Why Every Company Needs Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a system that connects different parts of a company through the

thread of customer relationships. Sales, Marketing, Accounting and Customer Service can all be tied together with a powerful, centralized CRM software made to retain customer loyalty, increase revenue, deliver consistent and efficient customer service, and finally, evaluate which customers to focus on.

Basically, every company has customers, and every company should maintain some basic information about those customers such as names, addresses, purchases, contracts, invoices, etc. Therefore every company should have at least some basic “CRM Technology” to track and serve their customers. 

Even small businesses use Outlook, Quicken or other applications for this purpose. If you use Microsoft Outlook for your daily communications, calendaring, tasks and appointments and need a way to track sales leads and opportunities, to share data across sales representatives, to improve the understanding of your sales process, to communicate with a broad groups of people on a one to one basis, to improve your business process in the most important area – sales, and need a reporting system that beats multiple excel spreadsheets, then you need a complete CRM solution.

Why ? Because a CRM software can increase profitability for your business by reducing current operating costs, usually in the call center or distribution system, and by increasing customer value through smarter marketing using customer data to increase customer profitability.

Can you do it without a CRM ? Probably, but not as efficiently because only a CRM is built to take care of Customer personal needs “centrally”, meaning that by using a single software, all the employees of the same company can access an organised database via Internet, where sales, customer service and management have access to the same customer data using tools such as “Sales Force Automation” (provides Lead Management, Opportunity Management, Account and Contact Management, Reports and Dashboards specifically useful for your organization’s sales team), “Customer Support and Services” (provides Ticket Management, Knowledge Base, E-mail Notifications specifically useful for your organization’s customer support team.), “Marketing Automation” (provides Lead Management, Mailing Lists, E-mail/Mail Merge templates, Product Management, specifically useful for your organization’s marketing team.), “Inventory Management” (provides Products, Price Books, Vendors, Quotes, Purchase Orders, Sales Orders, and Invoices specifically useful for integrating your organization’s sales, inventory, and accounting processes and enhance the sales effectiveness.) , providing a complete integration between pre-sales, post-sales, procurement, fulfillment, and other business processes within your organization.

In other words, a good CRM software will help you build customer relationships by setting mutually satisfying goals between organization and customers, establishing and maintaining customer rapport and producing positive feelings in your organization and for the customers.

Organizations that implement CRM and turn their business into e-businesses will find their competitors’ customers ready to welcome them with a “smile”. According to a study by IT Consulting firm Aberdeen – “The winners in this new economy will be those companies that can effectively leverage the Internet to redesign, automate and integrate all business operations”.

Take the plunge!

Either jump on board with CRM and invest, knowing you need it, or get out the calculator and pencil and start adding up what you’re going to lose!

One thing is for certain – a few short months after implementing your CRM solution, you’ll wonder how on earth you ever got by without it!

 Get Serious About Customer Service

excellent customer service is pretty much the only way you will convert visitors to customers. You can also increase your ROI and improve online sales with excellent customer service.

If you are truly serious about offering quality customer service, your best option would be customer service software. With customer service software you can reduce customer service costs and increase your conversion rate at the same time. All the while, you will be making your customers happier, which will lead to more sales and an increase in ROI.

Customer service software helps small businesses and large businesses alike by offering customer service messenger, support messenger and support messenger. These offer 24/7 customer service to customers and potential customers. They can also allow you track customers online and track consumer behavior online as well.

Customer service software can offer live chat help and/ore animated avatar help, animated avatar service, animated avatar support and animated avatar guide. Many people prefer the avatar because it makes them feel more like they are talking to an actual person.

Serious quality customer service means a serious customer service solution. Consider customer service software for your online business if you would like to convert visitors to buyers and improve your ROI.

Tips For Keeping Your Cool When Customers

1. Be assertive – not aggressive or passive. My definition of assertion is simple: “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t be mean when you say it.” Let this rule guide your conversations with all customers and you will always be confident, cool, and in control AND you’ll always be professional.

2. Speak more slowly. You’ll be amazed at how much more clearly you can think and how much control and confidence you experience when you consciously slow down your rate of speech. Speak slowly and methodically when your emotional triggers are launched and you’ll maintain poise during difficult conversations.

3. Wait 1-2 seconds before responding. Responding immediately to difficult or tactical customers could result in you saying something you’ll later regret. Before you respond, take a deep breath, wait at least 2 seconds, and think about the best response and the best approach.

4. Take a time-out. When you sense that your buttons have been pushed, take a break. You can tell the customer you need to put him on hold while you review a file, or whatever excuse sounds good at the time. The point is to get away from the customer for a few seconds so you can re-group.

5. Use positive self-talk. I’m going to sound like Dr. Phil on this one, but I’m quite serious. Instead of saying to yourself, “I don’t get paid enough to put up with this ____.” Say something more positive like “This guy really needs my help.” Thinking more positively helps you respond more positively and professionally. Negative thoughts lead to negative words, and it spirals into a very negative situation.

6. Show your power before you use it. Often, a subtle suggestion of your “power” is far more effective than the outright use of your power. As a customer service professional you may have the power to terminate a phone call. 

You could say to your customer: “If you don’t stop yelling, I will terminate this call.” But, believe it or not, you are far more “powerful” if you say, “I want to help you, but when you yell and cut me off, you make it difficult for me to work with you.” The latter statement demonstrates your power and your message most definitely gets across. The former statement uses up all of your ammunition and won’t usually diffuse an irate customer.

These incredibly simple tips will position you to keep your cool when customers get hot!

Here Is How To Turn Your Customer Complaint Into A Positive

The last thing we want to hear during our work day is complaints from customers. However, it does come with the territory. Here are a few tips on how to turn your customer’s complaint into a positive.

1. Listen

When a customer comes to you with a complaint about one of your products or services, listen to them. Listen to what they are telling you, and take notes if at all possible.

The number one thing a customer wants when they have a problem is for someone to listen to them.

Allow them to vent, let them get it all out. Once they have explained their problem in full, begin to ask any questions you may have to get a full handle on the situation.

While you are listening, body language is very important. Make sure you maintain eye contact. This sends your customer a message that you are taking them seriously.

2. Be Empathetic

When the customer is done explaining their problem, show sincerity by telling them that you understand how they feel. Apologize on behalf of the company that they feel the way they do, and tell them that you are committed to resolving their issue within the guidelines of your company.

By becoming defensive in this situation, you are taking a bad situation and making it worse.

By having an understanding of where your customer is coming from on the situation, and speaking in a calm tone of voice, you can clearly defuse the situation.

You don’t by any means want your customer to become angry and cause a scene.

3. Offer a Solution.

We have all heard the expression “the customer is always right.”

I don’t necessarily agree with this, but it is important to work toward finding a solution, even if the customer is in the wrong. For instance, you might try meeting them half way.

You will know wether or not your customer is a repeat offender, and you can handle the situation accordingly.

For customers who have a legitimate complaint, it is best to rectify the situation right then and there. Wether it is giving them their money back, or replacing their product.

Always leave your customer with your business card and tell them if they should ever have a problem again, they should not hesitate to contact you immediately. This will help them regain their confidence in you and your company.

The main goal when a customer has a complaint is to not allow the problem to snowball. Your objective should be to defuse the situation and retain your customer.

By handling tough situations such as these in a professional manner, you will find your once complaining customers satisfied that you resolved their issue, and a new found respect for you.

Learning The Act Of Customer Service Tips That Generate Referrals

How do you define good customer service? Does that simply mean the satisfactory marketing and sale of a product or service to a customer or does it mean something else? Is providing good customer service, good enough?

In these days of below average customer service, you may think providing good service will set you apart from the pack. Well, I am here to tell you that nothing less than exemplary service will help you succeed. By incorporating the “wow” factor into every successful sale, you will achieve greater profits and better customer satisfaction.

To achieve the “wow” factor, you must be honest, knowledgeable, friendly, professional and deliver on your promises. Do not over promise, but do not under promise either.

In addition, you must be able to provide a high level of service to everyone who comes in contact with your business. If you do, you’ll also get more referrals from your satisfied clients.

“Wow” everyone who comes into contact with you and your business. You want people to be blown away by the extraordinary level of service you deliver to your clients. Demonstrate your exceptional level of customer service by showing your generosity through gift giving. Your goal should be to deliver such a high level of service that your clients can’t wait to tell their family members, friends and co-workers about your company.

Everyone who comes into contact with your business is a potential client or referrer. Reward those who refer people to you by offering them a gift. Send gifts to all business associates in order to gain favor. This is a great way to build relationships with the people you rely on to do business. Look for a reason to send these people a thank you card along with a gift.

So, what types of gifts should you send? I’ll leave that up to your imagination, but here are some ideas to help you get started:

Movie passes

Starbucks cards

Flowers, houseplants

A ticket for a free car wash

Gift candles

Favorite recipes

Gourmet chocolates or gourmet popcorn

Successful sales people always make sure their faithful referrers are regularly and consistently rewarded. Set aside the best rewards for your top referrers. This may include:

Dinner for two at a fancy restaurant

Tickets to the opera or to a rock concert

A gift card

High end fruit or gift basket

Potted plant or flower arrangement

A personally inscribed pen

Yes, when it comes to gift giving the sky is the limit. The more personal the gift, the more likely it will be remembered and it will serve as a thoughtful reminder to your best referrers the next time someone is in need of your exemplary services.

Ways To Make Your Customers Feel Important

Two important pre-reading notes: Before you chose to read or not read this article, let make two things clear. Everyone has Customers. Even if you work in an internal staff department in a large firm, you have Customers. They are the people you provide work to. And second, don’t be put off by the term Customer. Maybe you call them Clients, Students, Patients, or (heaven forbid!) Users. If one of those words works better for you, read that word every time you read Customer. Now that I have eliminated your reasons for not reading, please continue . . .

We can read lots of books and articles about Customer Service strategies and how to build processes that will serve Customers more successfully. All of these things are valuable, but if we put all of our focus on processes, systems, strategies and procedures we may lose track of something very important.

Customers are people first.

This means that each of your Customers, like everyone else, wants to feel important. It a universal truth – we all want that feeling, and will gravitate towards those that make us feel that way.

Hint: Having Customers gravitate towards you is a very good thing.

Here are seven ways that you as an individual, regardless of any corporate policies or systems, can make Customers feel more important, written from the Customer’s perspective:

Please use my name. I know I may have a Customer or registration number and that I might need to give that to you. But I also know that once you put that number in the system, you know my name. Use it. If I hand you my credit card, now you know my name too. Please use it.

I want to be a part of the “in” crowd. That’s why I like being invited into Frequent Flyer clubs, frequent buyer clubs or anything that provides me with discounts, special services, education or surprises. If you have this kind of club, invite me to join. If you don’t have one yet, please think about starting one.

Ask me for my advice. I have an opinion, and if asked in the right way, at the right time, when I know you really care about the answer, I’ll give you that advice. Opinion cards may be OK, but I would love to be asked personally. Give me the chance to tell you what I think, and I’ll reward you with more of my business. I don’t often get asked for my opinion and it feels good. And who knows, you might even get a great idea for a new product or service.

Acknowledge me. I know you are busy sometimes. I can see the line. I even understand that your system might be down, or that you have five people in the phone queue. I’ve been there, I work too. But when I call or come by, acknowledge that I am there and let me know you are glad I’m in the line. A smile and a hello, or a “We’ll be with you shortly” will go a long way. Acknowledge me and I’ll understand. Ignore me, and well, how do you feel when you’ve been ignored?

Surprise me. A little extra something with my order or a hand written note would be nice. A special discount “just because” or a free sample of dessert. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, and it doesn’t have to be every time. If you get a good surprise, do you want to share it with others? Me too.

Apologize. I hate it when people try to prove they were right, or don’t mention that fact that the order is three days late, or the surcharge can’t be removed, or the item is out of stock. But again, I know things do happen. When things do go wrong though, please give me a simple apology. Here’s the funniest thing. When you make a mistake, and then apologize (perhaps even including a surprise of some sort) I’ll love you more than ever. 

Apologies and good service recoveries are so rare that you can take my dissatisfaction and turn it into loyalty, if you will do this right.

Listen. Most all of the other things I’ve told you require you to listen. I can tell when you are really listening to me and that makes me feel very good – because true listening is rare, sometimes even at home. Listen to my concerns. Listen to my ideas. Listen to my order, so we don’t have any misunderstandings. When you really listen, you can’t believe how good that makes me feel.

All of us can do most of these things each day. When we do we will make our work more enjoyable, easier, and quite likely will begin creating legions of loyal Customers immediately.

And before you go, read these seven things again, with the voice of one of your Customers in your head, as a reminder of how you can make each of your Customers feel more important.

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