When the term customer relationship management (CRM) software comes up, it’s not unusual if the first thing to come to mind is a high-tech system built only for companies that can afford a dedicated IT team to handle it. While it is necessary for bigger companies to need really good software and a team to help them deal with the high amount of customer demands, CRM is also applicable for small businesses who are looking for ways to attract and manage customers.
The problem is, most people jump into CRM without thinking about what it is they really want out of it. They see an end, they see a path, but they don’t see where they are on the map to get there.
It’s all about building relationships
No matter what, CRM is all about building relationships with customers and having the right tools to manage them is important when considering your customer strategy. Yes, even small businesses have to consider their customer strategy and with the right customers not only can you build and maintain a good relationship with your customers, but bring in new ones as well.
Here are five factors to consider when getting a CRM system for your business:
- Identify your key areas of challenges
If you are looking into CRM, your first and most important step is to assess your current business and the way it conducts its CRM. What are the types of challenges your business is currently facing in terms of customer management? A lot of the usual problems SMEs face includes time constraints, lack of customer contact information, or even that your existing business processes lack definition.
Once you have defined your challenges, it will be easier to work on the next step.
- Identify your CRM requirements
Every SME has their own method of handling their customers, be it via the traditional way of calls and faxes to using social media and online platforms. Based on the earlier challenges you have noted, you will need to find a CRM that not only overcomes your challenges, but complements your strengths as well.
- Identify data flow
Where do you keep your customer data? How do you acquire them and how do you wish to utilise them in the future? The data you gather from and about your customers is important in your future endeavours in them, and having the right CRM that can follow up to the way you currently collect the data is key for a smoother transition.
With the increase usage of smartphones today, it’s possible to do work anytime and anywhere. If your small business requires you to be contactable all day, or if you want to extend your support to customers everywhere you go, be sure that you can use your CRM freely on your mobile, with the right amount or even the full abilities you can get when using a desktop version.
- Most importantly: easy to use
The system has to be simple enough that even someone with no IT background can understand it. If you are the one using the system and you find it too complicated for you to use, then that is not the right CRM for you. There are many CRM systems out there that are designed to make your CRM journey simpler and less complicated, so keep looking and know what to look out for.
Whether your company is big or small, you will always have to deal with customers. This also means that you will need to create awareness, generate new market potential, new leads and ways to manage your customers. With the right CRM, you can do all this and more for your business. Most importantly, remember that CRM is all about gaining and building trust with your customers.