How Poor CRM Management Leads To A Poor Customer Experience
Neglecting CRM management can be a fatal mistake. Opportunities will fall through the cracks and you might end up treating existing clients like they aren’t already customers. Make sure that you prioritize your database like your business and income depend on it— they do.
CRMs Keep Opportunities From Falling In The Cracks
Personally, I believe that CRM systems are a blessing and without them you really don’t have a company positioned to grow. Instead, you have business relationships that you did not document and opportunities that might easily fall through the cracks.
I have been saying to my clients for years that I think a salesperson’s salary should directly correlate to the accuracy of their record keeping.
Imagine you get hit by a bus (metaphorically and literally) and nobody can trace what you have been discussing with clients and prospects when you one day don’t show up.
A company is only as strong as their database and their ability to target clients and prospects in a meaningful way.
Why Proper Database Management Matters
In sales, database management will help you prospect and stay on top of opportunities. It also helps your management to track your efforts (perhaps that’s why so many sales people don’t like them?). And most importantly, it provides a way of communicating effectively with your audiences- externally AND internally.
When it comes to service and account management, CRM systems are equally important. You want to tap into opportunities to up-sell to your clients and to provide them value. In the example below that I recently experienced, bad CRM management led to me (the customer) being annoyed and disappointed.
Every Sales Situation Should Be An Opportunity to Provide Stellar Service
Sometimes sales and service blend in with each other and it’s hard to determine where sales ends and service starts, or the other way around. In an ideal world, every service situation should be a sales opportunity and every sales situation should be an opportunity to provide stellar service but we all know that the reality doesn’t always reflect that.
Keeping track of your CRM system is key to developing new clients but also crucially important when staying in touch with your existing customers. Bad database management can not only lead to lost opportunities it can irritate and annoy customers.
Be Intentional When Reaching Out to Existing Clients
The other week I got a solicitation letter from the bank that holds my mortgage offering to lower my interest rate. Usually, I throw these letters right where they belong— in the garbage. But this was a different case. I’ve been their customer for years and they own my mortgage, so I was intrigued.
They should know my account, they certainly know my payment history, they have all my data and information with the exception of my blood-type and my firstborn, so an offer to lower the rate of my existing mortgage has to be real, you’d think, wouldn’t you?
When I called in, the very friendly customer service representative asked me all the questions to verify that I was really the person who I said I was, and that is totally legitimate.
Don’t Treat A Customer’s Call Like A Cold Call
What was not cool was the fact that there was no pre-qualification, no initial check that was done to put me on the fast track. It was almost like calling a company that solicited me based on my address, or my credit rating, or any other criteria that is publicly available.
In essence, they treated it as a cold inquiry call from my end, although they invited me to call with their letter. In my opinion, this was really unacceptable given the fact that I am a customer of theirs.
I mean, come on. You are a big name bank and for the last five years I have been paying my mortgage to you after refinancing to take advantage of low interest rates. So, you should know everything about me and only send me letters with offers if they are actually real and to my advantage.
In the end it turned out that re-financing wouldn’t make any sense at all and I would actually not only NOT save any money, but it would cost me thousands more! This was not only disappointing but very annoying because I had just lost 30 minutes of my time and it left me with an unwanted inquiry on my credit report.
Use The Information At Your Fingertips
That is what I mean by bad database management. If you solicit existing clients you need to make sure that you tap into all the information that sits right there in your database. I would expect that and so should everybody else.
But here comes the “adding insult to injury” part. The other day I got another letter that was the same content as the original one I had received a couple of weeks ago. Not only could this bank not deliver on their offer, they then proceeded to NOT mark their database which resulted in me receiving more letters.
Keeping A Clean Database Is An Art and A Science
Keeping a clean database and segmenting it so it works to your advantage is an art as much as it is science. Sloppy set-up and spotty record keeping will eventually lead to lost sales opportunities (how do you know when to follow up with whom?) and it will leave existing customers/clients disgruntled when they receive offers that treat you like you weren’t a customer to begin with.
It’s just bad business and reflects poorly on your overall brand and image. So, take the time to focus on CRM management as if your business depends on it (and actually it kind of does!).
And if you can’t, and no one else in your organization can handle that professionally, then spend the money to hire an outside expert to assist you. It’s well worth the investment, and your ROI will astonish you!