The whole point of using a CRM tool is to manage customer relationships, isn’t it? Too often businesses use their CRM software simply to keep a record of their customer interactions, or to store their contact information. Sadly, most CRMs are used as ‘phone directories’ by business owners, because they’re simply not aware of its full potential.
While CRM software adoption is certainly on the rise, with more than 47% of global businesses planning to increase spending on help desk and customer service software, there is a lot of room for improvement in the context of how CRM tools are utilized.
In this article, we will give you some concrete insights on going beyond the usual service standards to wow your customers and put a smile on their faces, using a few CRM hacks.
Taking advantage of these tricks of the trade will make your customer relationships stronger. You may also learn a few ways you can use Close.com that you weren’t aware of. So let’s get started!
1: Life events
An excellent way to put a smile on your customer’s faces is to contact them on important life events. If you record information on your CRM in relation to their birthdays, anniversaries or any other life event which means something special to them, you can connect with them on these special occasions to show that you care.
The best way to do this is to make sure you ask for this information when you’re creating a customer record on your CRM. While on-boarding new customers, make sure you treat your customers like human beings, and ask for information pertaining to their life events.
Once you have this information, it’s easy to set reminders on your CRM to wish them happy birthday, or send them a special gift–just like you would to schedule a reminder for a meeting. On Close.com, you’ll see them on the left column on the ‘tasks’ section.
Doing this acts as a relationship sweetener, and helps you build an emotional connection with your customers, which can go a long way in building relationships for the long term.
2: Customer lifecycle milestones
Another way to utilize your CRM is to monitor key milestones along a customer’s lifecycle. If you record information pertaining to sales milestones with your customers, or the amount of time your customers have been dealing with you, you could reach out to them when they hit certain milestones that demonstrate the strength of their relationship with you.
For instance, if a customer reaches a certain revenue milestone by purchasing your services, you could thank them using an electronic card, an Amazon gift certificate, a swag box, or something else to express your appreciation.
If a customer has been dealing with you for over 3 years, you could celebrate the duration of your relationship with them and send them a box of chocolates, some fine wine, or gadgets that pertain to their work (for inside sales reps, that could be a high-end headset).
Using this information, you could also create a unique customer loyalty program to celebrate all key milestones along the customer’s journey with your business. Through gamifying the achievement of these milestones, you can motivate customers to reach them faster.
The sky’s the limit on how creative you can get with the date you record in your CRM!
3: Personalized emails
Close.com makes it possible to send personalized bulk emails by adding the customers name to the email, an interesting subject line that grabs attention, and using personalized email templates that make it easy for customers to read your emails.
It’s easy to create these email sequences, and schedule them on days you want to connect with your customers.
The great thing about using this feature on your CRM is that it allows you to manage relationships in a scalable way. When you have thousands of customers, it can be hard to build a personal connection with each one. But by using this CRM hack, you’ll feel empowered to personalize at least some aspects of your relationships with them!
You can also utilize email sequences to educate your customers on topics they want to learn about. So if you’re a restaurant, you could create email sequences to send recipes on interesting dishes your customers could make.
Think about your customer’s pain points, or what they’d love to hear about and create email content that puts a smile on their faces.
4: SMS reminders for upcoming events
It’s not uncommon to see people forgetting to attend events, or webinars they might’ve registered for. People get busy, and may forget about events they’re interested in attending.
Using the “SMS Reminders” feature on your CRM is a great way to remind customers about upcoming events and appointments. You’ll help boost attendance rate at events you organize, and also act as a ‘personal assistant’ by sending these reminders.
You could also use the SMS function for sending special offers, following up on a deal, or reaching out to customers on special occasions. But make sure you use it sparingly as you don’t want to annoy customers by being pushy. The SMS function should only be used when it’s absolutely necessary to inform customers about important events they shouldn’t miss out on. On Close.com, you can send and receive SMS’s with just one click.
5: Customer reporting
Just like most companies produce reports for internal decision making, it’s also possible to produce reports for customers to know how they’ve spent their money, and how they’re tracking with your business. They’ll feel glad to receive such information, and trust you more if you’re transparent with them about their interactions with your business.
For instance, you could send customers a report of all their transactions with you over the whole year. Sharing this information will show customers that you care about your customers wallets, and you’re giving them an opportunity to optimize their expenditures with you!
The reason why this can be a real differentiator to build solid customer relationships is because most companies will not share this information. Use the information in your CRM to generate customer reports so they feel like they’re your partners. You’ll be surprised at how effective this strategy can be for cementing customer relationships!
Wrapping it up
At the end of the day, it’s what you make of your CRM, and the data in it! Don’t treat your CRM tool like it’s just a phone book or a ledger of all customer interactions. Leverage it to show your customers that you care. Use the hacks above, or better yet, come up with your own to win your customer’s hearts and minds for the long term.
Ryan Gould is the vice president of strategy and marketing services at Elevation Marketing. From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.