The importance of a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)

The general focal point of business has been the product itself and the belief that a good product would always sell.  That is now changing and business is taking a new approach – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – switching the main focus from the product to the customer.  If you have the product a customer wants and offer the service they require at the correct price then they will buy from you.

It goes without saying that no customer means no business.  No matter how good the product, it won’t sell if it’s not something the customer needs and you don’t give good service.  However, if you put all your focus on the needs of the customer and don’t pay any attention to your own, tnen you could also be in trouble.  You need to meet your own needs as well as those of your customer.  So that’s exactly what CRM is all about – meeting both requirements.

First of all you will need customers!  That’s another reason for the importance of CRM.  It can help you recognize new customers and their requirements – once you have this information you can target your advertising directly to the best market for your product.

Having found your market you now need to satisfy your customers so that they recommend you to others.  That’s why it’s so important to target the correct market and keep your customers happy.  Use CRM to keep that relationship going long after the original purchase. 

Wondering where to start?  The basic principles are simple and can be applied gradually.

Talk to your customers from the start. If you’re promoting a new product, ask the opinion of those you believe most likely to be interested.  Using a blog, chat room or message board, whatever suits you, ask people what they want, start a discussion, or draw up a quick survey and post it on a relative page that you manage. Once you have collated all the ideas and opinions you need to put them into practice, thereby helping to keep the majority of your customers happy.  Obviously you’re not going to please everyone all the time, but overall customer satisfaction should be your main aim.

Once you have your customer base and are tailoring your services to suit their needs you can move to the second important part of CRM.  This could be done in various ways, such as:

** Sending a customer satisfaction survey
** Offering more products you think could be of interest
** Sending update emails
** Posting updates on your blog

The important thing is to keep a good relationship going with your customers and also an open mind to their own suggestions and requirements.

It might take a bit of adjusting to the principles of CRM, but you will soon discover that happy customers not only make your business profitable – you are also left with a sense of achievement and general feeling of satisfaction.

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