4 Steps to Make CRM Easy
"Actions speak louder than words." It’s an age-old adage that's withstood the passing of generations, technological revolutions and social reconstructions. And it can be applied to almost every aspect of our lives, including business.
Any great retail business is built with customers at the center, but — as the adage would suggest — that means nothing if it can’t manage to put its CRM concepts into action. With just a few simple steps, however, any retailer can overcome common challenges to actually bring great CRM ideas to life. Here are four tips on how:
1. Tackle opportunities one at a time. Even if you’ve just had the most groundbreaking meeting guaranteed to make your company a CRM icon, take a breath. Don't make the mistake of trying to change everything at once. Instead, think about one opportunity and one only, and how it will bring about a solution. Breaking your ideas into a manageable outline will help keep your team focused on what the company is really trying to achieve, and will make it easier to spot potential problems allowing you to course correct preemptively. Following a sound process will ensure quality in the end.
2. Think about your bottom line. Just like how you make business decisions with your customers in mind, you should consider your business when working to improve its CRM. "Why does this matter to my company?" is a question you should seriously think about before moving forward with any CRM ideas.
3. Lay a foundation for implementation. Right about the time you start wrapping up your plan and are feeling confident about its message and target, its time for your team to ask a few questions about implementation. Simple, direct questions like "What kinds of problems will this solve?" "Who will own the execution of the plan?" and "How long will it take to see results?" and their answers will go a long way. This exercise will help provide a steady transition for your CRM ideas.
4. Catalog, adjust and repeat. As your company progresses through the implementation of several CRM plans, you’ll begin to experience less of a scramble as you operate at a higher level. Take it a step further by identifying opportunities to automate processes. This will save time and keep the ball rolling so your team can catalog its successes, adjust its settings and repeat the process for more CRM wins!
As a business grows, the importance of relating to customers on a personal level grows with it. Use these simple steps to take your CRM plans from earnest ideas to everyday action.
Scott McLaren is chief marketing officer for Fortegra Financial Corporation, a single source insurance services company that offers a range of credit protection, warranty and specialty underwriting solutions.
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