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Inadequate customer service is one of the top reasons why good clients leave a business. A study from PWC found that a whopping 32% of customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after just one bad experience.
Even if your customer service representatives are phenomenal and clients are satisfied after chatting with them, if the process of getting to a rep is difficult or your reps have to spend too much time on tedious administrative tasks, then you’re inevitably going to disappoint customers.
One of the best ways to improve customer service is by using a CRM.
What is a CRM?
“CRM” refers to “customer relationship management” – and in the digital sphere, this means software that tracks interactions with prospects and customers. CRMs store contact information including name, email, phone and any other identifying information.
Companies can also assign certain contacts to certain customer service representatives or group multiple contacts under one account.
A sophisticated CRM like HubSpot can even log employee interactions with contacts, including emails, phone calls, voicemails and in-person meetings.
How a CRM Improves Customer Service
1. Data is stored for all to see
Because a CRM is a centralized place to store all customer data, it makes the hand-off process much easier. If another team sends a contact to customer service, a customer service rep can pull up that contact’s data instead of needing to rely on another employee relaying information.
The customer service rep can also see all historic data for a client so they can better assist them – for example, when they became a customer, what service(s) they use, how often they’ve called, etc.
Additionally, a CRM makes it easier for customer service reps to take notes for each client. This makes it easier to transfer a contact to a supervisor or other department if needed.
This allows for better customer service down the road because all interactions, troubleshooting and concerns are stored. For both the customer and customer service rep, this means less runaround, repeating information and frustration.
→Read Now: Why Does a Business Need a CRM System?
2. Personalized communication
Since a CRM stores a vast amount of data for each client in an easy-to-access format, it makes it that much easier for employees to give each contact a personalized touch. Additionally, it allows you to make automated messaging more personal. Some ways you can do this include:
- Sending birthday well-wishes
- Using first name in communications
- Promoting new services/products that are relevant to that customer
- Sending updates relevant to their industry
- Valued customer discounts or referrals
- Sending appointment reminders and thank-yous
Trying to send these sorts of personalized and targeted messages without a CRM is incredibly difficult and requires a complex web of spreadsheets and reminders. In a CRM, all you have to do is ensure information is inputted the same way by your whole team and then it’s just a simple process to segment and automate.
From your perspective, it’s all automated. From your customer’s perspective, it’s a much more personalized experience than getting a generic email.
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3. Consistent and timely responses
One of the most common frustrations from customers is a perception that they’re being ignored and that they have to constantly repeat themselves. A CRM helps address both of these pain points. Using a CRM, you can automate some initial follow-up – like sending out an email immediately after a contact fills out a form.
A CRM can also be set to send notifications to customer service representatives whenever a client takes a certain action. For larger organizations, it can also be used to automatically sort and assign clients to an employee, eliminating the need for manual oversight.
Additionally, a CRM makes it easy to provide a consistent experience. It helps ensure the same process is followed each time. Customers appreciate a reliable response, which increases brand loyalty.
4. Allows for self-serve options
More than 6 in 10 U.S. consumers say that their go-to channel for simple inquiries is a digital self-serve tool such as a website, mobile app, voice response system or online chat (source). A robust CRM like HubSpot can interface with other customer service tools like online chat or knowledge bases.
This allows your customers who want to self-serve the opportunity to do so. It also removes the need for your customer service reps to answer the same basic questions over and over again, giving them more time to work one-on-one with clients.
If you’re still relying on memory and spreadsheets to manage your customer service, you’re opening the door for errors, missed opportunities and disappointment. A good CRM makes it much easier to store data on customers, automate follow-up and provide excellent customer service. All of these actions lead to better customer satisfaction and retention.
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