Who owns a company's data and related information?
The obvious answer would be "the company." What seems to be obvious, however, is not always accurate. Let's say that your company's top salesperson or a key employee leaves to join a competitor, all the data that the individual has collected over the years could be lost. Or worst used effectively by a competitor.
Such data might include the companies visited; contacts made; notes on people, personalities and buying behavior; a history of commitments promised and delivered; milestones, issues, problems; resolutions, useful solutions and potential sales.
It is smart to look at your retention rates of key customers as a leading indicator of your business success. Some may call it 'customer churn'. Is your customer loss rate less than 5%, 20%, or more? Under such a scenario, the ownership of customer records takes on a even greater urgency.
You may ask yourself "how can such information be lost"? It has to be stored somewhere: spreadsheets or word documents, in your Microsoft Outlook system, on a laptop, in a mobile phone or a private rolodex.
A company puts its cash in the bank, its inventory in secure storage and so it must protect its critical and very valuable customer and relationship information.
CRM gives a business continuity by providing the technology and processes to take ownership of data and make the data visible and accessible to the entire business enterprise.
Consider the following to decide what is valuable to your business continuity:
- Capture the names, roles, levels of influence, personal characteristics of the people called and visited.
- Capture the inbound and outbound emails conversations not only in your email system but also easily in your integrated CRM system.
- Scan digital documents, quotes, proposals, action plans, and other important documents to the related company and contacts.
- Note the reported issues and the resolution process so the next support person can more effectively help another customer with the same situation.
- Record those special steps and insights gained in the customer's buying process that helps in your related selling process.
- Make notes on special handling or shipping instructions
- Identify preferences specific to each customer's contact. Not only will it save time the next time around but it helps to build rapport for others on your sales and support time.
- Automate the creation of new leads and salesperson notifications when our web site landing pages are filled out.
- Capture the display interest of your emails and digital communications such as newsletters. What content is opened, what content has interest by clicks and links back to your web site.
- Gather customer feedback on their satisfaction and interests through helpful surveys.
Make the knowledge capture engaging
Use the technology of smart phones and useful portable devices like the iPad tablet to easily and effortlessly help in getting these items done in a more engaging way. Provide web portal technology so your staff can access your CRM system 24 x 7 x 365 and build on and share the company's collective intelligence.
What else can help make your business work smarter to build a foundation for business continuity? Let's talk...