>>> One: Accounting / Bookkeeping
>>> Two: Invoicing / Billing / Point of Sale
>>> Three: Workload Management
>>> Four: Customer Management
>>> Guide: The Customer Management Software You Need [YOU ARE HERE]
>>> Deep Dive: The Top 3 Customer Management Systems [coming soon]
>>> How-To: Setup Your Customer Management Software [coming soon]
>>> Five: Domain Name / Website / Social Media [coming soon]
Keeping track of your customers can be a big challenge. Not only do you need to know which customers you are currently servicing, you can also gain an incredible amount of insight and additional business by tracking previous customers and keeping them engaged in your business. In fact, some experts estimate that over 65% of your business can come from existing customers. But as a business owner, you barely have time to keep up with the current orders you have, let alone reaching out to prior customers just hoping for additional sales.
So how can technology help you close the gap between you and your customers?
Let's start with a simple question.
What does customer management software actually do?
Customers are the backbone of any business. If you're not providing value to your customers, you will not be in business for very long. Customer management systems, often referred to as customer relationship management tools (or CRM), can track all of your customers' basic information and automatically actively engage your current, past, and potential customers to build your brand and get your name into the marketplace. You can use software to send automated emails to your customers, notify you when specific customers need attention, and generally help you keep tabs on all the people paying for your products and services.
Want to know what system is right for you? Check out our Customer Management Deep Dive! [coming soon]
So why does that matter?
Is it possible to keep a list of all of your customers without use a dedicated system? Sure, an Excel spreadsheet works for some people. But in today's economy, every sale you make is crucial. You want to do more than simply keep up with who you've sold to. You want to position your business for success, and how you communicate with your customers is one of the most important aspects.
Research suggests a large part of a customer's buying decision is driven by the intangible feeling they have about your company. This intangible feeling is called the "complete user experience." And customer management systems can easily help your business boost your customer's experience. Whether through outreach emails to tell your customers about new deals and promotions, or offering multiple channels for your customers to contact you if they need help and support, you need to make your customers feel special and valuable.
Think about it from the customer point of view for a moment. When making a decision on where to purchase a product or service from, there are a plethora of options. Surveys consistently show consumers choose the brand they have most recently interacted with. Therefore, it is imperative to keep your brand in front of your customers as much as possible, and over half of surveyed US consumers still prefer emails as the primary way to communicate with a brand or company.
It is also unavoidable that at some point, one or more of your customers will have a problem and need to reach out to you for support. Customers are far more likely to recommend and return to your company if you make the help and support process simple and painless. In the same vain, a third of surveyed consumers say it only takes a single bad customer service experience for them to consider switching to a different company. While many business owners dread having to deal with angry customers, it is far easier to get in front of that customer with helpful options before they get angry. Similarly, making the customer service process easy and convenient for you as the proprietor makes it simpler for you to handle issues when necessary, and you can more quickly turn angry customers into satisfied and returning customers.
And when you barely have time to handle just servicing your current customer orders, it is time to turn to modern technology to make the customer support process more efficient for both you and your customers.
Who needs customer management systems?
No matter what kind of business you're in, you will have customers. Depending on the type of business you have, you may have thousands of consumers or just a handful of enterprise clients. In either case, you need an easy way to take care of those customers.
For that reason alone, every business needs some form of a customer management system. And it is never too soon to start simplifying your life. Even if you only have a handful of customers now, the beauty of modern systems is they are all built to scale with you as your business grows. Quick and straightforward to set up from the onset, and designed to offer value to your business as you continue to gain clientele, current technology provides answers the last generation could only dreamed of.
Every hour you spend not providing value for your customers can be considered a waste. It is imperative to get systems for success set up early. The more customers you have, the less time you will have to service each one - so let software handle the details for you from the beginning.
Confused? Questions? Just ask! firstname.lastname@example.org.