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A quick Google search of the renowned buzzword “customer experience” returns over 1.5 billion results. That’s roughly double the population of Europe. We’ve acknowledged the customer experience (CX) era for some time, but as consumer expectations take a digital shift, even more stress is being placed on keeping customers happy.

Customer relationship management lies at the heart of business operations. As a centralised database of all a customer’s information sitting in one place, CRM systems empower employees to provide elevated service for greater customer satisfaction, churn prevention and increased sales leads. But there are some CRM tips that could help make your operations run even better.

1. View CRM is a strategy, not a piece of software.

To get even the smallest bit out of CRM adoption, people need to use it. It’s important to set up internal usage guidelines on what, how, and when staff should enter data into the CRM system. With guidelines in place, employees better understand the importance of using the CRM, which in turn unlocks its other additional benefits—like tracking sales progress, generating reports, and distributing marketing collateral.

It’s vital to ensure that all employees are trained on how to integrate the CRM into their daily flow. Adopting CRM as a way of thinking, rather than “just a piece of software,” is key. Getting into the mind-set that all data must be stored in one centralised, accessible location is the key long-term success.

2. Make the most of automation.

A common challenge in successful CRM adoption is getting customer-facing staff to update accounts following customer interactions. Sales teams often get bogged down by administrative tasks like manual data entry, leaving them unprioritized and often forgotten. For the business as a whole, this means there’s no updated centralized data system, resulting in plenty of missed opportunities for growth.

Businesses should consider automating some of these manual processes so that employees have more time to focus on complex tasks. Automated communication in the early stages of a customer relationship and email templates for frequently asked questions save customer-facing staff time and effort to channel into other, more challenging tasks.

3. Unlock the power of the IoT.

New Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled technologies aren’t just reserved for complex industrial applications. They also have their place in business management. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) integrations make CRMs simpler and more intuitive to use.

For example, revenue intelligence tools can be integrated with CRM and call software to automatically scan for upcoming meetings. The AI bot then joins any calls automatically, transcribes the call, and analyzes its transcription to suggest the next best steps. This takes the headache out of updating the CRM following every customer interaction, and ensures systems are properly maintained.

4. Integrate call software.

Using several siloed pieces of software at once doesn’t make for a streamlined work setup. Any customer-facing team will spend a large amount of their time on the phone, so it’s worth considering a cloud calling system that can be directly integrated into a CRM.

Any incoming call can be automatically linked to the caller’s account to give customer-facing agents all the information that the company holds on the client in just one click. Calls, texts, voicemail messages, and recordings are automatically logged in the CRM to give a comprehensive overview of every time a customer has contacted the company.

5. Give a personal touch.

Bare minimum no longer cuts it in terms of personalization. Consumers consistently expect brands to demonstrate how they know them personally in every interaction. But to offer a truly personalized service, customer-facing staff need to know about the customers they’re speaking to.

Integrating communication software into the CRM enables file recovery. Agents can immediately pull up all notes on the customer to give themselves an overview of who they’re talking to, helping agents to tailor their advice and determine the best course of action for the customer in front of them. And it also helps them to build a personal rapport with each and every customer.

Be it Salesforce, Hubspot, Zendesk, Sugar, or any other CRM platform, most businesses nowadays have a CRM in place. They’re a one-stop-shop for ensuring gold standard customer experience, and taking these tips on board can help businesses take their operations to the next level.

Ross Slogrove is a country manager at Ringover, a specialist in cloud calling solutions. Ringover integrates with multiple CRM systems, such as HubSpot, Zendesk and Bullhorn, to streamline sales and customer experience. As part of his role, Slogrove helps to drive business sales and identify areas of opportunity where business can benefit from a cloud-based calling solution.

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  • Arnold Wilkes

    Senior Technology Editor Initially worked as a technical writer Editor, Arnold is a cybersecurity specialist, penetration examiner, and a dedicated Java and PHP developer.