If you’ve ever taken an economics course (and even if you haven’t), you know that supply doesn’t mean much unless there’s some demand on the other side. With a nearly endless supply of products available to choose from, consumers need some special incentives to pick your unique brand over the others. Maybe you’ve connected to them through a marketing campaign or an advertising slogan that’s especially resonant, but if you don’t have a multi-million dollar branding strategy, you’re probably going to have to look elsewhere. And even if you do have tons of cash to blow on ads, you’ll still need to make sure those customers keep coming back after their initial experience with your business. High-quality products are part of the package, but so is high-quality service.
How can you remind customers that they’re more than just a dollar sign to you?
Simple: Customer relationship management.
CRM makes it easy to keep track of the people who make your business tick. With CRM, you can take a holistic approach to each customer as a unique individual, tracking tastes and trends as they develop throughout a shopper’s time with the company. When customers call in with questions or email their complaints, CRM makes it easy to keep track of correspondence and respond in a timely, tailored manner. With customer service like that, who could resist coming back for more?
Of course, picking a CRM system can be complex. Much like buying a house or a car, or deciding on what breed of dog to get, there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider – like size, fit, capabilities and price. Just like with ERP and other business IT solutions, striking the right balance between advance technology and intuitive ease-of-use is crucial.
“Try to define your rationale for installing a system up front before you begin discussion with vendors,” Scott Holden, director of product marketing at Salesforce.com, told eCRMGuide.com. “Make sure that you put the user community at the center of defining your requirements. Too often CRM experts lead the selection and companies end up buying a complex solution that has comprehensive features but may not solve the user challenge.”
The key to finding the perfect CRM solution lies in finding out exactly what it is that your company needs solved. Be honest with yourself – what are your biggest challenges? What would make it easier for you to do business they way you want to? Chances are, there’s a CRM package that offers what you need.