In my Infusionsoft review on this blog, I talk a lot about customer relationship management and CRM software.
Customer relationship management means just what it sounds like it should, and can be a pretty large concept. Simply put, it’s the ability to manage all aspects of the relationship with your customer. At it’s base would be transactions and communication.
Small business owners often look for customer relationship management (CRM) software to help with what can be a very complex task. They need a system that can handle ecommerce to bring in the money, regular communications like email or newsletter or telephone, plus just something to keep track of all the information about the customers.
Okay, so it’s complex and difficult to do. But is customer relationship management important?
Absolutely! I’m just going to give a couple of reasons why, but you can probably think of several more that are important for your business, maybe even some that are unique to your business. At a minimum, I’ll bet that you’ll think of some things you wish you could do with your customers, but don’t because it’s too difficult with your current system.
It is far easier and cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new customer. Nearly every business owner knows this from experience. And to keep a customer, you’ve got to reach out and touch them every once in a while. Ideally you can communicate in more than one way and do it regularly. They’ve got to know you are still there and regular communication is the key.
Most people don’t buy the first time you put your business or product in front of them. In fact, many experts agree that most sales occur after 5 messages. That means if you aren’t sending more than 5 emails or newsletters or making follow-up phone calls you are losing a lot of sales. More sales is a prime reason to manage a relationship with your customer or customer-to-be.
Clate Mask, of Infusionsoft, talks about becoming “Master of the Moment” to ensure you are in front of your customer at the exact moment they are ready to buy. It’s a book worth reading.
Managing every single detail about every customer is incredibly complex, so most people don’t do it. In fact, most small business owners drop multiple marketing and communications methods in order to be able to manage just one or two. The power is really in having more than one way to stay in contact with customers; that is how to master the moment.
Finally, a real strategy, even a simple email strategy, is only possible if you are have effective customer relationship management. Being able to easily segment your customer list into different areas of focus can increase open rates, click through rates, and ultimately increase sales.
CRM software enables small business owners to keep existing customers with regular communication, be in front of customers at the exact moment they are ready to buy, manage all their contact details, and establish a basis for email marketing strategy. Customer relationship management is a critical component to business growth.