“Strategy is about setting yourself apart from the competition. It’s not a matter of being better at what you do – it’s a matter of being different at what you do.”
– Michael Porter
A well-thought-out strategy for customer relationship management (CRM) is more important than ever in this new era.
But what is the CRM strategy and how do you build your own plan? Let’s shed some light on that below.
What is CRM Strategy?
A strategy to manage customer relationships (CRM) is a company’s strategy to use CRM tools to help increase sales and enhance customer support. It implements an overall business plan with feedback from sales, marketing, and customer support, defining all possible touch-points that exist during the customer journey.
6 Steps to Building a CRM Strategy
1. Start with Goal Setting
An important aspect of developing a CRM strategy is getting a clear vision. Ask yourself what the final aim of your CRM strategy would be. You can monitor your team’s success, depending on your priorities. For instance, if your aim is to increase conversions, you can review website traffic metrics, lead generation, and conversion.
Make sure that your CRM strategy’s ultimate objective reflects what the potential landscape of your company will be, with customer engagement and productivity in mind.
For example, your target might be to see an increase in conversions of 10% within seven months of CRM implementation. With a straightforward timetable, you can split the goal into smaller, more achievable goals.
Based on your goal, you can also identify the relevant metrics to measure your efforts. Since your goal is to maximize conversions, for instance, you can consider metrics such as website traffic, leads generated, leads converted, etc.
Remember that the software is used independently across several departments. For the company as a whole, high-level CRM goals will remain the same but the approach to reaching them will depend on departmental duties and responsibilities.
That is why it is critical for all departments to work together on the process of setting goals. Encourage teams to sit together and split larger goals into actionable CRM tasks that fit their particular areas of responsibility.
2. Discover the Customer Journey
Your CRM’s ultimate goal involves an awareness of every instance that a customer may interact with your brand. Each interaction is a touchpoint in your customer’s journey and an opportunity to enhance it using your CRM strategy.
A good way of identifying these touchpoints is to map the client journey. First, define all occasions where a customer or prospect may be engaging with your brand. It could involve receiving an email from a sales agent, seeing a paid media ad, or signing up for your newsletter.
Then, consider what step each interaction usually occurs inside a typical sales pipeline. For example, your paid ad could have targeted individuals unaware of your goods or brand. Do you have a newsletter? This can be sent to customers and used to upsell or keep them.
Segment these customer journeys so that you can define which groups of specific customers are going through. You will also be able to recognize the gaps in their journeys and find ways to target the post-profitable customer classes (such as repeat customers and big buyers).
Tracing out the consumer experience for several purposes is a valuable exercise. It lets employees take a step back and imagine the whole customer journey and how it works inside. The aim is to provide insight into where a customer is at the first point of contact. This awareness would help workers understand how to better treat the customer in order to produce maximum performance.
3. Specify Main Challenges and Weaknesses
Identifying the key strengths and weaknesses of your team will help ensure the CRM approach is constructive, not reactive.
If you know that cross-department coordination is one of the key weaknesses of your team, then you will try to make your CRM strategy utilize highly collaborative processes and transparency.
Moreover, you may understand that not every support team member has the knowledge base to quickly and correctly respond to customer service tickets. This can expose a key weakness with respect to resource and knowledge management across the organization. Nevertheless, this insight will allow you to be proactive in ensuring that your CRM plan is well recorded and that you have the appropriate information.
4. Communication channels and content strategy
Creating a successful marketing plan plays a major role in developing a comprehensive CRM strategy. Your content is important to deliver a meaningful message to your target audience and particularly to those who are central to making purchases. Write blogs that educate your audience and increase your chances of converting.
Likewise, you do need to determine which channel you want your message to send. Decide whether you’re using social media or connecting with your clients via email. Going through a few experiments will help you find out the right channel for your content.
One of the key goals of getting a CRM strategy is to increase the efficiency of the support channels. It makes it easier for your customers to reach out to support if they encounter a problem.
The best strategy is to introduce a live chat feature on your website to allow customers to get quick answers to their queries. Not only does live chat improve the customer service experience but it also helps boost sales. Likewise, you should also start using social media networks to solve company problems.
You should maybe experiment with your target audience and see which platforms work best for them.
5. Educate Employees
Organizational preparation is one of the greatest obstacles that businesses face.
What several companies are struggling to do is align their employees with their current CRM approach, which affects the strategy’s effectiveness. A lot of CRM programs actually fail here. Even if you have an incredibly successful plan in place, if you don’t have employee awareness, you’re not going to get anywhere.
Your staff needs to participate in the strategy and understand it correctly so that they can fulfill their specific obligations for the strategy’s success. Sales and marketing teams are especially important for the progress of your CRM use. They are the ones who have to take the right approach and send the right messages to the customers.
It’s essential that you explain the new strategy accurately across the company. For this, the leadership team would need to be prepared to carry out communications. Make sure they go extensively with their teammates on every step of the plan so that everyone is in the same boat.
6. Choose the Right CRM Software
The reason many CRM programs collapse is that they begin by investing in the software. And because they don’t have a proper plan of action, they are wasting the money they spend on CRM technology. Now you know that you can only begin with this phase after setting your goals and developing effective strategies for various aspects of your business.
You should understand how this would fit with your e-commerce platform before investing in CRM software. Conduct extensive analysis to find out what your competitors and other retailers/vendors are using.
To get a better understanding of what implementation is like, you should look for feedback and online forums. If you have any specific questions about the CRM solution, please check to see if those forums and reviews can provide a useful solution.
CRM Strategy Concluded
Create your own CRM strategy and leave your competitors behind. It’s vital to have your own plan of action to succeed.
If you’ve already created your CRM strategy and want to invest in a CRM, make sure you’re choosing the right CRM for your business. To find out more about CRM trends for 2020, click here. If you have any other questions, contact our experts.