A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. Satisfied clients mean an increased likelihood of repeat purchase, as well as an increased propensity to suggest your goods and services to their peers because they are pleased with their experience. What’s more, they are more likely to leave positive feedback about you on forums and review websites adding to your goodwill and credibility.
However, disgruntled customers are even more vocal about their displeasure. In fact, majority of reviews on consumer websites talk about unpleasant experiences. They are more likely to tell more people about their negative experience than those who are pleased with your service, and are more likely to post on social media that you and your company are not worth a penny.
You can avoid this negative situation if you manage to get your customer’s feedback before they leave the store, where you would have a better idea of how to diffuse a negative situation and turn it to your advantage.
One way to do this is by handing out survey forms or actually asking each customer what they thought of your service. In big businesses however, this isn’t actually feasible and would only hamper daily operations. Alternatively, the best thing you can do is to keep track of your customer’s satisfaction and learn from the pattern to optimize your services in the future.
One way to do this is through customer relationship management (CRM). When paired with a reliable VoIP system, you would have the tools to ensure that your clients are pleased with your products and services, and you would find out what they don’t like in the first place.
Why do you need CRM
According to CRM resource site SearchCRM.com, CRM refers to “practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyse customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention, and driving sales growth.” It focuses on gathering information about your customers, utilizing different points of contact between the consumer and you. To do this, you have to optimize your website and ensure that your social media accounts, telephone numbers, the live chat functionality on your website, marketing collaterals, and your other assets, among others, are easily available and accessible to your clients.
Some companies, particularly start-ups, do not think that it is worth their while to invest in a sophisticated CRM system that will enable them to glean pertinent information about their customers. However, this isn’t the best method of approach as the data you can glean from your CRM system is invaluable to your growth.
For instance, with the right customer data analytics, you will be able to strategically plan your organization’s marketing, sales, and customer service efforts toward them. You can customize each platform to ensure that you are hitting your targets, and you will be able to understand your customer more in order to get more business. Here are other things you can expect to learn about your customers through CRM:
- Purchase history– This may seem insignificant if you are running a small business, but with the right VoIP system and a sophisticated CRM system, you will be able to track your customer’s purchase history. With this information, you can craft promotions that specifically target them, so you will then be reassured that you will get the right kind of attention and support you need for your promos.
For instance, let’s assume that you own a number of coffee shops in downtown Sydney. Many of your customers are mothers who wile the time away as they wait for their children’s schools to let out. Now, using your CRM system, you noticed that majority of these mothers would buy coffee and jelly-flavoured donuts. If the donuts are out of stock, then they probably wouldn’t buy pastries. From this behaviour, you can make the connection that the moms are buying the donuts for their children. So, you then roll out promos that specifically address this behaviour, such as offering coffee and jelly donuts bundles, or ensuring that you have enough stock of the donuts before school lets out. This way, you will then be able to get a significant response to your promotion.
- Customer concerns– This is integral if you want to improve on your business practices. Understanding and knowing your clientele’s common concerns would help you address problems to ensure that your customers are getting the service they want without compromising your company’s bottom line.
With a good CRM system in place, you would be able to clearly pinpoint these problems and you would be able to formulate proper methods to eradicate them before they can happen again. You would be able to break the cycle, so to speak, and focus on giving your customers the kind of service you want for your company.
These two benefits being articulated, there are even more benefits you can get if you link your CRM with an efficient VoIP system. While the two technologies are technically different, if paired together they can do wonders for your company.
How VoIP can enhance your CRM
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a revolutionary technology that streamlines the way we communicate. In its simplest term, VoIP means using the Internet for your communication needs, in lieu of traditional phone lines. Your company’s communication system is integrated with your VoIP system, which thereby minimizes your cost, enables you to make long distance calls to other offices without incurring exuberant charges, and optimizing your daily operations, among others.
VoIP is best optimised by unified communications, or a set of tools that improves the way you communicate, particularly within your own system. It enables your employees to communicate internally through instant messaging, and allows your remote employees to participate actively in all your company’s activities through video conferencing. It also enhances your email client to enable your employees to call, video call, or send a message to their email recipients. All these things can improve productivity and promotes multitasking, while at the same time providing valuable support to your remote staff.
Yet what does this have to do with CRM? See, if you pair your CRM system with your VoIP system, you would be able to realize that there are many things you can do with CRM. By integrating your phone system with your CRM, you would be able to do the following:
- Illustrate Professionalism– Through CrossPoint’s unified communication services, you would be able to record, monitor, and keep track of your employees’ phone calls. You would be able to see who is making the most outbound calls, who is handling the most inbound calls, and who is slacking off. Likewise, the recorded conversations will help you monitor how your employees are performing. For instance, you would be able to tell if they are not following your company’s procedures if they do not properly address a customer’s concerns, or if they would hang up if there is a disgruntled customer on the line.
The recording and monitoring function of your VoIP system will keep your employees on their toes, ensuring that they would be conscious of the way they converse with your customers. They would tend to be politer and more professional, particularly since they know that at the end of the day, a bad call would mean a bad record for them, which can translate to an unfavourable appraisal. It’s a win-win situation for you, as your employees would be enticed to engage better with your clients, while your clients will get better service.
- Gather Data– This was emphasised in the earlier part of this paper, but CRM is all about creating a database of your customers. With a trustworthy VoIP system in place, you would be able to see how long the calls take on average, and how long your clients are put on hold. This would help you make decisions that would improve your business as a whole; such as if you need to hire more people or to cut back your resources. Likewise, you can also take note of the common concerns of your clients so you can find solutions for them.
- Strategizing– Once you have all these valuable data through your VoIP system, you would be able to see what you are doing right, and where you should improve your services. You can also manage your leads and take note of customer behaviour, giving you an accurate picture of what aspect of your business you need to improve upon. Likewise, you can also use the data to craft unique promos or policies for your clients, as you would know what they need the most.
- Reduce Costs– Once you choose to integrate a VoIP system on your CRM, you can expect to see a greater return on investment. For instance, majority of companies offer a toll-free number when their customers call them. Majority of these calls are long distance, which are then charged to your company. By updating your phone system, you would effectively reduce this expense, as you would no longer have to pay the phone company by the minute. This means you actually reduce operating costs while at the same time generating more revenue, as you are able to give your clients the service they need, which thereby results to a higher customer satisfaction.
- Improve Bottom Line – With a sophisticated VoIP system integrated with your CRM, you would be able to see a shift in your expenditure, and would then see an increase into your earnings. You would be able to stick to your budget while at the same time have the opportunity to analyse your performance while at the same time improving your services to better serve your clients. Less expenses and happier clients equates to an improved bottom line.