What is a CRM system?
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is a breed of software that’s sole purpose is to maximise your customer lifetime value. We’ll go into more detail about how a CRM actually achieves this, but first we’re going to discuss why it’s so beneficial for a business to have a CRM system. To do that, I'm going to draw up a typical business dilemma :
Customers are the biggest asset of your Shopify store
It’s no surprise then that your business began with great intentions on creating a unique and impressive experience to build a loyal network of customers. But then reality set in. There is so much to manage, with spanners continually being thrown into the works. Your company’s ethos and brand deliverance have taken quite a hit as all your effort goes into switching between spreadsheets and various software packages.
This is where a CRM can swoop in to save the day.
How does a CRM work? What does it allow you to do?
CRMs these days are holistic in nature as they manage all the touchpoints between your store and its customers. Its work begins from the moment a lead interacts with your brand. Contrary to what the abbreviation states, CRM begins with leads and marketing campaigns.
Your next step involves assigning, qualifying and tracking leads. Again, a CRM is the driving force behind these tasks. CRM systems also trigger and monitor the various delivery processes, including invoicing. So, you can start to see here that CRM is a powerful solution that, similar to dominoes, affects each stage from lead generation to sending invoices.
CRM also picks up the slack in after service care. Now, one thing you’ve probably picked up on so far is the seamless approach this creates. It keeps every team member on the same page with a clear insight into every aspect of a customer’s journey.
Without a CRM, all this data would sprawl across countless spreadsheets, and a lot of thought would have to go into making sure every step instigated an action for the next cog in the business to start moving. Having a CRM system frees up time and also minimises human error.
How do you know if you need a CRM?
Here are some of the most obvious signs your business needs a CRM:
You can’t find customer data
And neither can any of your colleagues. When a store is first set up and everything is done by a single person, it is relatively easy to keep track of your customer database. Once a business grows, valuable information can fall into the digital abyss. Once you find that this lack of organisation is slowing down decision-making, it’s time to invest.
Customer service is not where you want it to be
It’s what a Shopify store thrives on. Once you start working with a CRM, you'll have all your customers’ details in one spot and can manage each case flow right there. As a result, providing excellent customer service becomes much more achievable.
Not linked to your sales
If you find yourself distanced from your sales team’s progress and performance, this is a potent solution. Leading CRM systems allow users to update details from mobile devices, and provide sales forecasts.
Your team spends way too much time on menial tasks
It's beyond time to minimise manual data entry. A CRM can look after your social media campaigns, email tracking and customer data. This opens up your team’s potential and allows workers to feel more of a sense of job satisfaction as they begin to spend time working on more fulfilling tasks.
You’re not sure where to go next
Business is all about growth. But what if the path to flourishing isn’t clear? Well, a CRM may be the answer to your prayers. Once all processes are at your fingertips, it’s easier to evaluate what’s working and areas that need improvement. By having all your team on the same page, you’ve got a more cohesive, organised company that now has the opportunity to scale.
What type of eCommerce business would use a CRM?
We'll take a quick wide lens view of this question. There are two categories of businesses that thrive on utilising these software packages, the first being B2B companies. These businesses need a system that helps to track those long lead cycles as well as lead tracking.
However, the second category, B2C, is what will be most relevant to you. The best way for a B2C company to know whether they need a CRM system is to identify problems within your customer relationships. Next, you’ll need to investigate how much a CRM will boost customer satisfaction, and therefore sales, to be a lucrative asset.
What are the benefits of using a CRM system? How can it help to promote growth?
Manage your time better
CRM systems alleviate a lot of headaches. You’re probably used to being the go-to person when there’s a jam in the sales process, but having a CRM means that these become less of a regular occurrence.
Grow your customer base
Learn where your leads are and which marketing campaigns or email sequences did a stellar job through your CRM. Then, rinse and repeat to increase revenue. You’ll also be more likely to achieve organic leads through improved customer service.
Improve client relationships and customer retention
You can arrange for your CRM system to alert you to get back in touch with clients, helping to maintain positive, attentive relationships. A CRM can also help to improve customer retention. A Bain & Stain Company study found that 60-80% of customers don’t go back for repeat business despite feeling entirely satisfied with their experience. Why? These companies didn’t ensure that they were memorable. Your CRM can help to recapture your customers' attention. After all, it contains a deep well of insight into each customers’ preferences, allowing you to create enticing post-purchase experiences.
Strengthen internal communications
A lack of internal communication is a huge problem for businesses. In fact, Blue Source’s findings show that only a third of emails are opened. It's really no surprise that customer experience takes a hit when departments aren’t properly intertwined.
Implement, track, evaluate, repeat
Take the example of a social media campaign. You could set up your campaign to be spread out over a month, check in now and then to track its progress, and your CRM will provide you with the detailed results you need to keep improving marketing endeavours.
Hone in on your target market
It’s all about timing in this game, which is why CRM’s ability to turbocharge your marketing campaigns is so valuable. Prospects will slip through your fingers without effective communication to entice them to complete the customer journey. You need to have active campaigns that are speaking directly to your potential customers.
Minimise the cost of sales
Building up a store of customers is an expensive process. CRM allows you to select add-on deals that are a good fit for your prospect. It will also point you in the direction of promising referral business, so you no longer have to waste resources on misdirected marketing campaigns.
What do you need to consider when selecting a CRM?
Here are a few more pointers to consider when searching for the perfect CRM:
- What features does it include? Ones to look out for include marketing tools, reports and dashboards as well as eCommerce functionalities.
- Is it intuitive? How much training will be needed to get everyone on board?
- Is it easy to integrate with other solutions you already use?
- How easy is it to add/import contacts?
- Will it provide a satisfactory ROI?
- What is the scale capacity?
- Is there a minimum user limit?
Use a CRM to grow your online business
Are you interested in using a CRM with your eCommerce business? Get in touch with us! We can help you select the perfect CRM to integrate with your Shopify store.