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When is a CRM not a CRM?

Hmmm, to answer that we need to check the definition of a CRM.

So... CRM... Customer Relationship Manager: a system to help you manage the relationship of your customers.

Think about that for a second, help you manage the relationship of a customer.

Most people think a CRM is a marketing tool, a way to track leads or potential customers. But that is only one small part of the customer life cycle.

If you have a business that likes to keep customers for any length of time, then you know that acquiring new customers is vastly more expensive than keeping existing ones.

So is your CRM actually set up to help you keep your existing customers not just buying from you, but to become really happy and a raving fan of your services?

If not then your CRM is not performing it's core function.

A real CRM will automatically check in with clients for you, they will notify them when their jobs gets to a certain point, will raise an invoice for you at the right time and will either follow up asking for customer satisfaction feedback or send out an invoice reminder.

A real CRM will remind you and employees what they need to do for a client, when they need to chase up the shop floor or suppliers. It can even chase things like that for you and let you know when that reminder has not been actioned.

A real CRM means neither you nor staff have to remember to do things, it will always remind you.

A real CRM will then contact your existing clients to remind them they are due the next service or you have a nice offer exclusively for loyal customers. Heck it can even send them a happy birthday email or mark a milestone.

And therefore a real CRM can let you properly delegate so you can look at the really important stuff like working on the business, improving the marketing, launching a new service or product, or simply allows you to go on holiday knowing that everything is under control, you can see it all at a single glance and nobody will be phoning you with silly questions.

It should be you superstar employee, your Goto Man / Girl Friday who never sleeps, never goes on holiday never gets ill or upset and keeps your staff focused on the right things at the right time.

When was the last time you checked your CRM capabilities? Could it take some weight off your shoulders and help staff become more effective in nurturing existing clients?

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