CRM Helps Small Teams Respond Like Large Teams
The current slate of cloud-based CRM apps help small teams get more done by streamlining (and, often, automating) the most important business channels: marketing, sales, customer service, and support. In recent times, an increasing focus has been placed on social CRM, as customers routinely seek solutions through social media.
CRM is all about responding to customer input, and you can judge the how well your CRM is working based on its ability to funnel disparate input sources to a single point of access for you and your team.
So let's take a close look at how CRM affects small teams, specifically.
If you manage a small team of employees, you've probably picked up on a tiny bit of consumer psychology. Customers are perceptive to the size of your business. As any soloprenuer can tell you, consumers sometimes hesitate to transact with what they view as small operations. And, by that logic, customers tend to trust bigger companies more than they trust smaller ones.
You cannot, for obvious reasons, add employees just to appear to be a bigger company, but you can leverage CRM to lessen the appearance of being a small team.
One telltale sign that a company is “small” emerges when it takes a long time to get a response from the company. When a customer submits an inquiry, and there's a lag in the response, the customer can be made to feel that you cannot meet their expectations. Fortunately, with the help of the right CRM solution, it becomes easy to control this perception.
A CRM app like RelateIQ helps you capture every opportunity. When you receive a customer inquiry, and you can't respond to it right away, RelateIQ automatically creates a reminder to follow up. This way, you never have a customer issue slip through the cracks.
Because small teams are often spread thin, in earnest, this benefit of CRM is essential in reducing response time, and creating the appearance of a bigger (and better equipped) team, as a result.
Social CRM Keeps Your Small Team Connected
Social media continues to take on a bigger role in the life cycle of the customer. And that means you need a convenient way to keep up with the chatter that is happening around the Web. One of the worst things that can happen is for a public customer inquiry to go unanswered – or insufficiently answered – in public-view on social media. That can be a red flag for new and existing customers alike. By providing prompt and polite responses to public social media messages, you let it be known that your company is timely and tactful in fielding customer queries via social media.
Social CRMs help you stay connected to your on social media sites. As you know, social media is a huge place, making it impossible for a small team to constantly monitor separate Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus pages while getting anything else done.
Social CRMs monitor these pages for you and notify you when your brand is mentioned in social media.
Zendesk is one app that excels at social CRM. Zendesk supports all the traditional customer service channels, like email and phone, while seamlessly integrating social media sites as input channels. Zendesk also makes use of “triggers” which can help your small team focus on those customers who need personalized attention, while directing those whose problems can be solved by static content (like help pages) to self-service solutions.
There's an old saying: “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” And social CRM really elevates this old saying to a contemporary reality. Often, those customers reaching out through social media have the most urgent need, and they expect the fastest response. The best way to stay on top of what's happening in social media is to make sure your business is using a social CRM.
CRM Helps You Seize Opportunities and Grow Your Business
Customer inquiries, including complaints, are often thinly veiled opportunities. Problems always necessitate solutions. And when the solution is an upgrade or up-sell, your small team needs to be able to switch hats from a pure support mindset, to a sales mindset.
And a CRM app like, Salesforce Sales Cloud, lets you capitalize on those kinds of opportunities. Salesforce accomplishes this by storing customer histories and facilitating the easy sharing of knowledge among your employees. This helps you identify where a unique customer is running into trouble and offer a monetized solution, when appropriate.
So, as an example, if you have a customer who has subscribed to your “Bronze” service package, but who has repeatedly engaged with emails and landing pages promoting your “Gold” service package, and they've now contacted you with a problem that could be remedied with a feature in the top-tier package, you can see the history of all those interactions and offer the customer an upgrade accordingly.
Using CRM in this way, you retain the customers you've worked hard to acquire, and that's a recipe for continual business growth.
Hopefully, from this article you can see that CRMs can help your small team respond like a large one, stay connected with the broadest possible audience, and grow. As such, choosing the right CRM is utterly essential for small businesses with few employees.
By leveraging the myriad features of the current crop of CRM apps on the market, your small team can accomplish big goals with ease, simply by being empowering your team with tools that belie its “small” size.