Managing Your Small Business Clients
The better a business can manage the relationships it has with its customers the more successful it will become. But….how do you do that when you’ve got your head down managing your business, never mind the clients.
Look, having a small business has it’s challenges. You got into business so that you could dictate your own hours, who you work with, when you get to take vacation etc. Anyone that has a small business reads that list and laughs. Let’s face it, if you run your own small business most of those things don’t apply. The customers run you, they run your hours, they run your vacations and they run your income.
They best way to get back into the driver’s seat is with a management system of sorts in place. Preferably, right from the get-go.
The benefits of a Customer Relationship Management system far outweigh the efforts required to learn and set it up. Get yourself back in control of all the reasons you became a business owner in the first place.
Business benefits of CRM
Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution might involve considerable time and expense. However, there are many potential benefits.
A major benefit can be the development of better relations with your existing customers, which can lead to:
- increased sales through better timing due to anticipating needs based on historic trends
- identifying needs more effectively by understanding specific customer requirements
- cross-selling of other products by highlighting and suggesting alternatives or enhancements
- identifying which of your customers are profitable and which are not
This can lead to better marketing of your products or services by focusing on:
- effective targeted marketing communications aimed specifically at customer needs
- a more personal approach and the development of new or improved products and services in order to win more business in the future
Ultimately this could lead to:
- enhanced customer satisfaction and retention, ensuring that your good reputation in the marketplace continues to grow
- increased value from your existing customers and reduced cost associated with supporting and servicing them, increasing your overall efficiency and reducing total cost of sales
- improved profitability by focusing on the most profitable customers and dealing with the unprofitable in more cost-effective ways.
Once your business starts to look after its existing customers effectively, efforts can be concentrated on finding new customers and expanding your market. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to identify new prospects and increase your customer base.
Even with years of accumulated knowledge, there’s always room for improvement. Customer needs change over time, and technology can make it easier to find out more about customers and ensure that everyone in an organisation can exploit this information.
What do your customers really want? They want to feel like they are important. With the correct CRM system, you will have all the information you require at your fingertips. Putting all the information in one central location. Even if you are the only one on your team, you cannot possibly remember everything about everyone.
Best CRM for ME?
Like so many systems in this world, there are as many CRM’s as there are businesses. Spend the half hour in research to find out which system would be better for you. There are also free systems out there that allow you to try before you buy.
Here are a few that I know of :
- Dubsato – my favorite because it’s easy and inexpensive.
- Superoffice – go to their website and they have a free CRM assessment tool. Of course they are selling theirs, but the info might be interesting.
I don’t know what’s best for you but it will be worth it to look into it.