I recently sent out a newsletter highlighting our ability to integrate with your favorite CRMs. Shortly after, I received a reply from a client. “What’s a CRM?” he asked. I gave him the standard definition—customer relationship management software—but I realized it doesn’t answer the real question at the heart of his email. What does it actually do, and does your business need a CRM?
I decided to write a blog post giving a more in-depth look at what a CRM can do, the business types that can benefit from them the most, and what your next steps should be.
So really, what is a CRM?
A CRM is software that can manage just about every possible aspect of your relationship with your customers. At their most basic, they can be a Rolodex on steroids. At their most robust, they can study your customers habits, automate emails, even renew contracts. There are a lot of CRMs out there, which one works best for you depends on the nature of your business and how you interact with your customers.
How do I know if my business needs one?
CRMs benefit some industries over others, but the bottom line is, if you have a sizable customer base and more than one or two interactions with your average customer, you’re bound to benefit from a CRM. Here are the most common business types and how they would use one:
- B2B Sales: If you’re selling a product or service to other businesses, a CRM will be your right-hand sales and marketing tool. It’ll track your website visitors, nurture your leads, even notify you when a lead seems ready to become a client. If you really want to be detail-oriented, it can segment your customer base, send customized drip campaigns, and measure the results.
- Service Industry: Businesses in the service industry may not need as sophisticated a CRM as someone in B2B sales, but there are specific features that will benefit you. Track your customer history, send them reminder emails for regularly scheduled services, or automatically renew contracts. This is particularly useful if you often have new employees who need to be familiarize themselves with customers quickly and easily.
- Tech Support: Businesses in the tech support industry find CRMs to be integral to their day-to-day functioning. You can use them to create support tickets and situation-based replies, receive notifications, and keep comprehensive record history of every step taken taken for each customer.
I want one. Where do I get one?
If you’re looking for a simple, basic customer tracking CRM, Highrise or OnePage CRM both have simple layouts and intuitive features for as low as $12 – $24 a month. Highrise even turns customer info into a handy to-do list. If you’d like all the bells and whistles, Hubspot can boost nearly every marketing and sales phase of your buyers’ journeys. And for tech support, Zendesk and Zoho each have featured tailored towards support ticket systems.
The bottom line is, if you have regular interactions with customers, you can only gain by making the most out of their info. Bonus: most any CRM you choose can integrate with LexReception!