When business transactions get really hectic, important things that are not urgent are often pushed aside, leaving the opportunity for an interruption in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) efforts. It’s critical however to break away from the “I’ll-get-to-it-later” practice to ensure that your CRM efforts are keeping pace with your business activities.
Peak times, of course are great for business, and with CRM software in place many daily activities can be automated to save time. To ensure you don’t contradict your own CRM strategies it’s extremely important to continue keeping your focus on the customer during these hectic times. Communications must be accurately recorded and connected with the appropriate contacts, because these business interactions can either “make it or break it” in terms of customer retention.
Customers are quick to judge, and according to them, faster isn’t always better. In a recent post, You’re Probably Moving Your Business Too Fast, Jim McCann writes: “Business is starting to notice the power of slow.” His article cites recent studies which reveal that the majority of customers who abandoned brands or companies did so due to poor customer service rather than because of slow response time. The survey also showed that for online businesses, most customers prefer to use email for customer support.
I’ve written before about the relevance of balancing CRM software automation with human interaction, and also what can happen when your CRM system contains corrupt data. This is where the concept of Continuous Process Improvement comes to play.
Get it Out of Outlook
When dealing with an email inbox slammed full with messages, it’s easy and convenient to just flag an action item for follow-up later (yes, I am guilty, too!) and focus on the pressing things at hand. This is an incredibly hard habit to break, we know, but it will present a large obstacle if not addressed because it creates the potential for a customer issue to be overlooked.
We all know what happens: items are “top-of-the-inbox” today, but within a few days they are pushed down into the depths of the “basket.” And after possibly spending oodles of time trying to locate it, you hope it’s not too late to respond. That is if you even remembered to flag it properly.
By getting into the habit of putting the customer first and entering that interaction history into the CRM database from the start, you will offset any chance of those little fiascoes from occurring. In addition, creating a follow-up task in the CRM system will drive efficiency, closing any possible gaps so that things aren’t lost in the shuffle.