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Top tips for CRM success

Julie wrote a piece for the Guardian in which she outlined her top tips for CRM success. Here’s a summary of it.

Setting out to create or improve your company’s Customer Relationship Management? Here are 7 top tips to help you reach CRM success.

1. Set up for CRM Success

It’s absolutely essential to have C-level buy in to the development of CRM in your organisation. You’ll need financial and resource support but critically, you need a strong, shared vision and executive sponsorship. In addition, setting up a cross-departmental CRM working party will be invaluable for CRM success.

2. Define CRM

This might sound basic but people understand different things of CRM (Customer Relationship Management). If you’re going to successfully instigate or improve your organisation’s CRM, all stakeholders need to understand what it is and is not. So define CRM upfront. And then agree your company’s bespoke CRM objective. Revenue growth and ROI metrics should be agreed at this stage too – what are you aiming for and measuring against?

segmentation for CRM success

Decide on what containers you have – then you can think what CRM might be appropriate

3. Know your audience

Look at your complete universe of contacts. These could be previous enquirers, newsletter subscribers who haven’t yet transacted, retail shoppers, lapsed members, current customers, distribution/trade partners, VIPs, advocates and many more depending on your business and sector. The important focus here is to decide what groups you have so that you can start to think what CRM might be appropriate.

Clients voted BURN no. 1 UK CRM agency recently in the 2014 RAR awards and that’s in no small part due to our persuading clients to focus on the customer. Without them, you’re nowhere, so conceive your programme to be customer-centric (and not simply a series of product pushes or cross-sells).

4. Audit where you are now

Before you begin to construct a CRM programme, audit and summarise everything your company does now in relation to customer and prospects, at each touch-point. Although this is just a building block, simply having this summary is a feat in itself for many organisations! Add a second stage to the audit where you capture creative, messaging and tone of voice at every touch-point, right through from big marketing campaigns to automated messages and call centre scripts.

5. Make it better

Having defined your audience and summarised every aspect of your current communications, you will immediately start to see gaps, overlaps, missed opportunities and room for improvement. Document your customer and prospect journeys and simply consider what would provide the optimal experience at each touch-point. How can you turn a good customer experience into a fantastic one?

6. Scope the right CRM technology

You’ll need to consider suitable CRM technology as a key pillar of your entire programme. There are numerous CRM systems available and only by properly specifying your needs right across the business will you find the right provider and platform.

Compare and contrast solutions for the functionality, flexibility, future-proofing and value they offer. Consider data input and feeds. Think about automated and triggered activity. Include the ability to track campaigns, carry out data counts and queries. Look at off-the-shelf and bespoke solutions. Consulting with internal stakeholders is key at this stage and will ensure you opt for a system that is fit for your particular (and manifold) purposes.

7. Roll-out and refine

Sharing the new CRM programme, its key principles and how it works within the business will be crucial to its success. So cascade internally during development and at roll-out, then keep providing updates and collecting feedback once the programme is live.

You’ll be measuring directly derived revenue, conversion rates, retention levels and attrition no doubt but don’t overlook what customers will tell you in addition, if asked. They’ll give you a lot of what you need for best in class CRM success.

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