Customer relationship management: a waste of time?
Customer relationship management is an often overlooked, but fundamental business activity, writes Chris Jones. It takes time to create detailed customer records and populate a sales pipeline, but this vital task provides the backbone for sales and marketing efforts.
Take the scenario of one of your team being away and a customer insists they were promised a new point of sale tablet when they placed their order. Was it agreed or not? How do you know?
Take a second scenario, where you want to understand the common customer needs in order to market the product effectively. Is the data available, meaningful and easily accessible?
To be most effective CRM needs to be part of a company culture, driven from the top down and made a core task allowing employees adequate time to implement.
Some of the benefits of effective CRM are:
- Quick referencing of customer information and contact history
- Tracking of the sales pipeline
- Prioritisation of marketing efforts according to business goals
- Easy access to current / future trends
- Analysis of lost opportunities
- Streamlining the customer handover process to new employees
- Improved business efficiency and effectiveness
CRM is a key touch point for sales and marketing to join and work together. The data gathered is valuable to both functions for situational awareness and decision making. Highlighting areas of strength and weakness for future focus, understanding customer relationships opens up so much possibility.
For long term business success and lasting, profitable customer relationships, managing them with a robust process is definitely not a waste of time.
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