CRM in the New COVID Business World
Starting out, just what is CRM? Customer Relationship Management is the system and process for managing a business’ relationship with their customers. The simplest form of CRM is a database with the basic contact information for prospects and customers, and it can also include vendors and business partners. Its purpose is to make it easy to pull up the contact information to reach outi.
- Phone(s), home, work, cell
- Lead source
- Business information
- Lead type: prospect, customer
- Past purchase(s)
The CRM power user will have many more information fields about their prospects or customers. Depending on their product or service offerings, they will have fields of information about their contacts that help them to determine what they may buy so they can send them product/service-appropriate marketing messages. Some CRM users keep customer and family information about birthdays and anniversaries, usually for high end purchases.
Other fields related to business customers may include:
- Influence level of the person within their organization
- Time since last email, last meeting, last phone call, or other correspondence
- Level and types of interest from past marketing campaigns
- Year-to-date sales and current year compared to last year sales
- Membership in trade or business associations
Social Site Integration and Ease of Use
Many of the online customer relationship management solutions connect to social sites as well. This allows the user to have even more access to the preferences and demographics of the contacts in the database.
The most useful systems are those that allow fast and easy data capture or entry, and they make search and access fast and easy as wellii. The user can pull up a contact before a phone call, email, or other contact. With all the previous contacts in the system moving backward in time, the user has command of the recent communications with the prospect or customer.
COVID Zoom Communications
COVID moved much of the communication between businesses, their employees, subcontractors, and customers onlineiii. Recording a Zoom meeting as a video in MP4 format is easy, and the free version allows you to save it to your hard drive. If you save it into a folder that is synced with Google Drive or Dropbox, you will have a link to that file in the cloud that you can put into that contact’s record. It becomes easy to refresh your memory of meeting details before a phone conversation or email.
Even more useful, there are tools like Rev.com that will transcribe your video to text to use internally as you wish. Often this is much more efficient, as you can quickly scan a transcribed version much faster than wading through the video to find what you want.
COVID has changed the business world forever as businesses found that their employees were often at least as productive at home as they were onsite. Also, more companies hired independent contractor freelancers through attrition. Zoom meetings or similar services should be prominent in future business communications, both internally and with prospects and customers.
The value of a well-formulated customer relationship management system is accentuated in the post-COVID business world.
i Why is Customer Relationship Management So Important? – Forbes.com
ii CRM 101: What is CRM?, Salesforce.com
iii So You’ve Made a Zoom Recording…Now What?, Blog.Zoom.us