What is Customer Relationship Management?

Making a profit in business is tough in this competitive business environment, so it is critical that you continually find new customers and even more important, retain the ones you have. Typically it is less costly to retain your existing customers than to find new ones so how do we achieve this goal? Read More.

Communication is key to maintaining and nurturing any relationship so it is important to establish your own Customer Relationship Management Strategy (CRM). CRM is a strategy for understanding your customers and their needs in order to optimize your interactions with them. CRM will enable you to actively manage your customer relations in an organized and strategic manner. In practice that means developing your company's methodologies, internal operations, software and Internet capabilities to be able to better address your customers' needs and, as a result, make your relationships with your customers more profitable.

By establishing a CRM system, you can keep track of key customer information such as retail finance contracts, communications, accounts, buying histories and preference. This will assist you in matching your products and services to your customer needs. By analyzing this information you can:

  • Identify your best customers
  • Customize and target the way you communicate with your customers
  • Manage marketing campaigns
  • Reduce customer response times
  • Serve a wider geographical region

There are a wide variety of CRM systems available, from the very simple to very complex. They range from online solutions to off-the-shelf software to customer-tailored programming. Even if you operate a very small business, you'll discover that CRM technologies have become accessible and cost-effective and, as the availability has increased, prices have dropped.

You may find that your supplier has part of this service available at a very reasonable cost. Through warranty registration, manufacturers can initiate welcoming letters, surveys and follow up communication with your customers all under your company name. If you don't have a CRM system you should take advantage of these services. They are inexpensive and are a great customer communication tool.

For the purposes of this article let us look at a very simple way to create a CRM system. This can be accomplished through the use of excel spreadsheets that you can capture important customer data in an organized fashion. You can use spreadsheets to organize data by category such as, location, age, product type, dollar value, financing etc. From your customer information you can build an email group to facilitate regular communications, advertisements, market campaigns and sales specials.

Like many small businesses, you may opt to initiate your CRM program in steps, perhaps starting with customer information. As you develop your spreadsheet you will begin to realize how other features and data can further help your business succeed through strategic customer communications.

Of course let's not forget the explosion into social media that has engulfed our lives in recent years. Many of you already have Facebook and Twitter accounts that are linked through your web site. If you have this social media available, make sure you are utilizing them to their maximum communication potential. You should also pay attention to regularly refreshing your website with new features and information. There is nothing worse than a web site that offers a photo gallery with no pictures.

The bottom line is that we all want to be recognized as individuals and persons that bring value to others. The more you communicate with your customer base and make it personal, the better chance you will have to increase your repeat business.

If you don't have a CRM system, make it a priority this season. It is money in the bank!! If you need help to assess your needs, contact me.

Free Special Report

Insider Secrets to Achieving the Profit You Want And Deserve

Lisa Marie on Chris Brown, Lifeline Business Solutions

Lisa Marie

free consult


"When it comes to Finance and Commercial Credit, he is one of the most knowledgeable people I know. No one I know has more in-depth experience or understands distribution finance better than Chris"

- Joe Conte, Canadian Counsel, Textron Financial Canada Limited

Money Back

My promise of performance

A guarantee that you will receive a minimum 10:1 return on your investment in my services through a ratio and percentage analysis of your financial statements that will identify realistic adjustments you can make to add profit to your business.

Click here