Custom CRM Tips to Improve Your Customer Relationships
Managing customer relationships is both art and science. It’s about creating positive and engaging interactions that guide the relationship as you build momentum and trust. But it also requires connecting the dots between customer touchpoints, ensuring timely and relevant communication, and nurturing relationships that boost conversion, customer loyalty and advocacy.
In an era where customer experience is the cornerstone of business success, customer relationship management (CRM) tools have never been more crucial. The power of a custom CRM – a tool that is designed to meet your unique business needs – is ability for CRM software to drive your customer interactions to the next level, building lasting relationships and driving business growth.
But getting the most out of your CRM takes commitment and finesse. Here are 9 custom CRM tips to elevate your strategy.
9 Custom CRM Tips to Elevate your Strategy
1) Design Your CRM with the User in Mind
users are onboard with using it consistently. When designing your CRM, consider the functionality needed from the users’ perspective. How can you make an easy-to-use marketing automation tool, with an interface that’s intuitive and visually appealing? How can you simplify the process of entering and retrieving information?
It’s helpful to form a small team from the larger population of users, and gather input. You’ll learn important details about what users need and what they would like the system to do. It’s great insight to help in planning the right features and capabilities.
Once you know more about the users and the data entry and retrieval patterns, you can design your custom CRM to include features like easy-to-fill forms, dropdown selection lists, automatic address completion, and calendar integration. By designing your CRM system with usability top of mind, you’re setting your team up for success.
2) Identify Internal CRM Champions to Assist with Training and Adoption
No matter how powerful your CRM tool is, it’s ineffective if your team is unsure how to use it. Make sure training isn’t a one-off event, but rather an ongoing process to ensure every user feels confident and proficient.
This is where a team of internal “champions” comes into play. These are enthusiastic and tech-savvy individuals who can be the torchbearers of CRM knowledge within your organization and play a key role in your launch plan to ensure adoption across your user base. These champions can provide ongoing training, support and share best practices with their respective teams.
By establishing a network of internal champions, you ensure that CRM knowledge and enthusiasm spread throughout your organization, helping to eliminate avoidance or hesitation in using the system. The CRM champion ultimately will make sure everyone has access to the CRM system and has been granted the appropriate rights and access needed to effectively use the system.
3) An Integrated CRM is an Effective CRM
A well-integrated CRM serves as a single source of truth about a customer, and should be accessible by all relevant teams in your organization. It bridges the gap between different departments, ensuring everyone stays on the same page when it comes to customer information and interactions.
While your sales team may be the power users, consider the other customer touchpoints in your organization. Customer success and customer support , technical support teams, and others can benefit from access to the same customer data. When a customer raises a support ticket, the technical or product team can see the customer’s usage and history, the sales team can understand the current state of the customer at all times, and the customer service team can provide personalized assistance for greater customer satisfaction. It also streamlines workflows by having less manual searching for information from other team members.
For instance, if a sales rep gets a request for a customer meeting, they might be able to look at the support or ticketing system in real-time, or see a customer health score to better prepare for the meeting and increase the chance of a successful outcome. In some instances, it can be helpful to offload CRM projects from core CRM systems to no-code CRM platforms that are easier to use, less costly and faster to deploy.
Integrating your custom CRM across customer-facing teams enables you to enhance your team’s ability to provide a seamless and informed customer experience, which leads to increased customer retention.
4) Track Customer Data Throughout the Sales Cycle
Ensuring your CRM system can provide the data-driven insights you need means going well beyond merely storing contact information or tracking deals. It’s about keeping a finger on the pulse of your customer interactions, and tracking their behavior throughout the sales cycle. This includes gathering data from various touchpoints, such as social media engagement, website visits, email responses, and sales calls to map out the customer journey.
By tracking browsing habits and engagement, you can use the information to tailor your communication, offer personalized product recommendations, and create marketing campaigns that resonate with individual customer needs preferences – leading to higher conversion rates and better customer segmentation.
5) Give Your CRM System Auto-Sync Capabilities
Keeping your team and data in sync is a crucial part of maximizing the efficiency and return on investment of your CRM. Integrating your CRM with other apps and enabling auto-sync and other automation capabilities with calendars, email, and other internal systems in your tech stack saves time, prevents data duplication, and ensures the accuracy and reliability of customer information.
By syncing your CRM with your team’s calendars, you improve your business processes. Now you can track scheduled client meetings, follow-up calls, key project deadlines, all in one place. This makes it easier to manage your team’s workload and also helps ensure that no client interaction or crucial task is overlooked.
6) Create Processes to Ensure Timely Data Updates
Fresh, accurate data is the lifeblood of any effective CRM system. Establishing processes for prompt and regular data entry helps ensure your CRM remains a reliable and useful resource for your team – which encourages them to use it more, which creates more robust and valuable data… It’s a virtuous cycle.
These processes should also include data cleaning. The more data going into your CRM, the more you need to stay on top of maintaining your data’s quality and accuracy. Regular data cleaning removes duplicates and outdated or invalid inputs, ensuring each record is accurate and current. This needs to be managed in the tool, but also from the leaders in sales and marketing operations to ensure it’s happening in a timely manner.
7) Make Your CRM Social
Social media is a rich source of insights into customer preferences and behavior. By integrating your CRM system with social media platforms, you can track customer engagement, identify trends, and tailor your marketing efforts to align with your customer’ interests.
The ability to track which platforms a customer or lead uses regularly, see which posts garner their attention and engagement, what products and services they’re most interested in, and what queries or complaints arise, gives you a treasure trove of information and insight to enhance your marketing strategy and even improve customer experience.
8) Create a Feedback Loop for Continuous Improvement
A CRM is not a “set it and forget it” tool. It needs to evolve with your business, and feedback from your users is an instrumental part of this evolution. Remember those internal champions you identified to help with training and best practices? They’re a great source of feedback. First, they’re power users putting all the features and capabilities to the test and second, they’re working with others, seeing firsthand where the stumbling blocks are creating friction for less-savvy users.
This can be formalized by having your CRM champions hold regular feedback sessions with team members to understand specific challenges, gather suggestions for improvements, and learn about features that are particularly helpful. Use a rapid iteration process to continuously improve the app over time.
Customer expectations are continually evolving, and maintaining strong relationships with them is essential for business success. By getting the most out of your custom CRM tool, you can ensure your business surfs the wave of change versus being pulled under.
9) Extend your CRM System with a Simple Customer Portal
Adding a customer portal to extend a CRM system can provide several benefits and enhance the overall customer experience. A customer portal can extend the capabilities of a CRM system by providing self-service options, improving customer communication, offering personalized experiences, and leveraging data insights based on customer feedback and usage. It strengthens the relationship between an organization and its customers, leading to increased customer loyalty, higher satisfaction, and improved operational efficiency. Learn how to build a simple customer portal application to extend your CRM.
Strengthening Customer Relationships with an Optimized CRM
The real power of a CRM lies not just in its ability to store customer information, but in how it enables your business to interpret and act on that information. Whether it’s building a user-friendly design, integrating with other systems, keeping data up to date, or connecting with social media platforms, every effort you make to optimize your CRM is an investment in strengthening your customer relationships.