Advantages of integrating with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system

16th July 2020 - Tom Miller

Blog Post
Advantages of integrating with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system

There's an incredible amount of information available online about CRM

Rather than trawling through it all, I've written this blog to illustrate the four most advantageous elements a good CRM solution can offer for your Ecommerce website.

You've probably heard the term 'CRM' banded about at some point in the same way that people refer to 'the cloud'. It's much less mysterious than it sounds, and is effectively a system to manage customer data and how you can use the online browsing behaviour of your website visitors to create a competitive advantage for your business. A good CRM system, implemented properly, allows your business to gain valuable insight into your customers and ultimately convert more casual website visitors into your customers.

I've highlighted the four key advantages implementing a good CRM system can offer, particularly when integrated with a strong Ecommerce platform online.

Increased overall efficiency

There's no manual data entry, and no need for you to enter information from your website analytics or Ecommerce system to try and ascertain trends or behaviours.

Your data will be updated in real time, as someone browses your website and/or makes a purchase. This in turn removes any element of human error and prevents things like duplicate customer contacts or data owing to a simple typo in a name or postcode. Doing business is more insightful, efficient and intelligent with CRM.

Improved customer experience

Your customers benefit from a good CRM system too, it's not all about the data! As an order or purchase progresses throughout the process of reaching the end customer, CRM, when implemented correctly, will keep your customers updated throughout the whole customer journey. A confirmation email of an order is expected in most Ecommerce scenarios, but you can exceed expectations and improve customer experience by your CRM system updating your customer at key points throughout the journey.

For example, if I were to order a new pair of shoes, 1) I'd get an email to say Thank you for your purchase, here is confirmation and your order number. 2) An automated message would be generated to say, we've now made your shoes and they will be dispatched in 'x' hours 3) Your shoes have now been dispatched by 'x courier service' here are your tracking details, thank you.

Then as a follow up, after a set period of time CRM could send the same customer a message to ask them how they found the product and their experience of your business while also offering shoe polish, insoles or other products associated with their original purchase. This could even go as far as sending an email in six months time to suggest a new type of shoe for a different season or a new sole for the shoe. The opportunities to build relationships and drive sales are endless.

Sales and customer data in one place

Having all of your information stored on one system prevents any discrepancies and can help maximise efficiency. All of the relevant people within your business have access to the same, completely accurate information. Should a customer contact you by phone, having ordered something online, the system can present all relevant information on the customer, their buying history and even things like which marketing emails they've opened.

You have a complete and total history of their interactions irrespective of the channel they chose to communicate with you on, meaning you always have access to the best data to inform any decision.

Personalised marketing

Through the implementation of CRM we know what actions a particular user has taken on a website and we can then begin to segment these based on things they are interested in or specific behaviours. This can then help you form 'personas'; in short the different type of customer you have and how you can most effectively market a product or service to them based on the data you've accumulated. For example, if a website visitor only looks at size 12 mens shoes, your CRM system can automate the promotion of a similar new product or push a sale item that is in stock in size 12 rather than an untargeted email that might just tell the customer 'It's our winter sale, 30% off shoes'. This converts data into sales and also helps build a more insightful relationship with your customers.

In a different scenario, you could use the data accumulated to flag a particular customer to your sales team. For example, if they entered their email address to get a brochure or find out more about a new vehicle, and then revisit your website to look at the same product again this can be flagged as a 'hot' lead for one of your sales team to contact as you'll already know the prospective buyer is engaged and interested in your product or service.

So should you implement CRM within your business?

When you can build accurate data on your customers and potential customers that convert to a more profitable customer relationship while informing business decisions and ultimately driving efficiencies the answer is yes.

Having good data on CRM is the digital equivalent of a person walking into your store and every member of staff knowing their name, interests, what they'd bought before and every item they'd looked at on the shelves and all of their preferences as a customer. In short, it's a no brainer.

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