The Importance Of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software For Organizations
2021 saw consumers worldwide spend more than $4.9 trillion on e-commerce purchases. This number is expected to nearly double in the next three years. As more customers make the move to digital purchasing, their expectations are on the rise. Recent data found that 53% of customers will switch brands after just one poor experience, and 67% will make the move after two or three less-than-stellar interactions.
For small business owners now navigating the shift to post-pandemic sales, this reinforces the need to build better relationships with buyers, and it all starts with customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Why Does CRM Matter for SMBs?
CRM matters for businesses because the sheer volume of customer transactions — and the data generated from those transactions — makes it impossible to manually track, record and leverage this data at scale. SMBs, in particular, struggle with these data volumes. While they’re now dealing with the same amount of data as large enterprises, small businesses can’t compete when it comes to spending or staffing.
Consider customers connecting with an SMB about a product or service issue. If they explain their problem over email, only to be directed to a call center where they need to explain the problem again, then sent to a resolution specialist who also needs them to start from scratch, they won’t stay customers for long.
CRM tools make it possible to centralize key customer data such as preferences, transaction histories and service calls. In turn, this allows agents to better assist consumers and sales and marketing teams to build more accurate customer profiles for campaign building.
Key Benefits of CRM Software
Implementing CRM software offers four key benefits for small businesses:
- Improved personalization: Access to consumer transaction histories and service interactions makes it possible for SMBs to deliver personalized service that reflects consumer preferences and respects their time by giving teams the data they need on demand. This also extends to marketing and sales campaigns. CRM tools let marketers craft personalized emails and offers to customers who have opted in to brand communication channels.
- Reduced complexity: Cloud-based CRM tools can also help reduce operational complexity by centralizing key data sources and providing streamlined access to customer information. Rather than searching through paper records or aging servers to create complete customer profiles, staff can collaborate on customer data entry to provide a single source of truth.
- Enhanced sales and marketing efforts: CRM solutions help SMBs create ever-evolving databases of customer information that can be used to craft more effective campaigns. By understanding what targeted audience segments are looking for based on common user behavior and preferences, small business teams can better align marketing strategy with customer expectations.
- Consolidated cost control: The costs of keeping up with customer preferences and capturing consumer histories can quickly skyrocket if companies are relying on manual data entry methods — something SMBs can ill afford. Implementing a single, cloud-based CRM solution, meanwhile, helps consolidate costs by providing complete visibility of customer data.
Finding Your Best-Fit CRM Solution
Not all CRM solutions are created equal. Some are generic, designed for use across any industry but limited in their capacity to handle specific scenarios. Others are purpose-built for industries such as education, government, manufacturing or nonprofit CRM — and include features and functions geared toward streamlining customer and client management across these environments.
While CRM software is important for any small business, it’s critical to find a solution that best meets your needs, fits your budget and helps build long-lasting customer relationships.