The realization that healthy customer relationships are the key to successful and profitable business has led to a big boom in the customer relationship management technology. However, despite the obvious benefits of managing customers well, there is a large proportion of businesses that fail to utilize their CRM packages properly and to their advantage. A Forrester study of 150 companies has revealed that 18% of the respondents have confessed that the fault lies in inadequate CRM strategies. Some practical insights into the development of a profitable CRM strategy:
Define Your Goals
It is a no-brainer that since any strategy should help the company to achieve its goals, the CRM strategy can be no different. Therefore, it makes sense to get a fix on these goals before attempting to implement a CRM strategy. First, decide on what the organization is out to achieve and only then can you plan a way of achieving that. Since it can be very difficult to chalk out strategies for achieving very broad goals, it will help to break them down into smaller and more specific objectives and then conduct a mapping exercise to try and achieve them; of course, no strategy should be rigid as you may have to alter course to take care of ground realities.
Prioritize Your Clients
Many businesses go on record that they treat all customers the same way thinking that by saying that the smaller customers will be loyal. While this sounds very nice, in real life, every business needs to prioritize their customers by actual or projected profitability and take care of them to ensure that they stay locked in with the company. New customer acquisition can be extremely expensive and it makes complete commercial sense for companies to implement a CRM strategy that focuses more on building loyalty and retaining existing customers. Every company has to decide the metrics according to which it will segment its customers and then go full tilt in keeping them happy with CRM, customized with advanced tools like Flosum.com, a change management platform native to Salesforce, the premium CRM solution with a dominant market share.
Ensure Your Employees Are Invested
One of the most common mistakes that organizations make is to implement a CRM strategy that is designed to keep customers informed and happy while ignoring the vital role played by the employees in the strategy implementation. Unless you make sure that the employees are involved in each and every step, it is quite likely that the CRM will fail to realize its objectives simply because the employees are ignorant of how the strategy works and what the goals are.
Make Changes in the CRM Strategy in Phases
When certain aspects of the business are not performing optimally, it is natural to tweak the policies and/or technology responsible for the mismatch immediately, so that the damage can be minimized. However, if you attempt to make too many changes at the same time, it can lead to confusion and destabilization of employee morale as they might be inclined to think that nothing is working right. If you want to make changes in the CRM policies, then you should ensure that you explain to the employees just what is currently wrong and how it is proposed to be set right. The best way of doing this is not to make too many changes at one go because invariably this will lead to confusion and negatively impact employee morale, productivity, as well as business profitability.
Each and every business has its own unique operating environment as well as challenges, and it is evident that even the most sophisticated CRM solution will not be able to accommodate every contingency. It is necessary to identify what is not working and then systematically address it without causing disruption. While CRM, even at its best is only a tool, it can prove effective in ensuring that customers remain the focus of your business when combined with a well thought out CRM strategy.
Sujain Thomas is a senior Salesforce developer with extensive experience of working with change management tools like Flosum.com. Sujain Thomas for CRM technologies is evident from her numerous articles published in both print and online media.