Drive Success Knowing What Your Customers Have Already Told You
Have you ever been in a situation where you are speaking with a customer and thinking, "did they tell me that already?" You are a busy person, and it is tough to remember all the details of every person you talk to. Something is bound to slip from your brain at some point. That piece of information could be critical to your sale. It shows that you know your customer and care about your communication with them, because you do. So, where do you get that information and the context for that conversation? How do you get the context if someone on your team has already had a discussion with the customer? That is what we'll discuss here and the solution to this problem.
To start, let us answer the questions: what is a contextual conversation, and why do I need to have them with my customers? A contextual conversation is an experience your customer has where you leverage the knowledge you have gathered about their experience with you and your business. So why is this important? There is so much emphasis on the buying process in the customer's experience. Think about anything you have purchased lately and why you purchased it. Sometimes, this can be because you need it and no one else was involved with your online order. But, the memorable experiences are the ones where you are treated like a truly valued customer. On the other hand, a bad experience can completely turn you away from purchasing with that company again. By having contextual conversations with your customers, you can tailor a more personalized experience and have people feel like they are valued as customers.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is the issue stated above. It is also the solution to this problem in the form of CRM software. A CRM helps you manage your customer relationship (Yes, this is obvious). If you aren't familiar with what a CRM is, a CRM is a piece of software that houses all the customer information you need in one place (If you are familiar, we have a tip at the bottom for you). A CRM's power goes beyond just giving you a Rolodex that sits on your computer. It is a very powerful database to hold all of your company, client, quoting, pricing, and other information you need to know about your customers and the sales opportunities you have with them. This means that you have all the information you need to make any sale at any time using the information you already have in your business. There are so many ways that a CRM can help drive value in your business, but what we wanted to talk about here was contextual conversations.
Any CRM worth using has a section that can track the activities you and your sales team undertake. Emails, phone calls, appointments, and any other communication can and should be tracked in your CRM. This information is collected and shared across your business. Now a quick search of your customer can tell you every interaction that customer has had with the company. Now you don't have to ask about who they have talked to, what they talked about, any open orders they have, or any purchases they have made in the past. Having your customer know that you have taken the time to know them and their situation will help close deals and increase customer support because they have been treated well.
As a business experienced in CRM configuration and implementation we at Bison & Bird can help with any questions you might have about the other power that can be unlocked in your business using a CRM. Now may be the best time to do so. If you are a Canadian business, you may be eligible to receive a grant through the Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP).
Now, if you are an experienced CRM user, we mentioned that there would be a tip for unlocking more value, and here it is! A CRM, at its core, as we mentioned earlier, is just a high-powered database. Data can get messy very quickly when humans are involved. Although everyone has good intentions, we all think differently. For example, when entering account information, would you say "Shell - Canada" or "Shell Canada?" A slight difference like that could mean you will now have a duplicate in your data and are wasting time figuring out which to use. The way to help mitigate this risk is to try and make all fields required and define choices as much as possible. Talk to your system administrator and evaluate the fields you have in your CRM. Are they necessary? Are they being used? If either is a no, they can be removed or made required. Are there any fields that can be static choices? Try and make them a dropdown choice or multi picklist. In our experience, this is a slight change to standardize your data management with impactful results that will help keep your CRM maintained and working the way you need it to, not you working for it.