When they are first forming, many businesses are more focused on gaining any sort of foothold in their industry rather than sustaining their growth through customer retention. As such, it is unlikely that any nascent business will have any sort of process in place for cataloging its interactions with its customers, as well as its customer data. However, while this makes logical sense for smaller businesses, it cannot be sustained once the operations go outside of what the founder of the company is personally handling.
Once a business starts on this road toward expansion, it needs to implement tools to systemize its operations. A founder cannot be everywhere at once, and they sometimes need to let go of certain aspects of the business, including customer interactions, marketing, and customer retention. To do so, there is an excellent tool that many expanding companies use to do called a CRM.
But what is a CRM? And how can a CRM help with expansion? A CRM, which stands for customer relationship management software, is used to manage customer relationships and analyze the data from them to come up with insights. With that in mind, here are two big ways that a customer relationship management software can help a business expand.
Centralize customer contact data
It is extremely difficult to manage everything out of disparate contact forms and Google Sheets. While this might seem cost-effective, the truth is that managing your customer’s data in this way is not scalable. While a small business can suffice off of these systems, expanding ones need to implement a CRM to keep track of all of this data. This can help to save a customer relationship, as you can then go back and track all of your interactions with this customers with different departments.
For example, you may find that a customer was promised something from a sales department that was not fulfilled from the production side, and that no amount of assuaging from your customer success team can help with this. It is better to realize where the hindrances or bottlenecks in your processes with customer are, and a CRM can help with that by centralizing all of this data into a single place.
Collaborate with your team
The customer might not always be right, but they are often right when there are issues of organization or messaging. As such, many expanding companies will implement a CRM as a tool for collaboration.
Using a CRM, companies can schedule meetings and monitor the progress of any given project, a critical component of strategic meetings management, including which stage of the customer journey their customers are at and what they can do to prod them along into becoming a buyer or adopter.
This will also give everyone on the team a more holistic sense of what everyone else is doing, and how customers are being treated across different departments. Having this level of collaboration allows companies to better calculate an average customer lifetime value based on their interactions with the team and collaboration between different departments.
Overall, a CRM is an excellent tool to help a business expand beyond the mind of the founder. While a founder is often best set up to begin a business, the truth is that the business’s growth is often beyond their personal capabilities. As such, a CRM allows them to cede control to other capable team members and allow the company to expand on its own terms.