5 Ways Using a CRM Improves Customer and Prospect Relationships

You already have a great product, and you’re selling it at a competitive price. 

However, the future belongs to those who deliver an exceptional experience around their product in each stage of the sales funnel. 

In fact, by 2020, consumers will be relying on the quality of customer experiences when making buying decisions. For most customers, pricing isn’t the main pain point anymore.

So you can’t afford to sit back and let your competitors who are using CRMs to improve customer and prospect relationships to throw you out of business. 

Here’s how to keep up (or fly past) the competition by using CRMs to deliver better experiences that foster loyal customers for years to come. 

1. Meet and exceed their expectations

If you don’t know what your prospects and customers want every time you speak with them, you will continue disappointing.

It’s normal to avoid coming across as too eager to make the sale by reaching out to prospects early in their buying process. Or too often. But that’s not the goal of using a CRM tool. 

You want to answer the questions your prospects have long before they even decide to buy from you. 

According to New Voice Media,  51% of customers never return to buy from a business after a bad experience. You can’t earn their loyalty, so you lose out on customer lifetime value.

A bad experience is still ambiguous. Failure to show up and the reasons for switching leave your prospects and customers frustrated, stuck, and angry. 

And using a CRM to put all their information in one place will help you prevent this from happening in the future:

nimble smart summary

The smart summary tells you about the previous interactions that the lead had with the business owner or team member. 

Once you have all their information in one place, you don’t have to keep them on hold to figure out where they left off. 

Each email and interaction can be planned and targeted specifically for that individual customers needs. 

Besides, there’s no need to start the conversation all over again, which ends up taking more time. 

Let’s look at an example of this in action.

Native Custom Stone struggled with handling customer and prospect information stored in multiple different softwares: G-suite, Gmail, Vinyard, Quickbooks, and 366 degrees. 

Getting this information when they needed it was cumbersome and took a lot of time, disappointing customers in the process. 

Using a CRM to consolidate dense information, they can automatically generated profiles with specific details such as engagement history and social profiles. 

This enabled the team to connect with their customers and have genuine conversations with them. 

Without it, meeting or exceeding client needs is close to impossible. 

2. Establish and maintain trust 

Customers and prospects trust you to live up to the promises you make on product quality, customer experience, and behavior. Being a valuable yet elusive asset, you must work hard to earn and maintain their trust. 

According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer report, only 34% of buyers trust the brands they buy from. 

That’s a pretty bleak statistic when you break it down: only one out of three customers trust the brands they do business with. 

On the other hand, this also screams “opportunity.” 

If you can stand out by building unbreakable trust with customers and prospects, you’ll foster loyal buyers for years to come. 

Building trust with your prospects and customers requires you to be consistent in all your interactions. You have to tell authentic stories, deliver high-quality products and services, and admit when you make a mistake. 

Your customers and prospects are on a journey. 

Your consistency in providing the information they need in each stage of their journey determines whether you’ll earn their trust or not. 

The more familiar they are with you, the easier it becomes to build trust setting you apart from 90% of marketers who struggle with lead generation.

phases of lead generation

Effective followup emails require you to know what you need to say, how to say it, and when you should say it so that you take advantage of every opportunity.

It’s common to get stuck whenever you have to find the right words to write in each email. 

It’s even worse when you end up doing it wrong- for instance, open with an inappropriate greeting that turns off the recipient. 

However, a CRM tool with integrations will let you know when to follow up at the right time. 

3. Personalize your interactions

Even though they’re dealing with a business, your customers and prospects want to feel special. With 281.1 billion emails sent and received in 2018, you can’t rely on guesswork to understand each of your customers. 

You’re going to get it wrong and they won’t pay attention to what you are saying. You need to segment them and provide a tailored experience for each of them. 

And in case you’re wondering how your customers and prospects feel when you fail to use data to segment them, take a look at this:

 

Source

Sounds harsh, but it’s true. Assuming she isn’t the only one who received that email, how many other people received the wrong email but didn’t speak up? 

Chances are, they won’t even buy from that eCommerce company. But Kaleigh was kind enough to offer suggestions too;

 

A personal touch in every interaction allows you to create a positive brand perception by letting them know that you understand them and have their needs in mind. 

Speak directly to the customer in every interaction. Rather than just restating your features or services, tell them how you can help them grow. My favorite example of this is Smash Digital: 

smash digital

Source

Using “You” and “We” helps build a more personal connection to their customers. 

Integrated with a CRM, you can drive customers to dedicated landing pages just like this. 

To get it right, you need their geographic, psychographic, demographic, and behavioral data. If you already have this on your prospects and customers, use a CRM tool to put it in one place for better segmentation. 

Besides, it will track their behavior and deliver more data that will help you personalize each interaction. 

If you don’t have any data, identify the kind of data you need from the four types I’ve mentioned above, then reach out to your prospects. 

Ask rapport building questions that will make them open up and provide you with the information you need.

Building rapport will help with both personalization and trust.

4. Deliver more value to your customers

Using a CRM tool helps you build long-lasting relationships with prospects who become loyal customers. This means that you will spend less money to acquire new customers hence increasing your profit margins. 

Now, with more profits, you have an opportunity to deliver more value to your customers and keep them happy. 

Value means different things to different customers, and, based on their needs, you need to have a good idea of what you need to do to deliver more value:

elements of value

With this in mind, you have three options:

  • Reduce the price of your product to compete effectively
  • Invest the money back to marketing and acquire more customers
  • Invest the money to create better outcomes for your customers

Research reveals that the amount of value a customer thinks he/she is getting from buying and using your product will determine whether they buy again and refer other people to a business. 

So, the idea here is to make sure that your customers feel like they are getting 10X more of what they paid for- something a CRM tool will help you achieve.

5. Guarantee data privacy

Prospects and customers want to know that the information they provide you with is safe and that you’re going to use it for their benefit. 

Used appropriately, they’ll be open to providing you with more information that will help you serve them better. 

In their report, State of the Connected Customer, Salesforce reveals that if a company has privacy concerns, 72% of customers will stop doing business with it. 

Misusing customer data betrays the trust customers have bestowed on you, and when they can’t trust you, they can’t provide the information you need. 

Conclusion

Common themes emerging in modern customers are trust and loyalty – the glue that binds all relationships. 

So, we’ve established that just as a customer service tool helps you earn these two attributes, a CRM tool helps you do the same, and more. 

Your customers and prospects want to do business with you, so you need to meet them halfway and make it easier for them to trust you. 

Customer relationship management is a process. 

You need to listen to, understand, and give your customers what they need. 

And a CRM tool makes the whole process easier and more efficient, helping you deliver a great customer experience. 

Without a CRM tool to help you manage their information, you’re not accountable to anyone. And there’s no way you’re going to convince your customers that their data is safe.

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