Four Ways to Retain Customers Through CRM
A recent whitepaper from on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) services provider Salesforce.com, called Eight CRM Essentials: An Executive Guide to the Eight Must-Have Elements of Every Successful CRM Initiative, offers tips to help companies retain their valuable customers. Here are some of the whitepaper’s more noteworthy pointers.
1. Operate in real-time. Operate a CRM program to provide instant feedback. People don’t want to wait for answers.
2. Clean up your data. To succeed with CRM, find a remedy to the data-integrity problems prevalent in many businesses today. Follow this three-step approach to clean up your customer data and ensure quality data management:
* Capture. If you don’t capture it, you can’t measure it, the whitepaper points out. To get an accurate analysis of your business, everyone in your company must use your CRM system rather than storing data in offline sources, such as spreadsheets. Also capture customer information, such as leads, from your Web site.
* Clean. Once the data is in your CRM system, continually update it, removing duplicates and synchronizing changing data.
* Grow. Maintaining high data quality also means filling in the blanks. For example, some of your account records may be missing company information including revenue, number of employees, key executives and more. Grow your data by leveraging data service providers to help you fill in the gaps. Providing full details on customers and/or potential customers in one spot makes it easier to be effective at in-depth analysis and prospecting.
The quality of your data helps determine your potential for success. Creating an accurate, timely, information-rich, centralized view of the customer across all channels is a key to reducing costs, managing risk, and increasing revenue and profitability.
3. Get social. Community-building Web technologies and sites are some of the most popular and fastest-growing areas on the Internet. Through blogs, wikis, social and business networking sites, and much more, people are engaging each other online. Growing customer communities and engaging customers online can yield dramatic results in terms of customer loyalty and brand awareness.