Customer relationship management (CRM) plays a crucial role in running a successful Small- & Medium-Enterprise (SME) - especially in today's fiercely competitive marketplace.
Many companies rely on a digital solution for their CRM needs, such as a CRM platform that consolidates and unifies all aspects of business-customer interactions into one easily accessible program. Of course, small to medium-sized enterprises that want to reap the benefits of a digital CRM system may need to expend some time and effort to change over their existing infrastructure. This change is often referred to as digital transformation.
There are many tools available that can assist SMEs to successfully achieve digital transformation in such areas as social media marketing and content planning, marketing automation, employee training, and project management. However, you may wonder: "What benefits will a CRM solution really provide to my SME?" Let's dive into 5 key benefits that CRM can provide.
The Benefits of CRM
1. A Superior Customer Experience
A well-designed CRM system allows you to provide a deeper level of personalized service to each customer. Research conducted by PWC found that:
"One-third of all surveyed customers abandon the company after a single bad experience. If there are more accidents, half of the customers will stop interacting with even their favorite brands."
A CRM solution can help companies to avoid this pitfall, and instead enhance the overall customer experience. This is accomplished in several ways:
- CRM software can record and archive the details of each individual business-customer interaction. This information often proves helpful in repeat transactions, or in resolving customer issues. It also allows company representatives to craft highly personalized marketing messages that are tailored to the customer's likes and interests.
- The CRM platform provides access to the accumulated customer feedback that your company has received from surveys, questionnaires, etc. Such data can yield vital insights that will help you to craft better customer experiences at specific touch points along the buyer's journey.
- Implementation of CRM protocols across the company will ensure that your customers enjoy a more consistent experience no matter what avenue of communication they are utilizing.
2. Enhanced Online Lead Generation
Research has shown that the implementation of a CRM solution leads to a 25% increase in sales, on average. Referrals can be a major contributor to such an increase. In fact, referrals comprise roughly 65% of all new business, and referred customers are 4 times more likely to make a purchase than customers that were not referred by a friend.
One of the best ways to generate more referrals, and more leads in general, is to give your customers the attention they need as they move through the funnel. A CRM solution can help at every stage of the buyer's journey, from marketing qualified leads (MQLs) receiving targeted promotions to "hot" sales qualified leads (SQLs) receiving prompt follow-up from a sales rep.
The versatility and convenience that CRM software provides almost always leads to a better online lead generation process for your team.
3. Optimized B2B Ecommerce
The integration between CRM and ecommerce can serve as a solid foundation for customer self-service. According to NetSuite:
"This self-service capability has traditionally been challenging to implement because the necessary information usually lives partly in the Ecommerce system and partly in the CRM system. An integrated system obviates the need to reconcile data across two applications while improving the customer experience and, likely, sales."
Additionally, sales force automation in the B2B sector can receive a major boost from the implementation of a CRM system. Sales reps that have to juggle multiple business accounts can easily get overloaded, which will have a negative impact on their relationships with certain clients. CRM capabilities help a company's sales team to target their B2B interactions more effectively by leveraging increased visibility into products that a prospect or client may be investigating.
4. Exceptional Customer Support
When customers need help resolving an issue, CRM can play a critical role in helping your team members to render prompt assistance. An automated CRM system can process typical cases through regular channels, and assign a support specialist to handle more complex issues.
For customers that initiate contact via email or the company website, many CRM programs come with the ability to automatically send a reply email confirming receipt of the customer's message, perhaps with the inclusion of a tracking number to the issue's ticket. Additionally, the email may contain a list of self-help resources relevant to the customer's specific problem, and a survey to gather more details around the issue at hand. Such features will help company reps to quickly identify the exact nature of a customer's need, and promptly provide the necessary assistance.
5. A Successful Customer Satisfaction Program
Customer satisfaction is one of the biggest indicators of current and future business performance. Studies have shown that approximately 78% of customers will give up on an intended transaction because of sub-optimal or poor customer service; and 61% of those customers will take their business to a competitor.
A CRM solution can increase your customers' satisfaction levels by means of such features as:
- Opportunities for easy and personalized feedback (such as brief customer satisfaction surveys)
- Detailed information on each customer, which makes highly tailored service an achievable goal
- Time-based prompts for rewards, promotions, and/or discounts for loyal customers
Getting Help for Your Digital Transformation
CRM clearly offers several advantages for SMEs looking to grow their brand and increase revenues. Granted, for many businesses it may not be easy to begin the process of digital transformation. It is hard to move away from the customary ways of doing business. Moreover, some business owners may have followed the advice of so-called "experts" in the digital CRM space, only to find themselves disappointed in the results.
Nevertheless, digital transformation provides a key competitive edge to companies in all sectors of industry. The fact is, most SMEs need the services of a reputable and experienced advisor to successfully achieve digital transformation. And the benefits will almost inevitably follow. For instance, our study found that Singapore SMEs that make the leap to a digital CRM solution can expect to see average revenue gains of 26%.
If you'd like to receive some help with your digital transformation project, be sure to explore our practical guide for founders and CEOs. It contains some important principles that can guide you through the process of adaptation. And reach out to us at Daptiv for help in CRM planning that will unlock all of these benefits for your company.