In this competitive market, it’s not just small businesses that need to master the art of managing customer relationships. Now, businesses from all industries, big and small, work hard to nurture their relationships with their customers. However, it is true that it means it’s even more important for a small business to exert extra effort to do this task better. Most of them depend on an affordable and efficient small business CRM.
Why is this so? There are two major reasons for this.
Firstly, it’s undeniable that despite having a broader reach and more efficient means, selling has become harder than ever. Because consumers now have the whole world at their fingertips thanks to their smartphones and other internet-connected gadgets, they are savvier when it comes to their purchasing decisions. About 80% of consumers research all their options online before they buy any item, so you can be sure that they have weighed in all the factors – the pros and cons of products before they “add to cart”.
Secondly, because they are aware of the range of options that are available to them, consumers expect more from businesses. They know that aside from you, there are hundreds or even thousands of businesses similar to yours that would like their patronage.
Therefore, aside from the products or the services themselves, managing customer relationship has become incredibly important. You can be sure that your competition is focusing on it. Today, almost half of all businesses make use of marketing automation – especially because it is now easier than ever to simply plug their contacts into a CRM and efficiently manage their customer’s journey.
Key Small Business CRM Features
There are many different features available in the world of CRM. If you are choosing one for your small business, here are some of the features you should look for.
Your CRM should be able to do so much more than an address book. Your business needs automation functionality. Remember that the point of CRM is to help your business manage and interact with your clients and not just store their data. If you are serious about nurturing your customers, then automation is the most important feature. With strong automation, you can set up automatic campaigns that allow you to send a series of email responses that although canned still appear personalized. Automation allows the forwarding of contacts for sales calls and prioritizes leads based on customer behaviour, alert customers about promotions and more. Automation is, indeed, key for business efficiency and a good CRM can offer that.
Real Time Notifications
If there’s one thing that separates a sale from a missed opportunity, that’s being able to act on customer activity at the perfect time. A CRM should be able to help you with this timing and that is why your small business needs real-time notifications in your contact management system. You should look for a functionality that tracks and notifies you and/or your staff based on web engagement activities, clicks, email responses, calls, and customer support tickets. You should be able to be notified of these via text or email. They should be tied deeply to your automation workflow.
You probably realized that you need a CRM for your business when you discovered web and email tracking. Isn’t it amazing that you can see when a customer visits one of your web pages and how long they stayed there? It’s also exciting to know when your customers open one of your emails and when they click on a link. Why are these important? Well, in a nutshell, if you know what your potential customers want you would be able to market your products and sell them better. These will also allow you to provide the best customer care possible.
You want to be sure that your small business CRM integrates well with Gmail, Twitter, and other cloud-based services. Even if you go for an all-in-one system such as Agile CRM to avoid software hassles, CRM should be the center of your business and it is imperative that it integrates and exchanges information with other cloud services.
There are a lot of CRM features that would work amazingly for your small business, but the above-mentioned should be non-negotiable in a CRM. After all, these very features are exactly what you want from a CRM as they will make you stand out from your competition and help you serve your customers a whole lot better.