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Use Your CRM to Make Your Customers Work for You

Your CRM system often does a better job at making things easy for your employees. For example, better lead management, opportunity management, and sales force management; however these aren’t things that customers care about. They care about the service and a good experience when doing business with you. Also, even though CRM systems claim to offer a 360-degree view of your customer, this is something that rarely happens. An integrated single truth of your customer across all departments is not easily achieved. This is where it can be extremely useful to take your customer’s help in making CRM work for you.

Your customers can help you with your CRM objectives by propagating your business and by offering pertinent feedback. If you enlist your customer’s efforts in these activities, you will surely get closer to achieving your topline goals.

User-generated content is an excellent tool wherein you provide your customers a platform for generating content pertaining to your business, but aspects of your business where they have some domain expertise. You can help them create meaningful content by providing forms, fields, and sample posts. Involve customers to influence other visitors to your business by encouraging them to leave behind comments regarding their experience of doing business with you. Actual user rating of your services and products is a powerful influence on the purchase decision of potential customers.

Get users to frame and conduct dialogs, debates, and polls on your products, services, solutions and issues related to your industry. This will not only help generate user awareness about the salient features of your products and services, it will also provide you with rich data so you may analyze your product or position of your services to better effect. Customer generated content, their suggestions, queries, and demands are all useful sources of actionable insight that can lead to improvements in your processes and operations so that they become more customer-centric.

If you have self service systems deployed, you can avail the data to understand the customer’s pulse. Make the customer involvement collaborative; encourage them to talk about you in their blog posts, podcasts, videos, etc. These activities can really help you tap into consumer power and extend your reach through the internet. One of the major advantages of getting the customer to talk about you is that people out there would rather listen to another person whom they can relate to rather than marketing talks from a company. The unstructured and informal manner in which bloggers and forum members discuss companies and products earns faith; more so because the general trend is that your customers are not in your pay so their appraisal is going to be unbiased.

So get savvy and get your customer to spread the word for you, you will not only add to your customer base but also to improve customer loyalty and retention.

[Photo courtesy of ScienceFiction.]