If your business already has a CRM system integrated with your WordPress site – excellent! That doesn’t mean you should stop reading here, though, because we have some advice and recommendations to share that is relevant to businesses who are both experienced with and new to CRMs.
If you’re new to CRMs and are wondering why they’re considered so essential, we urge you to keep reading to discover what a CRM system is, why your business needs one, the considerations you should make before taking the plunge, and what your options are to take your first steps into the world of (C)ustomer (R)elationship (M)anagement.
What is a CRM system?
Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a CRM system?
As we reference above, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is functionality (most commonly taking the form of integrated software or a plugin) that is used to manage and measure existing customers and new leads.
A CRM is traditionally used to streamline and simplify the way businesses gather customer data and build relationship with both new and established customers. We should mention here that while the C in CRM is most commonly used to mean customers, it can also refer to clients, contributors, or contacts – depending on the market your business operates in. Like everything else related to a CRM, even the name is flexible enough to work with your organisation, however large or small.
A CRM can be designed to fit whatever suits your business (and adheres to whichever data and security legislation your industry, location and customer-base location has in place). Information that can be recorded includes contact details, website form enquiries, e-mail exchanges with any member of your organisation, recent interactions on your company website, communication preferences and more.
As you can see, there is plenty of scope to tailor your CRM system to your organisation’s specifications, so we urge you to take your time to consider your options and work with your business to create a fulfilling, valuable CRM strategy to support both short and long term goals.
Why does your business site need one?
- Improve Your Customer Relationships
The main reason businesses opt to use a CRM system is to forge deeper and more educated relationships with their customers. By holding preferences and previous conversations with customers in one central hub, it makes it simpler and more efficient for your team to have valuable conversations with existing clients and to get right to the heart of what it is you can offer new leads.
- More Efficient Collaborations Between Teams
Particularly in larger businesses, it can be difficult to ensure that every member across all customer-facing teams has access to a customer’s full history, which can lead to frustration if conversations are repeated or are missing vital context. A CRM system means you don’t need to worry that your sales team and customer service teams might have two different sets of customer data to work from; the full history of each customer will be held in a centralised account, facilitating simple interdepartmental collaboration.
- Increased Data Protection
Depending on where your business operates in the world, you will likely have strict data protection guidelines to adhere to. If we look at the GDPR, for example, having a CRM system in place can be a huge step in the right direction for compliance. First of all, you can narrow down the plethora of services available by only researching CRM software that is fully compliant against the legislation your business is bound to.
Once you’ve found a service that ticks the security boxes in your list, you’ll find it’s far more secure to hold customer data in a compliant CRM system that it is within your business’ WordPress site.
Additionally, you might not third parties who have access to your website for other technical reasons to also have access to your customer data, for examples SEO or development agencies, as well as internal staff to don’t require access to view customer data.
The security here is twofold, in fact, as holding your customer data separately from your website leaves you safe in the knowledge that if the worst was ever to happen and your website was hacked, your client data is not at risk.
- Enhanced Monitoring and Reporting
Most CRM systems comes with integrated analytics monitoring, giving your teams a detailed overview of customer behaviour that will help build detailed sales forecasting reports. As well as assisting with sales reporting, this data can also play a vital part of improving support processes and highlight potential site and product enhancements to improve the customer experience.
- What are your options?
There are a number of CRM systems out there to discover, including both plugins and software that integrates with your existing business site. At AWESEM we favour dedicated software that will integrate seamlessly with your site and there are enough options that you’re sure to find the right system for your website and (most importantly) your organisation’s culture.
A few of the options that come highly rated with numerous features and benefits include: