Posted on: January 20, 2016

Any good business knows that making a sale and earning repeat business depends on nurturing customer relationships. In order to do this, your sales and marketing teams need to have a method for tracking customer interactions, understanding buyer needs, and meeting consumer expectations. If your company is still relying on rolodexes and Post-It notes to manage these areas, you’re in trouble.

Today’s consumers require a lot more from the enterprises that they choose to give their business to, and this means that you need to keep up with the latest in customer relationship management (CRM) strategies. So how smart should your customer service be? If you’re not capable of the following, it’s time for an upgrade. 

Centralized Customer Data and Communications
Searching through various notes and sources is an inefficient means of tracking down customer information or managing interactions, and it’s a sure way to let something fall through the cracks and miss out on an important sales opportunity. A good CRM solution will allow you to record, update, and view customer information and communications all in one place. Before firing off an email or dialing a number, you can review personal data about a customer, refresh your memory on prior marketing pitches, and see exactly where the customer is in the sales funnel.
Microsoft Excel Integration
Having a bunch of data at your fingertips doesn’t really do you any good if you don’t have a process of organizing it in such a way that it makes good business sense. Having the ability to integrate your CRM solution with Microsoft Office Excel is the simplest and most effective solution. Here, data can be turned into valuable information that can be analyzed and shared with others so that you can makes smart business decisions on the fly.

Efficient Information Sharing
Although your marketing team may have started a profile on customer X, that doesn’t mean that others within your enterprise don’t need to have the ability to access that data in order to do their jobs well. Your CRM needs to give your administrators the tools to ensure that the right information is accessible to the right people. 
Process Streamlining and Standardizing
All businesses require employees to handle mundane, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks at one point or another, but a good CRM can automate these processes to improve office efficiency. Instead of wasting staff time typing out repetitive e-mails, why not allow your CRM to automatically send important messages and reminders to customers and partners? 
Simplified Scheduling
Scheduling is a major challenge for businesses in the service industry. An excellent CRM solution will be able to provide a centralized and all-in-one view of service requests, regularly scheduled service, and service professional calendars/availability. This makes it easy for dispatchers to match the right service personnel with a specific task or customer. 
Marketing Insights and Targeting
It is imperative that you stay connected with leads and existing customers through your marketing efforts. Because different consumers will have different needs and be at different places in the buyer cycle, though, you also need to have the ability to determine who needs which types of marketing attention and which customers would benefit from a specific offer or piece of information. Your CRM should automate the process of targeting the right leads and customers with the right information, measure results of these campaigns, and develop follow-up marketing insights and efforts. 

So, how smart is your customer service? If there’s any doubt in your mind about how intelligent your customer relationship management process is, we encourage you to give Uncommon Solutions a call and discuss excellent solutions like Microsoft C.