Customer Relationship Management (abbreviated "CRM”) is a term used to describe your customer communications strategy. It also refers to the software most businesses use for implementing that strategy. Before you get excited about another tech tool (or run for the hills), a smart CRM Strategy begins with people and your customer communications.
How do you keep in touch with customers, prospects, vendors, and partners? Is it just as ideas pop up in your head? Do you have a specific system for maintaining those relationships?
For many of us, the answer to that last question is sort of or not really. However, maintaining regular communications with your vital business contacts is essential to the sustainability of your business in the long run.
If you plan on sending holiday cards out, then you'll need a plan for who you want to send cards to and why. The holidays can cause a lot of stress when you don't have a plan or a CRM strategy.
We all know that it's more expensive to get a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer and get them to buy again.
Holiday card anxiety and customer retention are just two of the problems you can potentially address by having a smart CRM strategy.
A CRM software can help you improve customer communications (think retention and increasing sales). It can also improve your productivity. In the long run, creating a CRM strategy and using the right CRM software may be the key to growing your business and freeing up some of your time.