If you’re looking for a way to improve your retention rates and gain new customers, take a look at your customer service and the customer experience you offer. Stats show that 62% of consumers switch brands after a poor customer experience, and 86% will pay more for a better customer experience. You might be losing customers to bad support interactions, and you could gain even more customers if you step up your game and prove that you offer a better experience than your competitors.
You might think of a CRM as just a sales tool, but it’s actually a great way to arm your team with the ultimate customer experience boost: a full picture of a customer’s history and interactions in one place. Everyone from your sales reps, office manager, customer support staff, and marketing folks should be on the CRM so that they can provide the best service possible to your customers.
If you’re wondering how CRM can improve the customer experience, check out these tips!
1. Add everyone to the CRM so that the whole team has a full picture of a customer’s history and issues.
A CRM is meant to hold your entire business in one place, including sales info, customer issues, and more. Make sure that everyone has access to the CRM so that they can input and use data to find better, faster solutions for customers. If your whole team has access to a customer’s complete profile (and not just a fraction of it), they will be able to provide better service and give each customer a better experience.
Need help adding a new hire to the CRM? Check out this tutorial on adding and onboarding users to the CRM.
2. Have everyone entering data in the CRM so that reps are empowered with more information.
Now that everyone on your team is a user in the CRM, make sure that they are entering data after every customer interaction:
- Enter a note after every call. The more detail, the better you (and your team) will be able to track your relationship or a particular customer issue.
- Log every email sent to a customer. Since LACRM includes the subject line and send times for every logged email, you'll easily be able to track the progress of a particular thread.
- Scheduling a follow up task after every interaction. Everyone's customer service nightmare is that a rep will promise to help them, and then drop the ball. Make sure that never happens by scheduling a follow up task after every touch, even if it's just to check in and make sure the issue hasn't recurred.
- Attaching files related to support issues. If a customer sent you a screen shot of an error on your website, or a photo proving their order was damaged, attach that file to their contact record in the CRM. That way, if another employee ends up taking over the conversation, they don't have to dig for related photos or ask for them again.
- Adding contacts to the appropriate groups. If your marketing or sales teams are relying on groups based on customer interests, make sure every employee understands these groups and can access them, too. That way, if a customer expresses interest in joining your newsletter for product updates, anyone can easily add them to the corresponding group in the CRM. Groups can also be helpful for customer service purposes; if you have many contacts waiting on a fix for a particular issue, you can add them all to a group. When it comes time to contact them with a fix, you can easily export the group for use in a bulk mailing (or sync the group with MailChimp).
If your whole team is entering information into the CRM, everyone will have more data at their disposal, and they will be able to make better, more informed decisions on the fly with customers.
Imagine: a customer calls in, and a rep pulls up their contact record and sees their complete history with your company: call notes, email correspondence about issues, and even what email lists they are grouped into! Reps can use more specific, informed language (“I see you talked to Bob yesterday, and I'm really sorry that our invoice got caught in your spam folder again”), which will make customers feel like they are being taken care of.
Are your reps having trouble remembering to enter information every day? Check out these tips for motivating and incentivizing CRM your team to use the CRM!
3. Help your reps collaborate so that everyone can pick up where their colleague left off.
Make sure that your team has access to each other’s calendars so that they can easily assign one another to tasks and events. This way, if a customer emails in with an issue and they need a follow up call, even if the rep scheduling the call for them will be unavailable, they can easily check their colleagues' schedules and help the customer secure an appointment.
If you have a scheduler (the Less Annoying CRM Coaching team uses Appointlet), you might be able to sync scheduled events with Google Calendar, which in turn syncs to Less Annoying CRM!
The same applies to tasks as well. If a certain department or team member should be alerted about an issue, you can easily create a task to check in on a customer and assign it to the team member. The team member will receive an email letting them know that you assigned them a task, and they can click through to the customer’s record to read up on their issue.
Check out this article on using tasks and events to collaborate in the CRM for more ideas.
4. Track issues and customer service requests to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Use pipelines to track customer issues so that everyone can clearly see who has open tickets, what the issues are about, and where the team is in the process of resolving them. This will prevent issues from slipping through the cracks, please customers with faster solutions, and help you identify common customer issues so that you can proactively prevent them in the future.
Plus, this will help you identify if a customer has an open issue just by looking at their contact record! You can easily see an archive of closed and active issues, and get an idea if this issue has happened with this customer before, and how it was resolved last time.
To help you get started, Less Annoying CRM has a pipeline template for customer issues! If you need help tweaking it to fit your own customer service team’s needs and processes, contact us to schedule a 1:1 customizing or training call.
5. Encourage customer service follow ups and proactive intervention.
With everyone entering information and tracking issues in the CRM, you can encourage your reps to proactively schedule follow ups with customers to prevent further issues. First, institute a new resolution policy: every time an issue comes in that can’t be resolved immediately, schedule a follow up task for a few days later in the CRM. If the customer gets back to you and you resolve the issue, you can just delete the task. If they don’t get back to you, however, you’ll be reminded to follow up on the issue in a timely manner.
Next, start identifying common issues or trouble spots with the data from your customer issues pipeline report. Do people call in with a certain problem a few weeks after purchasing your product or service? Does a glitch or issue tend to appear a few times before it’s resolved? Once you identify the hiccups in a customer’s journey, you can proactively address these potential hurdles.
One way is to have your team schedule follow up tasks after a certain kind of interaction or touch. For example, if you sell a product to businesses, and someone calls in about buying more products for their team, you might want to email them a few days after they receive their product to ask if they need help training their staff.
Another way is to use email marketing. You can create a drip campaign in MailChimp to send to new clients with different tips and tricks they need to know as they start using your product. This drip campaign can help new customers stay engaged with your company and prevent them from having issues by proactively sending them important info. In LACRM, you can create a group of all of your new clients, sync the group with a list in MailChimp, and they’ll start receiving your drip campaign. When you win over a new customer in the future, add them to the new client group in LACRM, and they’ll automatically sync to MailChimp and start receiving your emails.
Interested in getting started with MailChimp? Check out this tutorial to learn how the sync between LACRM and MailChimp works!
6. Identify and build on your relationship with happy customers.
After a successful customer service interaction, your clients are often at their happiest with your company. As a CRM Coach, I know that after I've helped someone import their data or train their team, they're more likely to compliment me, LACRM's customer service, and the CRM itself. Happy customers are great for your team's ego and great for your company; happy folks are more likely to stick with your business for longer and spread positive word of mouth about their interactions with you. Your team can build momentum with happy customers (and camaraderie with each other) by implementing new processes:
- Group customers who love you. Have a public group in the CRM for your happiest customers. This is a great group to reach out to if you need a focus group, beta testers, new testimonials or reviews, or just cheerleaders for your business. Make sure your team knows the criteria for who can make it into the group.
- Ask for reviews or testimonials. After a customer sends praise and compliments your way, consider asking them to review your business on a particular site, or see if they are willing to let you use their words as a testimonial. Be sure to stress that the review is optional, and consider explaining the importance of a review for your business. Below is some example text for soliciting reviews:
- Encourage referrals. If someone expresses interest in referring you business (such as "I can't wait to tell my friends about this!"), make sure to let them know about any referral programs you have. By having a referral program that gives the referee something small, in addition to the person they referred, you're also motivating your customers to report their referrals. That way, you can have a better handle on word of mouth about your business. You can track referrals in the CRM by using the relationships tool to link two records together.
- Share positive feedback. It feels good to get compliments. When a customer gives positive feedback, be sure to share it with the rest of your team. At LACRM, we have a Slack channel for happy customers. CRM Coaches and devs can pop in the channel for a quick happiness boost. If you don't have a chat app where you can share happy feedback, make sure to highlight compliments in a weekly digest or in company meetings.
By following these tips, you've already started building trust with your customers by showing them that you offer collaborative, communicative, and caring customer service. You can be more transparent with your customers because you will always know the status of their issue, and you can easily pick up where a colleague left off. By using a CRM, you can ensure that problems get handled and issues are tracked from beginning to end.