No matter your industry, product, or service, tracking details about your potential and current customers is critical to inform key sales and marketing decisions. However, that data often lives in a variety of places (i.e., emails, spreadsheets, and databases) which can make it difficult to get a holistic view of a customer’s journey and manage interactions accordingly. That’s why many businesses invest in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform such as Salesforce or HubSpot.
Using a CRM to aggregate and connect data about your customers can help improve internal team collaboration and ultimately provide abetter customer experience. But how do you make sure you are getting the most return on your investment and fully utilizing your CRM capabilities? Regardless of provider, here are a few tips for deriving the most value from your CRM.
1. Engage and empower your users. Adoption rate is a key success factor for rolling out any new software across your organization. Make sure your team is trained and on-board with using the platform. This includes utilizing available trainings and communicating the value internally, so they know how and why to use it. Setting up your CRM architecture with your end-users in mind can also make a big difference in adoption.
2. Ensure data quality and consistency. CRMs are most(and arguably only) useful with quality data. This means data that is up-to-date, accurate, and consistently tracked across teams. Developing standard operating procedures can help ensure your organization is consistently updating the same type of information about their customers, making the database more reliable.
3. Leverage reporting. CRMs offer advanced reporting capabilities that, if used correctly and regularly, can save significant time compared to sorting through the raw data in Excel. You can set up shared views and reports ahead of time that provide answers to commonly asked questions on your team, improving collaboration and minimizing the number of one-off requests for information.
4. Streamline with integrations. Most CRM platforms offer a suite of integrations with external applications that you are likely already using. Taking advantage of these integration opportunities can not only create automations that save time, but also help you conduct more accurate and targeted outreach to leads. It’s important to evaluate your technology ecosystem as a whole and identify areas of redundancy or manual processes that could be eliminated with integrations.
Improving customer intimacy through better experiences is becoming increasingly critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. When properly utilized, CRMs can be a huge asset to your organization’s customer experience strategy and a worthwhile investment.