Many acronyms are bandied about in the business world. B2B, KPI and ERP all float to the surface of corporate alphabet soup. But that’s not to diminish their importance. In this post, we will the importance of CRMS, customer relationship management software, in your business.

Your customers are a little like guinea pigs

That’s the ethos of CRM. It demands accurate cataloguing of customer interaction, current and potential, generating data. Harnessing this, it’s possible to build up a picture of target audiences, tailoring promotions and products to their needs.

US President Franklin Roosevelt sitting in front of a number of microhpnes

That’s why your customers are guinea pigs. Love them as you would a pet. Experiment on them using different marketing and sales strategies, measuring the results, to ensure maximum customer retention. For that’s the goal. Research has shown keeping just an extra 5% of customers’ results means a 50% increase in lifetime profits.

And it’s an approach that worked for U.S. President, Franklin Roosevelt. His campaign manager kept a file on everyone he ever met, so in repeat encounters, he could cite personal information for a powerful effect.

In practical terms, how can your business implement effective Integrated CRM?

The first ingredient is customer data, generated whenever a customer interacts with your firm over a communication channel. This can be by telephone or email, social media or in person. But the common factor is that it is logged in the same format in the same system.

Such logging is possible with Khaos Control Cloud’s dedicated CRM screen, where – in either the Leads or Opportunities windows – metrics and comments are saved. The advantage is that data can be called up easily, rather than from different sources.

But data is only a necessary, but not sufficient condition, for successful CRM. It must be interpreted intelligently to produce actionable points. To what extent has your referral program increased sales? Did that BOGOF offer work? How about that seasonal promotion?

Comparing performance, before and after, quickly assess what works and what doesn’t with hard data. Then move on from defeats and extend victories. Khaos Control Cloud incorporates ability to export to .CSV, enabling straightforward number crunching in your favourite spreadsheet software.

CRM also has a dark side

It is not something that, with enough dedication, automatically pays off. Sometimes, it can become counterproductive.

Known as the CRM paradox, it means that extra attention heaped on customers, while shoring up loyalty, can drive away others who accuse the company responsible of favouritism. Just like any relationship, those outside can get jealous.

A good example is Amazon’s dynamic pricing, where it was discovered regular customers incurred higher prices than one-off visitors in a bid to increase the likelihood of a return visit. Not only did this prioritisation of new over existing customers potentially violate the law, but it infuriated long-time customers who demanded refunds.

Then there’s haphazard use of, and faulty conclusions drawn from, CRM systems. Billions are spent on CRM software, but research indicates less than 40% of companies equipped with it have adoption rates exceeding 90%. And when they do use it, mistakes can be made – an offer can be judged a failure, but if it was immediately after Christmas, this ought not to be a surprise.

How can you avoid these common pitfalls?

Staff training has considerable bearing on CRM’s effectiveness. Having everyone up to speed, working in the same way so that if anyone’s absent others can take their place, means your business applies CRM consistently and efficiently. Your workforce will have confidence first to use CRM software, then number crunch and see the signal in the noise, isolating offers and products’ effectiveness against control data.

Averting the CRM paradox requires no more than frequent and thorough performance reviews. And if you’re not receiving enough information, or if its quality is poor, why not run a survey with incentive of a prize to really put your finger on your customers’ pulse?

So, although a demanding beast CRM, the importance of customer relationship management software cannot be understated, particularly Integrated CRMs.

As you’d expect with a modern, online ERP solution, CRM is fully integrated into our ERP-on-the-go. Your growth is our growth, so we’re passionate about delivering solutions to help. Click through to sign up for our free demo and experience the benefit of integrated CRM for yourself.