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The Pareto principle is named after the 19th century Italian economist who first formulated it. He was interested in the distribution of land in Italy in his time, but it turned out his discovery was much more broadly applicable. Simply stated 20 percent of your customers produce 80 percent of your revenues.
It's important to understand that this isn't an inflexible law of nature and the division isn't always 80-20. Instead the Pareto principal is a heuristic, a rule of thumb. However it turns out to be generally true. A fraction of anything accounts for a substantial majority percentage of the outcome. Or, more generally, a relatively small portion of your input accounts for most of your output.
This is counter-intuitive. We logically expect that all units of effort will return the same amount of results, being equally effective. However in case after case that turns out not to be true.
This also explains why in setting goals it is more important to concentrate on results than effort. A goal based on effort, such as the number of sales calls made or lines of code written, is less meaningful than a goal based on results, such as sales accomplished or milestones achieved.
Applying the Pareto principle to your company’s effort can make you more profitable with less effort. A business that concentrate on more profitable things and giving less attention to the less important practices you can produce more with less effort.
The conclusion from the Pareto principle is that 20 percent of your clients are the key to your business success. Your business will benefit identifying those 20 percent and make an extra effort to keep them satisfied.
A Customer Relations Management System will help you find out those 20%. A profitable customer doesn’t mean the one who buys more. Rather it is the one who brings in the most revenue. Some high-volume clients may not profitable at all because they are difficult to deal with it and take more time effort to service them.
This doesn't mean that you should totally neglect the 80 percent of your clients who don’t bring the most profits. But it is more logical for your business to put most of your efforts into your top 20 percent of your clients.
CRM will help you to focus on the top 20% of your clients with your marketing efforts. Using the CRM analytics tools in your CRM system you can identify your most successful marketing efforts and concentrate your marketing efforts in those areas.
This principle helps you identify the kind of new clients you want to gain and keep. By analyzing your top 20 percent customers and their characteristics you can determine the kind of customers you want to go after and target your efforts accordingly.
You can test your marketing campaigns with Pareto principle. Twenty percent of your marketing efforts can be expected to produce 80 percent of the results. You need to find out which 20 percent of your marketing is the most successful and running comparative campaigns is a way to do that. A more general consequence of the Pareto principle is that you need to focus your efforts in all aspects of your business. Prioritize what is important and concentrate your efforts on that and you will be more productive with less effort.
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All clients are not created equal. Some clients are better than others and some are worse than most. You can sort your customers and treat them accordingly with a Customer Relations Management System.
A Customer Relations Management System allows you to do a sophisticated analysis on your customers' lists. It let's you see your clients more clearly and develop competitive strategies to target customers.
While dividing the clients' list can be done as simply as ranking customers by the size of their orders, the analytical tools with CRM help you take other factors into consideration.
You can segment your clients according to consistency of orders, sales cycle, the most popular products and other many different criterias.
With CRM you will find that not all of your high-revenue clients are equal. You can also find out customers' complaints and set backs in your relationship with these customers.
This is an important business strategy.It will let you see how you can increase product volumes, and do more businesses with these high-value clients by meeting their needs more efficiently.
Once you examine your client list in CRM it will also reveal the problem areas with some of your high valued clients. These are customers who require extra effort and handholding that cut into the profits from the sale. In fact it's not uncommon to find that even some of your high-revenue customers are more trouble than they are worth.
You will also find out that some clients who don't fall into the high-revenue category are actually more profitable than these high-revenue problematic customers.They deserve special attention, extra service and incentives to make the relationship even more closer.
The more information you have on your clients, the better you can plan to maximize revenues on your business investment. This only works if you use the information your Customer Relations Management system has collected. If the data is not used for creating business strategies, important opportunities will be lost in businesses.
A high-value client deserves extra attention. That includes forging closer relationships with these clients as well as offering them incentives and services beyond the average.
Conversely, your high-revenue, low-value customers need to be examined to see if the relationship can be improved. This isn't always the case. Some clients are difficult and there's nothing you can do about it. But in many cases, a close examination of the sales process and follow-up with these clients will reveal things you can do to help convert your problem customers into excellent customers.
As a rule, the difficulties with these customers aren't solved by giving incentives or additional discounts. Instead you need to examine the way you're interacting with these customers.
The place to start is by examining the customers' complaints, if any. Of course any complaints are valuable, but they're particularly valuable in terms of underperforming customers. They can tell you why the customer is taking extra effort and expense to satisfy. One common problem is unrealistic expectations, often caused by poor communication. If the client gets the idea that a product or service will automatically solve all his or her problems, they are probably going to be a problem for your business down the road when those expectations aren't met. It doesn't matter who is responsible for the misunderstanding, the result is the same.
One way to prevent this problem is to manage expectations. Make sure the client understands what a service or product can or can't do.
There are other sources of problems in the customer relationship, of course. It's important to identify them and, if possible, sort them out.
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Providing great customer service is a challenge for many businesses today.
Companies like Amazon and Zappos have raised in the bar in terms of what customers expect, and there are an increasing number of tools and technologies that businesses people can use to improve their support.
So, we asked 14 customer service and customer experience experts this question:
What's the biggest customer service challenges today's companies are facing and how can they overcome it?
Here's what they said:
Too many companies focus myopically on the infrastructure and technology to support voice of the customer (VOC), customer experience (CX), and enterprise feedback management (EFM) and neglect their greatest customer experience asset and feedback source: competent, customer-focused, and engaged employees who are both capable and inspired to consistently provide superior customer service.
A majority of companies employ capable workers who possess adequate job knowledge and demonstrate sufficient job skill. These employees know WHAT to do and HOW to do it.
Where most companies fail (and where the consistency of customer service quality routinely breaks down) is they stop there, assuming that employees are now equipped to consistently provide exceptional customer service.
How can they overcome this challenge?
What these companies overlook is the need to define and share the organisation’s purpose, which informs employees about their highest priority at work.
Employees need to know WHY they are doing WHAT they are doing HOW they are doing it.
Instead of just being given something to work ON (duties and tasks), employees must be given something to work TOWARD (purpose).
The result is a workforce that is not only capable of providing superior customer service, but inspired to do so consistently.
For most companies, the biggest customer service challenge today is meeting diverse customer expectations in public on diverse channels – email, live chat, telephone, face-to-face, and social media.
If you think far back in history, interactions with customers were local, one-to-one, and face-to-face, advances in travel brought diverse customers to businesses and companies then had to meet more diverse expectations. Telephone introduced the challenge of understanding people without seeing them.
Email brought the challenge of understanding emotions and communicating well with no tone of voice. Now with social media, companies face all those challenges with the extra pressure of doing it in front of the world.
To meet this challenge:
The degree of change that all service operations are facing is unprecedented.
It is clear that choice, availability, responsiveness and personalisation are all pretty much engrained in customer expectations.
Yet few service organisations have delivered the corresponding responses in terms of omni-channel, 24x7, real time and tailored customer journeys.
Budget allocation, business cases and ability to change at speed are still holding back the mainstream. A few are finding the real start point is about changing mind-sets and behaviours in the first instance.
As has been said before in many other contexts, 'you have to be digital to do digital'. This costs nothing apart from the willingness to leave behind familiar ways and learn new habits. The real challenge right now is us.
The customer’s expectations are changing. They are smarter and demand a level of service that is no longer compared to your competitor, but to any good customer service provider.
In other words, you may be in manufacturing, but you are being compared to the great experience your customer had with the restaurant they ate at last week, or the hotel they stayed at on their last business trip.
So, the first challenge is to meet the every changing and demanding expectations of the customer.
Another big challenge is technology:
Are you keeping up?
Do you connect through channels other than the traditional phone support?
Customers are enjoying “self-service” solutions that go beyond a website with a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
Customers want information fast, which is why they like instant chat, videos, and other solutions that help them get the answers they need without the hassle of calling a company and being put on hold while waiting for a CSR rep.
The challenge is knowing what’s right for your customer and your industry.
1. Many companies are still struggling to achieve a single view of the customer. Customers are walking into stores, placing orders online, calling companies when they have a difficult problem, self-serving and interacting with firms via the web and social media.
In their minds they are having ‘one’ conversation albeit across multiple channels with one organisation.
The challenge for firms is to integrate all of these conversations into one system, integrate that with order and account history as well as equipping staff with the right tools, training and authority to be able to deal with every and any customer problem or question that comes their way.
Companies know this, customers expect this but yet many firms are still struggling to pull this off.
One of the main reasons is that many firms are attempting wholesale and complete transformation and encounter too many problems along the way with legacy systems, culture, management style, staff skills etc etc.
However, perhaps firms should try to go slower in order to go faster and further in their efforts and start with a ‘pilot’ approach in one or two areas of their business where they can trial, test and learn from a new approach, adjust and then scale one they have it right.
2. Re-evaluating the role and value of customer facing staff. If we assume the above challenge is right then there is an additional challenge that comes out of that and that is how we recruit, organise, train and reward our customer facing staff.
In many organisations, retaining an organisational structure that is very silo based, is very focused on risk minimisation and limits the autonomy and responsibility of staff acts as a real hindrance to delivering then sort of service and experience that organisations want to deliver.
BT and Avaya in a recent report: SuperAgent 2020: The Evolution of the Contact Centre stated that:
“The primary function of the Contact Centre will be largely complex problem solving because products and services are becoming more complicated and more customers are using web, social and mobile self-service to do the simple, transactional stuff."
This type of 2020 scenario doesn’t seem to be the domain of employees that are paid, on average, 30 percent below the average UK salary.
Isn’t it time that we re-evaluated the role of customer facing staff, for us to give these roles the appropriate level of respect and value that they deserve and then recruit the right people, equip them with the right skills and tools and reward them well?
Many companies want to be customer-centric, but few actually plan or provide for that. They are challenged by viewing customer service as a purely reactive exercise.
Organisations focus on putting out fires instead of never creating them in the first place.
The best companies see proactive customer service as an important function in their organisation.
Having a customer experience mission is a key part of this. Ordinary mission statements saying things like "to be the best" aren't directing everybody in the organisation with how to delivery exceptional service to customers.
The well-known service leaders have missions that see serving customers as part of their core mission. Zappos and Southwest Airlines missions, for example, don't dwell on products or shareholders at all.
They both focus on providing service to customers.
If an organisation doesn't share this sort of focus, customer service will always remain an afterthought.
Service reps will be left to clean up very big messes again and again. And organisations will never stand out as being customer-centric.
I think a big challenge for customer service is making sure it’s an integrated part of the end-to-end customer experience. Customers don’t like to repeat themselves.
When an interaction starts on the web or an IVR and then transfers to a live agent, don’t require the customer to start from scratch.
Unfortunately, my research finds that about 80% of companies suffer from this “touchpoint amnesia” – forgetting customer information during a multi-touch experience.
The right technology can help, either by using one platform or through integration. However, it’s not just a tech issue.
Most large organisations also find customer-centricity hampered by a lack of cooperation across organisation silos.
Each department or function does its own job but sometimes treats one customer differently in marketing, sales, purchasing, and service.
Senior leadership, sometimes with the aid of a chief customer or experience officer, can help foster better collaboration and an improved total customer experience.
Customer service is about human interaction and solving problems. Often times under very stressful situations.
CSRs are usually under pressure to quickly solve the case which can make empathic interaction a challenge. But, empathy is number one. To be able to understand the emotional issues impacting the customers experience.
An additional challenge to ensuring that you have high-quality interactions with customers is in the area of empowerment.
If you want your people to act like it’s their business, make it their business. Empowering your CSR staff will lead to them never losing a customer over a stupid rule.
The biggest challenge lies with conquering the mindset of trying to drive customer service costs down, particularly using technology.
If the desire is to "win" the customer service wars in a niche (and to profit from the victory), the winners will be those who hire enough PEOPLE, amd train those people properly, recouping those costs through improved sales, lower customer acquisition costs, and better retention.
People CRAVE human contact. The winners will be those who build relationships, even if the process has short term financial hits.
Let's look at this question from the end and work back toward the beginning.
Assume that a problem has been overcome. That creates requirement for success #4: the ability to implement a desired change.
Going backwards one more step lands on #3: having a clear picture of the change you want.
Stepping back one more time gets to #2: finding the sweet spot between what customers truly want and what the business can deliver authentically well.
Finally, we arrive at #1. Its requirement for success are being able to listen to customers accurately and having the corporate will to do so.
In my humble opinion, the biggest challenge is #1 – getting the organisation to truly listen to what customers want and act on it.
Many brands I've worked with (successfully) have a predisposition to use ROI (return on investment) which is biased toward doing things the way that's best for the company – not necessarily best for the customer.
As a result, many cool ideas don't make it pass the first consideration cut because they don't meet a back-of-the-napkin ROI threshold.
That's too bad because I've seen data that shows many customers (especially those of commodity brands) truly want the businesses that serve them to do so differently.
There's lots of opportunity. The first challenge to overcome is to provide inside innovators with the latitude to listen to their customers' needs –then to do something about it!
The techniques to overcome this first challenge are proven and pretty straightforward.
11. John Ragsdale: vice-president of technology and social research for the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA)
TSIA surveys members about top business challenges, and we categorise all of our member inquiries to track which business challenges are generating the most questions.
While there are some interesting strategic and technical issues on the list of “what’s keeping people up at night,” including knowledge management and the retiring workforce, shifting service operations from supporting on premise to cloud technology, optimising renewals, and improving adoption of self-service, the number one challenge by far remains a more tactical problem: understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) for support services.
One of the key values of TSIA membership is benchmarking.
We track hundreds of operational and financial metrics from our members, show them how they compare to their industry peers, and provide guidance on how to improve problem areas.
Understanding which metrics to track, how to calculate them, what ‘best practice’ ranges are for the metrics, and how to move them, continues to be the #1 issue technology support operations are dealing with.
There are a number of underlying problems here.
Though metrics such as response time, resolution time, first contact resolution rate, operating margins and retention rates are common to all support operations, there aren’t any recognised standard definitions.
Most support managers were promoted because they were good support technicians, and as I experienced early in my career, there isn’t always much training provided to new managers on the science of support and the metrics involved.
Add to that the challenge that most technology companies have rapidly grown through acquisition and mergers, and information required for metric calculations may be spread across a dozen or more systems.
In my conversations with support executives about service technology, CRM remains a hot topic.
Not only picking the right solution, but also how to increase adoption by employees, how to standardise processes and data capture across global enterprises, and how to optimise reporting to automate metrics programs.
Having a good metrics program in place is critical to calculating ROI for any new technology purchase, and unfortunately, many companies don’t have a strong enough understanding of “before” metrics to accurately calculate the business impact of new processes or tools.
Here are some high-level guidelines to better understanding of support metrics and improving a metrics program:
Services and products have become commoditised. Competition is stiff and companies like Amazon are consistently reinventing ways to provide better and faster service.
When consumers evaluate your company’s service delivery, they are thinking how quickly and easily it was to do business with the Amazons or Zappos of the world even if those businesses are not direct competitors.
The companies that can deliver personalised service will be able to create and build relationships to positively impact bottom line revenues and profitability.
Organisations can meet these new challenges by employing technology used to enhance, not diminish that relationship.
Make sure any features added make it easier for the customer to do business and help provide a more customised experience.
Training and coaching for representatives must include teaching them to be welcoming, listening to underlying emotions, as well as what the customer is saying, and leaving the customer with the feeling that the company cares about them as an individual.
The right technology, coupled with the human-to-human touch, is a winning strategy.
There is an ever-greater emphasis on improving the customer experience as competition intensifies, margins shrink, and buyers more actively compare suppliers.
In this digital and social age we now live in, based on their last interaction, your customers are probably sharing how your company treated them—positively, negatively, or indifferently.
Instead of just meeting, talking about, and guessing what the customer experience is, make it a point to experience being your customer, so you can better understand your customer experience.
You may be delighted or disappointed with the results, but either way, you’ll be a much more effective champion for the voice of the customer within your organisation.
I think the biggest customer experience challenge organisations face today is getting executive buy-in.
Without company leadership committed to changing the culture and changing the company's focus to make both the customer and the employee experience priorities, there's no moving forward.
Companies might have localised or departmentalised efforts, but those will be silo'd efforts that translate to silo'd experiences for the customer. Without executive commitment, you'll never get resources - human, capital, or other - to execute on your customer experience strategy.
The most effective way to get executive buy-in is to build the business case. Identify your objectives and then align the outcomes and benefits tied to each. Clearly, the stronger the business case, the better.
Your outcomes may be customer retention, account growth, new business through referrals, culture change, etc.
Benefits might include cost savings and other efficiencies. Communicate objectives, outcomes, and benefits to gain buy-in.
To support the business case, show some quick wins, which can be achieved through service or account recovery examples or by listening to customers at a specific touchpoint, making improvements, and showing ROI.
To help build your case, focus on what's important to the customer as well as to the business; use a critical touch-point or moment of truth as your stepping stone.
Providing great customer service means never letting a customer down, and according to these experts it's more important than ever. Great service is what today's customers expect, and it's the key to building lasting relationships that will help grow your business.
If you'd like to learn more about how an integrated CRM/ERP solution can help you, check out 5 must-read reasons why CRM enables better customer service.
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By: Bryan Collins, Originally Posted June 30, 2015.
Reposted from original source here.
Your business will grow with the products you sell.How your business interacts with current and potential customers will determine the profit increase over time. At the same time, quantifying customer satisfaction cannot be achieved without first collecting and analyzing all the data. This is where CRM comes in. By collecting, collating and analyzing all past interactions with existing and potential customers, CRM becomes a strategy that can help you pull in more profit. Not only that, but it can be maximized as a marketing tool, since all your customer data is readily available.
By having a database of what your customers liked or disliked in your product, you can now move on to developing products tailored to that feedback. After buying a certain item, a customer might find it lacks something that could make it a better product. A CRM system can see this and assess if that feature is something all customers might need. If the feedback focuses in the same areas, then the product can be developed and improved with ease.
CRM can also look into the customer trend from point of inquiry to making the purchase. It will alert you if there is a gap or loophole, letting you address the problem accordingly.
Following the trend of what customers want is not easy. By having a CRM system, all your past interactions, meetings and even business presentations are recorded automatically. There is no need to go through piles of customer data, since all information will be stored in one place and can always be updated.
Knowing what the customers want is already one step ahead in creating the product they would want to buy or a service they would want to avail.
A CRM system will not just collate and analyze data, but it can also group your customers into different segments based on their budget or preferences. By doing this, you can make product or service suggestions to fit within their specified group and send out personalized messages or advertisements. This approach can lead to a big sales conversion rate for your business.
It will also make your customers feel affinity, since you remember what they purchased and are now offering a better product.
Satisfied customers can become loyal buyers when you provide products or services they want with great regularity. Not only that, but they can also encourage potential customers through their referral or just by raving about your company. With social media as the norm nowadays, customers can post comments about a product or service they liked and become indirect ambassadors for the business.
CRM as a marketing tool relies on the products or services you offer, but it also relies on actual customer feedback. By using CRM, you can come up with the right products and target the right customers who have the highest likelihood of needing that product. This flow of information, and the product modifications you make based on the feedback, reinforces your claim for quality products, and it also displays how well you know your customers.
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Organizations can gain new customers and gain new ones through CRM software.It’s difficult to attract new customers, but never fear: one way you can do this is by keeping your CRM system up to date. The writing is on the wall for marketers that CRM and e-commerce will be the fastest-growing business applications for at least the next few years. This post examines a few ways updated CRM systems and strategies can help maintain and gain customers.
Businesses that want to strengthen their customer relationship capabilities and reduce costs should always stay on top of their CRM software. E-commerce and CRM solutions are expected to see a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 10 percent in the coming years.
The statistical analysis of the need for efficient CRM comes from globalization, social networks, cloud computing, mobile computing, and many other causes that have a massive impact on the rise of customer expectations. People simply have higher standards for online business than they did a few years ago. Organizations have become more competitive for customers as customer loyalty has become a thing of the past.
Although CRM may not be at the top of your mind, you shouldn’t dedicate all your time to it. Achieving the perfect balance in the current generation of applications between your budget and your need to reach more customers is key. It’s difficult to find this balance, but as customer expectations for better experiences arise, good investments in CRM systems will help make the process go more smoothly.
As the environment changes around customers, businesses have to adapt and predict change as much as possible without focusing too much on it. Customers have become empowered with a wide range of mobile devices and options for interacting with companies. As a result, it’s difficult for companies to distinguish who is a contact and their relationship with the company.
After you find your balance point, you will find that it’s not always obvious what your customers expect. To effectively set expectations for customer experience, you might want to think of the first time a customer interacts with your company. Did the customer find your site through a direct search? Did he or she click to your site and browse through, perhaps leave an e-mail address for future contact? Was the customer directed to your site by a marketing campaign? At a minimum, your customers will expect you to meet any and all promises you make in campaigns and messages. These means of communication may do more long-term damage than good if they set unrealistic expectations, so always make sure your campaigns are on point and honest.
Because customer expectations are driven by multiple means of interaction, businesses have an opportunity to build engaging communication pathways to reach out to people. Companies can do this by considering different delivery models. For instance, an organization could transition from a products and services model to concentrate on experience and product. If their business manages millions of users, the company may not be interacting with all of them and will need to find a way to extend its reach to those they don’t interact with.
Client relationships drive businesses, and secure more sales through enhanced relations. It is a goal for many companies. This is mainly true for small businesses with limited resources. The better your company can manage customer relationships, the better chances you have to provide true value that leads to more profits.
With smart use of Customer Relations Management tools, you can discover who your best clients are and the specific needs they have. Then you can carry on the business of meeting those needs with value added products or services.
The concept of CRM has been around for a long time for business strategies aimed at encouraging an upturn in customer loyalty through the use of customer centric activities. Today's Customer Relations Management strategies involve the use of technology to make relationship management easier and more ultimate.
Customer Relations Management technology enable businesses to capture and use customer service, sales and marketing data to identify consumer trends and expectations that can lead to high value business opportunities.You could try to do this without CRM tools, but it would take a lot more time and resources, giving your competitors the edge.
While many large businesses readily turn to technology, small businesses are unwillling to jumping on the technology trend. Fifty-six percent of surveyed companies are planning to achieve a revenue growth by improving clients experience and engagement. However,only 29 percent of companies use CRM software to encourage this improvement.
What are the implications of these results? Your company can't afford to ignore customer relationship management and clients'engagement as a means to revenue growth, nor the technology that makes it easier. Customer Relationship Management technology helps you gather client data to find out, among other things, buying habits,product and service preferences, clients' values, purchasing power, and feedback about your business. Isn't it worth getting over technology reluctance in order to find opportunities with targeted consumers?
If your business is not capturing and analyzing customer data, then you are not engaging clients in ways that create additional sales. With manual systems, your response time to changing consumer demands is close to nil by today's standards.
Customer Relationship Management technology improves data analysis abilities and response time. Your role in making this work is to pinpoint and input this data into CRM. Data can be extracted from purchasing records, sales calls, feedback surveys or accounting systems. Once collected, date is synthesized into useful client profiles that highlight relationship-building and engagement opportunities.
Some small company owners might need help in discerning the value of Customer Relations Management tools. The right supplier or business consultant can provide a valuable service by helping small companies connect the dots between CRM tools, target marketing and relationship building. A CRM vendor can demonstrate how CRM infrastructure is used to decode customer data and show specific needs for specific customers, so choosing the right CRM vendor and service has the primary importance to success.
Use of Customer Relations Management requires planning and strategies for managing the introduction of the new technology. A successful roll out requires a systematic method that considers all impacted parties. For example, if current company operations do very little in terms of collecting clients data, managing the mindset and procedural changes take on even greater importance.
Incorporating new processes also requires standard operating procedures, employee training, and a champion to keep the project on track. Skip any of these and you risk a failed or problematic CRM implementation.
The benefits to using Customer Relationship Management Systems are real. A successful plan requires structured implementation that gives priority to change management. Small business owners with limited resources should look to outside professionals to help decide on specific CRM solutions, and then gather the rewards of the feedback.
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Customers value consistency in their dealings with your company, even in small things. If your sales department doesn't consistently follow up on phone calls, promises and other dealings it destroys customer trust and makes customers less likely to deal with you in the future.
This is even worse than it sounds. It's a truism in business that keeping customers is easier and more profitable than getting new customers. By some estimates each customer you retain is worth four or five times what a replacement customer is worth.
Obviously breeding customer loyalty is critical to having a thriving business and trust that you'll perform as expected is a critical part of getting and maintaining customer loyalty.
What makes this worse is that even long-term customers probably won't tell you when you've violated their trust. They will simply stop doing business with you. A few will complain, but for every complaining customer there are five or ten who will just walk away. The result is that you can be hemorrhaging customers and have no visible clue.
Keeping promises is critical to keeping customers. Even the most casual promise needs to be followed up on and fulfilled. This means that you should be very careful what you promise customers. However it also means everyone must be careful about fulfilling those promises that are made.
A well-maintained CRM system keeps track of all your interactions with customers and helps prevent any aspect of the transaction from falling through the cracks. It helps you keep your promises to customers, follow up with customer contacts and generally present a consistent, effective face of your business to your customers.
Of course a CRM system only helps if you use it consistently. All your people have to enter the details of all their transactions with the customers into the system in a timely manner.
You need to stress to your people the importance of entering everything into the CRM system and keeping it all up to date. Your sales force in particular may have trouble doing this in the beginning. It will probably take an educational effort, plus a little pressure, to get them to comply with getting information into the CRM system. This can be particularly difficult for members of your sales force who are used to keeping their own records in a spreadsheet or even with pencil and paper.
Once your people realize the value of the CRM system they will be more likely to comply and use it. However this realization may take some time and some urging from their superiors.
A particularly valuable feature of your CRM system is the ability to issue reminders when customer contact is due. This feature alone can significantly improve the efficiency of your sales force, as well as enabling your people to keep their promises to customers.
The combination of the organizational benefits of CRM and a relentlessly customer-centric attitude on the part of your people can make sure that promises are kept, delivered on and no customers are forgotten. This takes effort on your part, plus a well-functioning CRM system, but the overall benefits to the business are enormous.
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CRM Systems is a full-service professional service provider of end-to-end ERP and CRM solutions for the SMB business market.
We are experts at what we do.
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CRM Systems serves all of the United States and Canada with particular emphasis on the south-western USA, Ontario and western Canada.
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