath my desk. Does Facebook count?”

I went outside into the street and screamed.

You should be coming across new contacts all the time. For example, if you go out networking, you will be collecting business cards (what do you do with this information?) Emails are flowing into your inbox every day (where do you store the phone numbers, which are often found at the foot of emails?) Letters arrive in the post (you know – bits of paper stuffed into something called ‘envelopes’); and people call you on the telephone (do you keep records?)

The customer journey starts with awareness. People should be responding to your social media campaigns, press releases, talks, e-newsletters, advertisements, website(s) etc. Some of them will buy something (which is why I like to sell small things – to get the commercial relationship started). Some of them will buy larger products / services. All of them IMHO should be stored within your CRM.

By having all of your contacts in one place, you can segment them and keep track of the customer journey. I have reviewed various CRM systems within The Marketing Compass Manual, which is part of Navigator membership of The Marketing Compass.

I recommend that you register via the Data Protection ACT, particularly if you market to consumers.

Here is a Wikipedia article on the subject:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_Relationship_Management

According to Wikipedia, there are three phases in which CRM supports the relationship between a business and its customers: Acquisition / Enhancement / Retention. The customer acquisition phase should be preceded by some deep thinking with regards to customer segmentation.

As always – any questions – just ask.

 

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