When it comes to customer service and support, CRM systems are an effective tool that is used to keep businesses organized and their customers happy. Nowadays, businesses can engage with their customers anywhere, anytime, and from any device — instead of just making them wait in-line over the phone. This feat is made possible by a CRM system.

A CRM is made to house important information about a business, its leads and its customers. It gives an entrepreneur greater insight into who his or her customers are, what they want, and the type of relationship they have with your brand. All of this information provides context and background for your customer service staff who engages with these customers day in and day out. The more knowledge your agents have about who they are serving, the better they can serve.

CRM vendors have created customer service tools with a variety of features and functions to help businesses increase productivity and create more personal connections with their customers. Here are ways you can improve customer service and experience with your CRM.

Being that a CRM software has currently gone beyond customer service, we would also show you how your CRM can improve your business as a whole.

How CRM improves your customer service

1. It speeds up response time

Customers are impatient fellows. When they have a question, they want an immediate response. If you don’t respond in a timely manner, you risk losing that customer to your competitors. It has been found that companies are quite tardy about responding to their customers in real time. In fact, it was found that 62% of surveyed companies didn’t respond to customer support emails at all, and the ones that responded did so after 12 hours.

With a CRM software, you can speed up your response to customer inquiries by using ready-made email templates. With pre-made templates, you can answer the most frequently asked questions quickly by selecting the template from a knowledge base. Another benefit of using templates is that each email is made to be consistent with your brand and tone of voice.

2. Helps agents engage with customers through social media

The world of sales has shifted to the social media, and customers are seen making their transactions in these platforms. A lot of CRM systems are now built with this change in mind. With the aid of a CRM, customer service agents can keep in touch with customers through social media. They can identify key social media influencers within their customer community, and gain important marketing insights using the built-in analytics that are often provided by CRM systems.

3. Improves customer self-service

CRM systems usually offer knowledge management portals for customer self-service. These portals enable customers to access FAQ or troubleshooting articles without the assistance of an agent. Articles are available online, often in different languages to assist companies with an international presence. Some CRM solutions also let companies provide customers with their own online communities where they can ask each other for help, give feedback, and even voice their own ideas for new products and services.

4. Helps agent engage with relevancy

It is one thing to engage with your customers, and another thing to engage with relevancy. After you understand a customer’s business challenges and goals, you can recommend appropriate products or special promotions, or other content that’s relevant to their business interests, at the right time. With CRM, you will know what they have purchased and how they’re using your products or services, so you can provide the most relevant content and information.

5. It personalizes customer service

One way you can start creating a unique relationship with a customer is through personalizing your communication with  him or her. Customers can contact your company through a variety of channels, including email, phone and website. They can also contact you through different departments, such as sales, marketing and customer service.

CRM software captures all of these conversations over time, regardless of the channel or department they occur in – giving you and your entire company access to the same information. You can now use this information to give the customer a unique experience by addressing him by his name when he calls, and knowing exactly what the issue is without having to ask him to repeat himself. By personalizing your communication, you will see how your customers’ perception of your company starts to improve.

6. Enables customer service agents collaborate with each other in real time

CRM enables customer service agents to connect with customers through a number of channels, including social media, e-mail, or by phone. Agents can also collaborate with their fellow agents in real-time, from any device, in order to solve cases. They can easily flag issues according to their priority. Customer service agents can collaborate with each other to help customers, and create and share service documents across the entire team.

Businesses can create “premier” communities for high value customers, where marketers can place directed promotions or provide dedicate aids for the best service possible.

7. It helps to tailor services to customer’s needs

In order to win the heart and wallet of your customer, you need to proactively offer them a relevant product or service. A CRM system gives you knowledge of what your customers need by telling you what products or services they’re interested in, have asked for or have already bought. You also know what problems they have had before, and whether they were happy with the solutions you offered them.

In other words, a history of your customer interaction recorded in a CRM system helps you offer your customers what they really want, not what you think they want.

8. Improves Customer Retention

The ultimate goal of customer service and support is to quickly and effectively help customers and to retain their business. The purpose of service and support tools built into many CRM solutions is to help service agents do what they do better. When evaluating CRM, like all other aspects of the product, customer service tools should be carefully evaluated to see if they meet the needs of the company and its support team.

9. It provides a complete history of all customer interactions

When your customer support system is integrated with your CRM, every interaction (both automated and manual) is recorded and saved in the contact record. Going back to the point above, the customer service rep can reference previous issues, resolutions, interactions and more without having the customer repeat their story. This relieves customer frustration and gives your staff the ability to handle more customers in a shorter amount of time.

For your team and your organization as a whole, an integrated CRM and customer service provides greater transparency into your relationships and in understanding how a contact is communicating and engaging with your brand. It also gives you transparency into how your team is interacting with that contact. How quickly did they respond? Were they helpful? How was their tone of voice? All of this matters.

10. Predicts customer behaviour

But the most important thing a CRM does is to focus on your customers as individuals. By focusing on your customers are individuals – rather than as an entity – your sales will skyrocket. That’s because you get inside knowledge on what’s driving your customers – what problems they might have that you can help them solve, what ambitions they want to realize. It is by addressing these needs that you win your customer’s trust and loyalty. You probably know that blasting prospects with discounts and product information scares them away. With a CRM, you can track the sales pipeline and know when your customer is ready to buy from you. This information is critical for all your marketing campaigns, and the best place to track it is in a CRM.

11. Helps you keep in touch with your customers

A great customer experience is impossible without ongoing and meaningful communication. Every contact we have with a customer influences their decision as to whether or not they will come back. A CRM system contains a wide range of information about your customers and how they interact with your business – including past activities, conversations and purchases.

Use the data in the system to keep your existing customers updated with company news, offers, sales campaigns, or other initiatives. CRM software also allows you to segment the customers and address the right audience with the right message, instead of sending them all the same type of information.

12. Helps you obtain information through surveys

The new age customer is very talkative, and is always sharing opinions and information about products through various communication channels, such as social media. So, if you want to be the loop on what’s hot and what’s not, you’d better start ‘social listening’ to what he or she has to say. One way of doing this is by asking your customers for their opinion. Send them a survey through email marketing and ask them what they think of your products, services, and what can you do to make their experience better. In this way, you will show them that you care – and that’s exactly how you keep your customers happy.

13. Stay focused on your customers

By having access to information on customer interest and behavior, your sales reps can pursue the right opportunities at the right time, or collaborate with your marketing team to deliver targeted and useful content to your prospects. Selling becomes a more personalized experience that’s focused on the customer.

CRM data also helps you anticipate your customer’s needs before they reach out to you, and your support team can keep your customers happy by solving their problems as soon as they arise.

How CRM can help you grow your business as a whole

Customer relationships are key to your organization’s growth, so you need to manage them as efficiently and effectively as possible. Here is how a customer relationship management technology can help you improve business performance, and grow your company bigger and faster than ever:

CRM helps your sales department in the following ways;

  • Sell smarter

CRM allows sales reps to manage their deals and conduct all their sales communications from one central location. By integrating your CRM with your organization’s business tools—including email, calendar, and marketing automation software—your sellers don’t have to waste time and effort switching back and forth between programs.

CRM software also provides full insight into the status of every deal in progress, and helps sales managers coach their team, establish quotas, and track individual sales rep performance.

  • Never lose a customer

With a CRM, you can automate reminders for your team to reach out to leads at the right time so that potential customers are never lost. Seeing the upcoming actions for every deal removes the guesswork and stress from a sales rep’s day.

  • Stay in the loop of happenings

Modern cloud-based CRM platforms can be accessed from any device, which means your deals aren’t all stuck in the office. With mobile CRM access and smartphone notifications, salespeople won’t miss anything important, whether they’re on a plane, at a client site, or walking into a meeting.

CRM helps your marketing department in the following ways;

  • Know how prospective customers are finding you

CRM helps you track how prospects find your business—through online searches, trade shows, or specific marketing campaigns—so that you can determine where you’re getting the biggest return on your marketing investment.

By having access to your company’s sales interactions, your marketing team can better understand your prospects’ concerns and commonly asked questions, and use this information to create more relevant content.

  • Keep customers engaged

CRMs capture a wealth of valuable data that your marketing team can use to nurture prospects into customers and customers into advocates.

Modern CRMs also integrate with various email and communication tools so that marketers can create effective email nurturing campaigns, keeping prospects moving steadily through the funnel.

CRM helps customer support department in these ways;

  • Personalize the customer experience

Knowing the history of previous conversations with each customer enables your support team to deliver excellent customer service every time. By providing access to detailed customer notes and interactions, CRM lets your support team see the person behind each ticket.

  • Solve customer issues faster

Faster response times to support requests means a more enjoyable and satisfying customer experience. In order for that to happen, customer data needs to be a click away.

CRM links important customer information—including products purchased, customer history, and previous interactions—to each support ticket so that you can solve your customers’ issues quickly and more effectively.

  • Consolidate all customer communications

In addition to logging email conversations and phone calls, CRM can be integrated with online chat tools so that all support-related customer chats are saved in your CRM. Your support team can review these saved chats in the future, or send saved chat summaries to customers after completing service requests.

CRM helps business leaders to;

  • Measure and grow your business

Having access to data on sales opportunities, trends, and forecasts is critically important to crafting your company’s immediate and long-term action plans.

Business leaders can use CRM data to identify which markets and products are the most profitable, and evaluate how to adjust strategy in order to reach their goals.

  • Optimize team performance

CRMs keep business leaders up to date on the health of their business, and whether or not each team is on track to reaching department goals.

Real-time sales reports can help company leadership identify inefficiencies in the sales process, the return on investment for marketing campaigns, and if any customers aren’t receiving proper support.

Other ways CRM can help your business grow

Increase employee productivity

A research says that fifty-two percent of high-performing salespeople take full advantage of their companies’ CRM technology. Adopting the right technology frees up your teams from process-heavy tasks and gives them more time to connect with customers. Manual operations like hunting for contact information or entering data can be automated or eliminated from customer-related processes. Automation across sales, service, and marketing will free your employees so they can spend more time talking to prospective customers, strengthening relationships with existing ones, and moving the needle for your business.

Reduce the cost of sales

New customers are a key ingredient of continued growth, but they’re not easy — or cheap — to come by. The good news is you can offset new customer acquisition costs through sales to your existing customer base. Gain greater visibility into the upsell, cross-sell, and renewal opportunities in your customer portfolio and you’ll see an increase in repeatable sales, thanks to the trust you’ve already earned.

Collaborates the organization workflows

CRM system allows you to collaborate and interact within the organization on the issues faced by customers, they can be easily assigned and resolved collectively and this will also improve the understanding of everyone in the organization.

Allows you to predict the business needs

Historic data can be used for analysis of customer behaviors, needs can be analyzed and predicted, and sales can be realized before competitors capture the market.

Reduces costs involved in customer service

Customer service on its part is also financially tasking. A function CRM system can help you reduce some of these customer service costs. As the work flow is automated, the cost involved in resolving typical everyday issues is reduced.

It helps in lead generation

Through CRM, you and your team get notified regarding a lead when someone fills up an inquiry or a contact form or any other CTA (Call to Action) forms created by you. After that he or she becomes a prospective lead, and you can follow up on this lead to make a sale.

Develop a targeted marketing campaign

Your CRM system can help you target your efforts where they will yield the best results. Use your CRM to offer the right product or service to the right customer at the right time and for the right price. Remember your CRM information is the key for managing and choosing the right strategy for long term development through proper targeting.

Ejike Cynthia