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Now that you understand the benefits of implementing a CRM platform for customer service, you must know how to use it!
After all, a CRM system is only helpful if a company utilizes its features and functions correctly.
Below I’ve created a seven-step process for you and your team. If you follow this guide, your company will have an in-depth customer database and better understand your customers’ needs.
Step 1: Choose a CRM
The first step is choosing a customer relationship management system! Sounds easy enough, right??
Finding a CRM system that fits your business needs is more time-consuming than many assume.
Some factors you must look for in a CRM include the following:
- Price and pricing structure (annual or monthly payments)
- What the software is designed for (customer service, marketing, or sales teams)
- Whether your company needs general use or industry-specific software
- Ease of use
There are several factors to consider when shopping for CRM software. Fortunately, most CRM providers offer free trials or demos.
That way, you and your team can test the software before implementing it. Free trials are a great way to prevent a premature purchase.
Also, ease of use is a critical factor worth considering. Training employees to use new technology will take time.
However, the last thing you want is an overly complicated CRM tool your team can’t learn.
Step 2: Add Users and Assign Roles
After you find the right CRM for your company, it’s time to add employees and assign roles.
Everyone in your company, from customer service reps to sales teams, can benefit from CRM technology.
Still, for security reasons, following the principle of least privilege is essential. This principle states that you should only give users enough access to information and data needed to perform their jobs.
For instance, sales and marketing teams don’t need access to customer support logs and ticketing reports. Similarly, your customer support managers should have access to reporting tools.
Step 3: Create and Automate CRM Processes
The third step is finding parts of your customer service processes to automate.
Of course, there are many customer service aspects you can’t automate, including the following:
- Case management
- Ticket management
- Payments and invoicing
- Client communications
- Loyalty management
Still, there are pieces of customer service that can be automated.
When choosing which processes to automate, think about the entire customer journey when they contact your support staff. The process starts with an inquiry and ends with a resolution (and a happy customer).
Find tasks between the start and end of the customer journey that don’t need to be handled by an employee.
Automated workflows improve productivity because your employees aren’t responsible for as many tasks!
Step 4: Utilize CRM Integrations
Most CRMs include numerous customer support-related features that improve productivity.
Still, there are endless third-party applications you and your team can integrate into your software.
Integrations improve functionality and ensure you have a more centralized system.
There are third-party integrations for anything you can imagine! From email marketing software to loyalty and incentive program tools, third-party apps bring your vision to life.
As a result, you don’t have to find a CRM with every feature your team requires. Focus on finding an easy-to-use and affordable CRM with your required essential functions.
Then, use third-party integrations to fill in the blanks!
Step 5: Clean and Add Customer Data
Before transferring your customer data, it’s crucial to go through and clean it.
Clean data prevents repeat information or outdated customer contact information.
Why is clean, updated data necessary?
A CRM is only as good as the information you feed it. So, if you fill the software with outdated, incorrect information, you’ll get inaccurate predictions and recommendations.
It may be time-consuming, but checking your data before adding it to your CRM is essential.
Lastly, if you don’t want to manually transfer all your company’s data into your new CRM, look for third-party data-transferring services!
Data transferring services save time and (in my opinion) are worth the price.
Step 6: Run Normal Customer Service Interactions
Step six is the fun part! You run normal customer service interactions and let your CRM software do its thing!
As a prospective customer is converted into a paying one, customer service activities like account management may occur.
And if you follow my previous step, you’ll automate tasks like case assignments, ensuring the right agent gets connected with the request.
Now, your customer support team has access to centralized data so that they can offer faster and more personalized service.
Step 7: Track and Monitor CRM Performance
The final step is simple yet essential for long-term success! Still, I’ve seen several business owners ignore this step because they think it wastes time.
Tracking and monitoring CRM performance is critical for continuous improvement. Additionally, tracking your progress ensures you don’t waste money on ineffective tactics.
You can monitor and track CRM performance daily or weekly. Regardless, you must ensure you know what’s going on within your company.
CRMs provide in-depth data, analytics, and reports. Refusing to look at these metrics is silly!