The New Year is always a great time to reevaluate the relationships we have. It also allows us the opportunity to anticipate the growth of new relationships. By far, one of the most common goals we hear is people claiming to want more customers. Which makes sense because, well, more customers means more money. Yet, so many people struggle with creating a healthy Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program.
If you really want to gain more customers in 2015, it is essential that you focus more time on your Customer Relationship Management(CRM). CRM is the process by which a company services and manages current customers, while attempting to gain future contacts. To be successful at CRM you need to be accessible, trustworthy and always someone that your customers can rely on.
The steps below specifically break down the resolution to improve a Customer Relationship Management, while converting qualified contacts into loyal customers.
Step One: Review your contact list
Before you can improve your contact list, you first need to evaluate the contacts you already have. Set aside some time to personally manage and edit your existing contact list.
As you review, ask yourself:
Is my contact list up to date?
Do I have at least two different, updated methods of contact for each person?
Do I have information about particular groups or organizations I wish to target this year?
Do I have any leads that are not yet transferred into my contact list?
Are there any contacts on my list that I can eliminate?
Consider re-qualifying your contacts to ensure that they fit your consumer market
Step Two: Evaluate Past CRM Successes
As you look into the future, it is important that you learn from your existing Customer Relationship Management. Often you can be your own best teacher.
Take the opportunity to answer the questions on this list about your business relationships in 2014:
How did I mainly connect with my contacts?
Did I have more meetings? E-mail conversations?
Did I coordinate activities that generated results?
What activities worked?
What are specific things people said to me at these activities?
What worked best in my networking strategy?
Once your list is complete, pinpoint the things that had the best outcomes and apply them to your upcoming year.
Step Three: Evaluate Past CRM Failures
Now, look at the things that did not work with your existing Customer Relationship Management. Think about the relationships you had that challenged you and taught you what not to do. For example, ask yourself:
Did I write too many emails
Did I not attend events my future clients were at?
What wasn’t effective with my networking?
Don’t be afraid to highlight those things that showed weaker results than you had hoped for.
Step Four: Develop a Measurement System for Client Growth
Now that you have weeded out your list and learned from the past successes and failures, you need to find a method for measuring the client growth you wish to occur.
We recommend you pinpoint specific Leading and Lagging Indicators. Make sure you know what your Leading Indicators are and know how to measure them.
Leading Indicators would be anything that signals a future event. To best measure these, think about and record patterns that you see in your business. For example,
What things have your clients told you that may signal their hesitation?
What emails have you received that express that they are ready to buy?
Lagging Indicators would be anything that happens at the time of an event, or that follows an event. For example,
Are your contacts reaching out to you more as the economy improves?
Are future contacts taking more of your emails as their problem worsens?
Leading and Lagging indicators are essential in business because they allow us to understand the condition of our contacts on a deeper level. And as we all know, the more we can empathize with our customers, the more apt they are to trust us.
Step Five: Build your Plan
Now, you have broken down your customer relationships in 2014, you can finally take the actions to improve your coming year! Get your Customer Relationship Management plan built NOW. Use the last few weeks of 2014 to:
Set new goals for your contact list
How many contacts do you hope to maintain?
How many contacts do you hope to add?
What conversion rates are you anticipating for new contacts?
Create workable action plans
How many contacts will you connect with each day?
How will you reach out and network?
Get one step ahead of your competition!
By putting an emphasis on the improvement and organization of your Customer Relationship Management, your clients will begin to feel valued and appreciated on a higher level. And as you tend to them, you will notice them convert from just someone in your contact list, to a loyal customer. After you set your goals for your company’s CRM in 2015, be sure to comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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