3 Ways to Improve Your Use of CRM Technology

Improve your use of CRM technology

Among marketing experts, CRM, or customer relations management, is largely considered the best practice standard for strengthening customer loyalty today. Most commonly, marketers rely on CRM software to streamline the many tasks required to market, measure and improve upon customer retention strategies.

Among the plethora of marketing tools CRM software packages now offer, recent research shows that analytics and reporting (52%), campaign management (46%) and lead nurturing (46%) are considered the most useful marketing automation features. In this article, learn how each tool can improve your ability to get the most out of your CRM technology.

Tool 1: Analytics and reporting.

To a marketer, the analytics and reporting aspect of CRM technology is like the report card you get after running a campaign. How well did you do overall? Did you meet some marketing goals but not others? Where was the response from customers strong or weak? What could you do better next time?

Whether your analytics and reporting tools give you an “A” or an “E” (for effort, of course), they are your constant allies in seeking to improve results from advertising and marketing campaigns.

One critical tool is the post-campaign survey, which generates your NPS, or net promoter score. Your NPS is your indicator of whether your customer base is feeling happy, content and loyal or undervalued and inclined to stray towards your competitors.

The best part about the NPS survey is that it is not burdensome to your customers. There is only one question, which asks customers to rate their likelihood of recommending your brand to others on a scale of 1 (not likely) to 10 (very likely). Any customer who selects a 9 or 10 represents your promoter base. Customers that select a number of 6 or below represent your detractor base. Subtract detractors from promoters to get your NPS, which tells you whether your marketing efforts are on target or need some adjustment.

Tool 2: Campaign management.

In a nutshell, campaign management is the process of taking what your analytics have taught you and translating it into more effective future campaigns. Here, the cloud can be a true blessing, since it allows you to create, store, edit and retrieve large volumes of customer data, including email list groups, past NPS data, previous campaign analytics summaries and more effortlessly.

The most effective marketers today work very closely with their sales and advertising counterparts to ensure the most useful campaigns. Sales staff can provide vital intel about where each prospect is in the sales funnel (first contact, nurturing the lead, close to converting to a customer, already a customer, et al). Advertising staff can lend insight into the most cost effective means to reach each prospect where they are.

Together, it becomes possible to create a bigger picture of what will best meet the needs of each user group and wrap each element into future marketing campaigns. From a CRM perspective, campaign management may require any/all of the following:

List segmentation. Putting each prospect into a list group focused on their placement in the sales funnel.

Custom email campaigns. Creating a customized email message for each list group.

Email drip campaigns. Pre-planned and scheduled email/direct mail or other messages that are triggered whenever a new email address enters the system.

Incentives and rewards program. Pre-planned and scheduled email/direct mail or other messages that are triggered whenever certain parameters in the CRM for a particular user get changed.

Tool 3: Lead nurturing.

The process of lead nurturing is the most delicate task for any marketer by far. Take too much of a hands-off approach and you risk losing leads. Take too much of a hands-on approach and you risk coming across as a marketing stalker. There must be a fine-tuned balance to give your prospects and customers just enough information, and the right kind of information, to hold their interest.

Here, CRM technology can help you manage every aspect of lead nurturing, which today often boils down to sheer organization of data. CRM technology can help with each of the following:

– Keeping track of which users want to receive which types of emails (for example, product use how-tos, special deals and coupons).

– Keeping track of which users want email only, or direct mail only, or some other type of contact only.

– Keeping track of which users have made a purchase, which have indicated they are nearly ready to make a purchase and which are nowhere near making a purchase.

– Keeping track of any personal conversations, including what was discussed and any notes about follow-up contacts needed or requested.

– Automation of broadcast communications follow-ups such as RSVP reminders for invitations to events, nudges to take advantage of special short-term sales or deals, distribution of date-specific customer perks such as birthday coupons and similar others.

CRM technology offers so many different helpful automation and organization tools to make juggling a complex customer database much easier. While analytics and reporting, campaign management and lead nurturing are three of the most requested, most used and most powerful, the full impact of moving to a CRM-based marketing plan will only become clear when all of the modules are activated and in use by each department within a company. It is in this case that economies of scale are achieved in both employee time use and overhead costs.

In this way, each department’s individual efforts are enhanced by the complementary activities of other departments. Within the company, all departments are working with the same basic information using a single organization strategy. Outside the company, vendors, prospects, suppliers, partners and customers are all receiving consistent, clear communications.

Best of all, any messages that issue on the company’s behalf through different communication channels (email, social media, print media, video, et al) have a consistent brand and message that enhances brand trust and loyalty among customers.

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Kalyan Banga204 Posts

I am Kalyan Banga, a Post Graduate in Business Analytics from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, a premier management institute, ranked best B-School in Asia in FT Masters management global rankings. I have spent 6 years in field of Analytics.

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