Customer service representatives are the frontline when it comes to solving your users' problems. Whether you're providing a service or a product, you need a top-tier team of agents available to assist anytime an issue comes up.
There are a lot of different ways to ensure that you have the best customer experience possible: regularly train your employees, employ multiple channels of customer support so your users have options, and make sure they have the right tools. Among these important tools is what's known as a customer relationship management app, or CRM.
Organization and automation are made much easier than in the days before CRMs, and the technology is only getting better: they can give your team the power to handle a larger amount of tickets more efficiently.
So what exactly is a CRM, and how will it benefit your entire team? Here's your guide to customer relationship management.
What is a CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a platform that collects and organizes complex information. This information can include customer data and other customer information regarding your users in an easy-to-access format.
Your CRM system holds all of your contacts. It might include their name, phone number, email, and perhaps their place of work.
While all of this is useful for personal work, it doesn't really come close to what your sales and support teams will need to be as successful as possible. You'll need other types of CRM for those teams.
A CRM solution will collect all of that same personal data and more, including the business of the prospect, and organize their profile with others from the same business, who on your team has already been in contact with anyone from this business and any inquiries that have already been sent their way.
Imagine that you work on a sales team at a large technology company, and you want to reach out to a prospect at a company you believe would be interested in your service.
CRM platforms let you see whether or not anyone else on your team has already messaged vendors regarding their interest in your company and whether or not they were, in fact, interested in anything that you could offer.
This is all extremely useful information for your sales team as well as others. The user insights collected aren't limited to conversions but can also be utilized by other departments.
Common CRM Phrases
CRM's, like any other technology, tend to have their own language that they use for certain things. While some of these may be familiar in another context, these terms are important and helpful to know within the CRM that you use.
Simply put, the contact is just a person with whom your sales team reaches out to. Just like in the contact app on your phone. Contact information includes multiple forms of contact, the individual's names, business, and potentially more.
Within a CRM, the contact is generally associated with a company account to organize them further.
A lead is a contact with whom you are pursuing a sale. Generally, they've already shown interest in your service or content and are marked as such.
After you've identified leads within your contact list and spent the time reaching out to them, you find out that they're genuinely interested in your business. This turns a lead into an opportunity.
By opportunity, we just mean that they have become a likely potential for conversion.
You may have heard of a quote before in regards to sales. A quote is the estimated cost of what they would like out of your product.
The difference between a quote and the cost is that the quote is specialized to their specific circumstances, how much they're looking for and whether you include special offers.
The deal is the end result: whether you made the sale or not. These are Won or Lost deals, but really they're just records of the overall sales experience.
Profiles within the CRM are the people within your company. Contact, lead, or opportunity information can be passed between profiles whenever necessary or helpful.
CRM's are useful for sales teams, support teams, and marketing teams. The term "campaign" in this context typically refers to a marketing project.
How long a project exists, what was executed for the objective, and how successful it was would be logged within the campaign.
A tag within a CRM is an additional location for more information. Whether it's for contacts, leads, opportunities, or sales, they allow users to add more context.
Tags help filter out specific subjects that can be particularly useful for searching for something later when you or another profile is searching for something.
Activity is anything that happens within the CRM. Whether it's new messages, won deals, added leads, or more.
Activity, depending on the CRM, is usually presented in a larger timeline window so that profiles can view and skim through recent activity.
How Much Does A CRM Cost?
When it comes to getting a quote on a CRM, you'll have to consider how many users you want access to the tool because that's how they charge your company. Estimating how much a CRM will cost you depends on a number of factors.
How large is your business?
What will you be using it for most?
What aspects are essential for your objectives?
How much support will your team require?
There are a lot of CRM options on the market, so if finances are an issue, especially if you're a small or growing business, there's one that will suit your needs.
There are free CRM apps to choose from; granted, you don't get all the same bells and whistles; they would certainly get the job done. If you're looking for more options and have the budget to pay for a CRM, you can end up spending anywhere between $5 to $75 per user per month.
That's a pretty wide range of costs, but they all come with a wide variety of tools that will fit your team. Analyze and identify your company goals and decide what you'll need to accomplish them, then research and findthe right CRM for you.
Advice for Optimizing Your CRM
Once you've found the CRM user interface that matches your business perfectly, implementing it into your system shouldn't be too difficult. CRM's are designed to make the sales process, marketing campaigns, and customer retention teams easier.
Use One CRM Across Your Business
Depending on the size of your company, this might not be too much of an issue. A small business will immediately see the benefit and convenience of using one CRM.
However, if you're integrating a CRM into a larger system with multiple departments, it will be critical only to use one tool across your whole company.
Commit to the CRM that you choose because while a powerful CRM can interface and sync with multiple different inboxes and browsers, it might have difficulty functioning in tandem with other CRM's.
Keep Everything Within The CRM
As we mentioned above, the CRM is designed to make your and your team's lives easier, automating and organizing data between you and the customer so that your business can focus on interpersonal relationships and sales.
But some people might still like to use their separate systems. Maybe you have a salesperson who's used to inputting calendar plans into their phone. Or a marketing member who writes everything on sticky notes.
The CRM can join all of the profiles you purchase, and some of the major benefits of it come from the shared information amongst your whole company.
Make sure that all of your employees are putting everything into the CRM so that the data is available across the company. This is what the CRM is designed for and how it will be truly beneficial. This also includes any Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media information.
Make Sure Your Customer Loyalty Team and Sales Reps are Regularly Trained
CRM's tend to update every now and then, which is a good thing. With the way that technology is moving forward, you want your salesforce to be equipped with the latest tools available.
However, this also means that you'll want to make sure your team isregularly training on the tools that they're using. You don't want to be behind on the software you're using.
A Customer Relationship Management tool can really boost your customer support and sales team's abilities and proficiency. Automating some of the more mundane elements of support so that your team can focus on the personal elements is one of thebiggest benefits.
Do your research and analyze what your team needs, then pursue the best CRM for your company.